Happily Addicted. Discovering a “Ghost”, has meaning to me. A ghost Orchid, is a common name given to a species of orchid that is extremely rare, found only in the Florida Everglades. I have seen a ghost; I witnessed a treasure. The moment was surreal, I was left with intrigue and a lasting desire to seek the “ghost”. Although I have not ventured out in pursuit of other orchid plants, I have found myself hooked on the pursuit orchids. Internally the pursuit symbolizes desire. Susan Orlen, the author of The Orchid Thief and Meryl Streep’s, who plays a character adapted from Orlen’s life, in the film Adaptation, define desire in a way that I can relate to. The book and film symbolize what it might feel like to become addicted to an object, a quest that may or may not reap a reward…Is the reward the idea, the journey, the potential discovery, the actual discovery or is it the high from addictive behavior ? Can it all mean something without an actual journey?
You Tube Video
A Defining Pursuit
Risk vs Reward. Pursuing Orchids, is Not a Passive Hobby. Seeking New and Rare Orchids is More than a Epic Quest or Sporting Adventure Travel; Pursuing Undiscovered or Rare Orchids Desire, Addiction, Commonly Refereed to as Orchid Fever…is Dangerously Addictive. In the end it can be just dangerous.
Orchid Hunter, PBS Airdate: November 26, 2002
NARRATOR: They are among the oldest flowering plants on earth. They outlived the dinosaurs and may outlive us. There’s more than 25,000 species. But what is it about orchids that inflames human passions?
SUSAN ORLEAN (Author, The Orchid Thief): Nothing in science can account for the way people feel about orchids. Orchids arouse passion more than romance. They are the sexiest flowers on Earth.
NARRATOR: What is the mystery behind the orchid’s power of seduction? Over the last three centuries, dozens of people have died while hunting them. And this man came within an inch of joining them.
TOM HART DYKE (Orchid Hunter): I went into Central America with my friend Paul looking for orchids and looking for a whole array of plants.
NARRATOR: While in the jungles of Colombia, he and his friend were kidnapped by terrorists.
TOM HART DYKE: It was like…I’ve never been on death row…track record in the past: if there’s no ransom well that’s the end of you, isn’t it?
“Collecting orchids is a kind of love sickness. It, it is excruciating. And you can’t ever feel that you’ve known every orchid that can be known because there are so many”. SUSAN ORLEAN
Exert from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Scientists preserve the endangered ghost orchid
- January 26, 2016
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
- This rare orchid is unique for several reasons. First, it resembles a ghost when its white flower moves at night; hence, it is known as the Ghost Orchid. It is also leafless, and its roots attach to the bark of the host tree. About 2,000 ghost orchids remain in Florida, all the more reason to step up efforts to stabilize the current populations. Ghost orchids became more famous through a popular book, “Orchid Thief,” about a man arrested for stealing them from trees in a forest in Collier County, near the Everglades.