I’ve spent my life trying to explain my behaviour to curious onlookers. Whether I’m being asked what I’m doing by security guards at London’s The Gherkin because I’m lying on the ground staring at the sky with a fisheye lens camera, or getting strange glances from couples as I lie taking photographs of penis-shaped fungi, anyone showing interest in the world is viewed as a misfit.
I’m taking photographs of this orchid when a dog walker approaches.
Beautiful, isn’t it? I suspect it’s a Common Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsi, partly because they hybridise quite confusingly, but also because I’m so bad at identifying them.
It’s a stalk full of white and purple flowers.
It’s a world within a world which gets more intriguing the closer you get.
They’re so like happy hooded figures in pretty patterned skirts, aren’t they?
Her large dog rushes straight to my face and I have to get up from the long grass quickly. That’s a surprise to its walker.
It’s then that I have to start the explanation.
After her initial shock she’s pleased and tells me, “We’ve had Bee Orchids on the other side”.
You know what happens next: