Exotica Near Henley?

Pyramidal Orchid

The common Pyramidal Orchid

Fortunately I was out today with Charli, for just a short spin between the currently inevitable showers. She was the one who noticing the orchids nestled in the verge, not too far from Henley. I’d already ridden by the spot and not seen them.

For someone like me who knows nothing about plants, the very word ‘orchid’ suggests something rare and exotic. For there to be wild orchids lurking amongst all the other vegetation on a totally ordinary verge on the side of a run-of-the-mill lane in the home counties seemed improbable at best. I’ll admit to wondering whether this was a chance discovery of some notable and freakish event.

It turns out the Pyramidal Orchid is quite common. Hey ho. On the plus side, it’s new to me and so I’ve learned something and, besides, there’s nothing inherent in scarcity that equates to value, not in any real sense. That’s just something humans have imposed on the world. But as Thoreau said, “that man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest”.

Talking of impositions, we were both quite amazed at the blatant, bordering on aggressive, lack of consideration shown to us by an AA accredited driving instructor as he was driving up a track (not even a road) near Shiplake that we were riding down. If that’s the quality of their instructors then I’d advise everyone to go somewhere else for your driving lessons.