Checkered Vanda

You do all kinds of things to fight boredom while you wait silently for a sleeping tiger to raise its head and look at you. We’d seen the back of one as it settled down in a little grassy hollow late in the morning. There was almost no chance that it would give us a sighting, but everyone decided to wait. Bored, I looked up. And spotted the orchid Checkered Vanda (Vanda tessellata) flowering overhead. It is widely used in folk medicine, and known to be neuro-active. I’ve heard stories of its use as a mild hallucinogen in old folk religion. It was too high up for me to try. Interesting that they flower in the heat of late May in Kanha NP. Big flowers, I thought, growing in clusters. I looked around. There didn’t seem to be another bunch of them around. It hadn’t kept me distracted for even half an hour. Back to the fruitless wait for the tiger.

This post appears on schedule while I travel.