Thursday 12 July 2018

How does a botanist get to work: part five

In this occasional series, we have heard about the many and various ways a botanist will resort to, in order to get up close and personal with plants in their habitats. 

They descend from helicopters, they abseil and dangle on the end of ropes, they row themselves and their fellow botanists across water, all in pursuit of their target plants.

BSBI's intrepid orchid experts Ian and Richard are no exception. Richard emailed me that they recently "returned from being fried alive along the coast of western Ireland. The trip included a day on Inis Mhor, an island where private vehicles are effectively banned, so botanising must be done either by foot or hired bicycle. We bravely opted for the latter".

As the first image shows, they didn't just opt for a ordinary bike - they hired a tandem!  

Fortunately Richard's wife, Dr Paula Rudall, had joined the orchid-hunters on this trip. She was keen to capture the event for posterity and share the images with News & Views readers. Cue Richard's mutterings ("Hmm, I'm still not quite sure whether my crash helmet was on the right way round!") and references to a notorious TV advert from the 1970s

But Paula won the day and we present here the evidence that BSBI's celebrated orchidoholics will not allow any obstacles to keep them from their beloved Dactylorhizas! 

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