Since years I wanted to visit the Abruzzi and photograph Ophrys lacaitae, from which I had already collected some location data. But always intervened something. This year the time has come. Short-term I set out to quick trip in the Abruzzi.
Unfortunately I reckoned without the weather gods, who thwarted my plans properly. In the end of May, I was not really prepared for three days constant rain in what felt like 10 °C in Italy.
The result at the end is: 35 species, 2 hypochromic species, 2 hybrids and hundreds photos of soaking wetn orchid blossoms.
In Germany I start in sunshine and hit the 1.100 km long road in the Abruzzi. In the district Rosenheim I have a little break and visit an interesting fen. I am still fairly soon, one month later I will photograph here Orchis palustris. Now, in the end of May, I content myself with some photos of Orchis morio.
After crossing of the Brenner Pass weather worsens increasingly. The farther south I drive, the cloudier and cooler it becomes. Near Ancona it starts raining as well. In constant rain I arrive finally in the dark the Abruzzi, where I quickly search a hotel. I hope tomorrow awaits me a better weather.
My quick prayers were not really answered. Overnight it pelted with rain. The next morning lour once more black clouds above the Abruzzi, but still it does not rain. At first, I drive to Rionero Sannitico. From there I have several location data for Ophrys lacaitae.
At first, I stop at an edge of a wood, here are to be found some soaking wet Orchis-species. At the same road I search some kilometres further the first reputed Ophrys lacaitae – location. Unfortunately this species is despite an one-hour search not to be found here. Instead I find Anacamptis pyramidalis, Ophrys bertolonii, Ophrys fusca, Ophrys majellensis, Serapias bergonii and Serapias lingua. Some hundreds metres further I spot at the roadside Ophrys insectifera. This species is in the Abruzzi very seldom to be found.
So it goes on to the second location. But also here is far and wide no Ophrys lacaitae to find. Instead I note additionally on my list Ophrys apulica and Serapias parviflora. Therefore to location number three. After I have found the first Himantoglossum adriaticum and one singleton of Limodorum abortivum, I spot in a forest next to a withered also one blossoming specimen of the sought-after Ophrys lacaitae. Lucky you! At least I am now sure, that I am away during blooming period in the Abruzzi. And on my list are still some locations, so that I am confident, as well some more photogenic specimens to find.
Now it goes ahead to a Serapias – meadow. Here are to be found in addition to the already found species Serapias apulica and Serapias vomeracea. As I am on the opposite meadow some Ophrys apifera and Orchis fragrans photographing, stops at the roadside a motorhome. With the couple from Hesse I get quickly into conversation and we exchange some locations. Later will turn out, that with the exception of one these were contained in my documents anyway. However, because of the conversation I was assured to look around especially thoroughly at these places. At this point once more my heartfelt thanks!
Already the next location is only a few hundreds metres away. Here shall blossom much more than hundred Ophrys lacaitae. Well, hurry up. And actually it is a real eldorado. I find in addition to the promised Lacaitae Ophrys gracilis and probably several hybrids between these both species. Shortly afterwards it starts severely to thunder, so that I revert to the hotel.
Today commences as yesterday has ceased. It is raining in torrents. But a thing like that can not discourage an orchid enthusiast like me. I drive to Alfedena. Here shall exist an interesting diversity of Ophrys from the ‚Holoserica‘- spectrum. After a curve with Iris x germanica I make also quickly a find. In addition to some Serapias I find Aceras anthropophorum, Himantoglossum adriaticum, Orchis pauciflora, Orchis tridentata, Orchis ustulata and the already announced confusing wealth of forms of the ‚Holosericas‘. Many are most likely in conformity with Ophrys apulica. But among them are also specimens with pure white sepals and partly a yellow margin of the labium. About whose assignment I am not clear and for each opinion deeply grateful (You find my email address here).