The Coffee Seeker ~

Having made coffee for someone the other day for the first time in quite a while, I subsequently learned that (1) the coffee was past its expiration date, (2) I was incorrectly storing it in the freezer instead of the fridge, and (3) the filters I had were the wrong kind (cone-shaped instead of dish-shaped).

The latter seemed particularly absurd, as it didn’t take an engineer to see that what I had didn’t fit the shape of the coffee basket at all. Why I bought these particular filters (five years ago!), and why no one else had ever noted that they were the wrong kind, are mysteries.

At any rate, as I was perusing the coffee selection at the grocery store today, a voice just behind and beside me boomed, “Do you know what kind of coffee is good?” I jumped so hard that I heard myself say something like “Oh! Whoa! Oh!” and stumbled into the very tall man who’d spoken. When I caught my balance I said, “Not really. I’m buying this for someone else.”

The man, whom I now think of as the Coffee Seeker, waved a bag of Eight O’ Clock coffee in my general direction and said, “Is this any good?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t drink coffee myself.”

The Coffee Seeker said he didn’t drink coffee either and was buying it for his mother. He picked up another bag and held it out in front of him. “Is this ground?” he asked.

I reached over cautiously and squeezed the bag, which featured a large background photo of coffee beans. “I don’t think so,” I said. I was starting to feel sympathy pangs for his mother, whom I imagined as bedridden and longing only for an acceptable cup of coffee to help her bear her many burdens.

The Coffee Seeker continued standing there. At a loss, I said, “I’ve heard that Seattle’s Best is pretty good.” As I was saying this, I was scanning the shelves. No Seattle’s Best.

“I know that some people like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee,” I added, thus exhausting the last scrap of coffee-related knowledge in my possession. I pointed to the bottom shelf, but he didn’t move.

There was a long pause. He seemed to be harboring the suspicion that I secretly knew something else about coffee that I hadn’t divulged.

As he picked up a different bag, I panicked. “I’m afraid I’m probably the worst possible person to ask about coffee,” I said, with what I hoped was polite but emphatic finality.

The Coffee Seeker weighed this a moment. Then, without a goodbye (I felt we’d forged a sort of bond, but apparently his troubles were too all-consuming for that), he moved several feet down the aisle, to the section with boxes of coffee. (What is that all about, anyway? Does instant coffee now come in tea-type packets instead of jars, and if so, when did that happen?)

“Do you know what boxes of coffee are good?” I heard him ask a male shopper.

“I don’t know,” I heard the man begin. It sounded hopeless. Fearing the Coffee Seeker’s return, I picked up the bag I wanted, found the correct filters immediately (yes!), and decamped.

For all I know, the Coffee Seeker may still be standing in that aisle trying to figure out what to buy.

As for me, I thought I was doing well until I got home and remembered: creamer. Oh crumb. I can just see myself back at the grocery store, scrutinizing the multitudinous types of creamers, dazed and confused, when a voice will boom out at my shoulder, “Do you know what kind of creamer is good?”

I haven’t a clue. Didn’t you ask your mother?

Orchid encore ~

Orchid 3


A couple of final images from the orchid show. I may have used fill flash on both of these. The orchids are often in shadow, and no tripods are allowed at the show (nor could I have juggled one with my other stuff anyway). The pink flowers are a type of dendrobium. I have no guess about the maroon and white orchids. Since this is the last orchid post of the year, I’m taking this opportunity to recommend The Orchid Thief, the book on which the movie “Adaptation” was loosely based. Susan Orlean is a splendid journalist and it’s a most engaging read, whether you have any particular interest in orchids or not.

Cheer ~

New Harmony Building

In sorting through files I’m finding some older photos I like but never did anything with. This is the facade of a building in New Harmony, Indiana. It’s yet another image that I think of as a semi-abstract. Photo taken in 2006.

Fallen camellias ~

Camellias and Coins

This was taken at the small pool in the Linnean House at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Linnean House used to be an almost magical place. There’s a slightly winding, brick-lined walkway down the middle, and both sides used to be lined with tall camellia trees. When these were all in bloom, the effect was stunning. In “renovating” the Linnean House, MoBOT removed all of the camellia trees from the south side of the greenhouse, replacing them with potted cactuses and fruit trees. The camellia trees on the other side have been lopped off and many, it seems, removed. No longer is the Linnean House enchanting.

Green ~

Vanilla and leaf

My favorite photo from the orchid show itself (see previous post). I think the trailers may be vanilla, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I can’t decide if the depth of field is too shallow here for the best effect or not. Like much of my past work, even though this photo is representational, it leans toward the abstract. Pentax K-50, 50 mm lens.

A trio of orchids ~


orchid2 456

Yellow cattleya

These shots were taken at the 2015 orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. As usual, I failed to take notes about genus and species. I think the yellow orchid is a type of cattleya; the red is a type of lady’s slipper. The green and purple wasn’t identified and I have no guess about it. If anyone can enlighten me, please do!