Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Glimpse Into the Life of an Introverted Extrovert

A large crowd had gathered, covered in hats and gloves on an unseasonably warm Saturday morning in January, the temperature hovering around freezing. At the head of this energetic group was the unlikeliest of people... Me. I'm notoriously reclusive and like moving at my own pace, which is usually in and out as fast as possible.  Few things draw me out of the confines of my cinnamon scented artist studio. The St. Paul Winter Carnival annual orchid show happens to be one of them.

Frost on Leaves, 2016
Determined to avoid the mass of people I dealt with begrudgingly last year, I was the first to arrive. A nonfat latte filled my reusable coffee mug decorated in glow-in-the-dark skeletons. The doors didn't open for half an hour, but that was okay because I had the frost covered outdoor garden at the Como Zoo and Conservatory to myself. For the time being anyway.

Narcissus, 2016
Soon, other orchid fans started to arrive.  Droves of still in love elderly couples and fellow photographers lined up behind me. We all had but one purpose. To view this years orchids, and in my case, to also see the Narcissus and Cyclamen in the Winter Flower Show.

Cymbidium Orchid, 2016
After the doors opened, I quickly left the giddy crowd behind and was soon frantically taking photos of orchid after orchid. The cymbidium orchids were my first and last stop (I hit them up a second time on the way out).  There were less of them this year, which left room for other species of orchid.

Cattleya Orchid, 2016
Ever play hide-and-seek in the conservatory? That's what it felt like I was doing today. At each display, I would take photos until the crowd would catch up with me. Then I would move on. An introverted extroverts game of hide-from-the-horde. By eleven o'clock, I was completely surrounded by the herd mentality that happens when too many people gather in a confined space. My winter boots were being tread upon by strollers and feet alike.  My cue to leave.

Renanthera Orchid 2016
On my way home, as the sun hid behind the occasional cloud, I refilled my nonfat latte. Hide-from-the-horde is an exhausting game, but well worth it to see my favorite flowers all together at one of my favorite venues. Maybe next year, I'll have conversations beyond "hello" and "which orchid is your favorite?".  Gasp.

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