The Exploded Life of Tiny Orchids (Part 1)

I feel sorta like the tiny Tasmanian orchid. The plan was to tour Tasmania mounted high on a flashy charger. Women would pull nursing babes from their breasts, men would stop their road graders. Hell, folks would pull over to the side of the road just to look at me and say “wow, look at that guy!” Instead I ended up on a ten-dollar bike from the junk shop. And folks don’t stop their daily routine to admire me.

Self portrait: the ten dollar junk shop bike and I arrive in Catamaran, Tasmania’s southernmost settlement

Like I said, I feel for the tiny Tasmanian bearded orchid.

Tasmanian bearded orchid

You see, this orchid is small, under a foot tall, with an inch-long flower. They sport half-inch beards that would make the fellows in “ZZ Top” put down their axes and say, in unison, “haw haw haw”. But no one stops to admire them. Just because they’re small and can’t compete with gum trees or guys on horseback.

Where the wild orchid grows

Enter Deborah Wace.

Deborah Wace

I met Deborah and her husband Laurie while asking directions to some else’s house – and, conveniently, my bike broke down.

The sound had started that morning, a sort of rumbling from between the crank arms, the curved pieces of metal that the pedals screw into. On the approach to Deborah’s, it sounded like an old man’s knees in the morning, by her driveway, it sounded like a bored teenagers cracking his knuckles. And it ended with a pingy bounce followed by a sticky silence. That was in front of her front door. That was the sound of a ball bearing falling out of my bike’s guts – and bouncing into the grass.

Jeez. Now this was a pickle. Finding a whole new set of bearings here in the bush was out. Look at the first picture. The one with the scrub and foggy mountain in the background. Fine orchid country. Not so good for finding ball bearings. Some pickle…..

How I meet folks: you’re looking at the guts of my bike’s bottom bracket. The rolley things are ball bearings. They should (but didn’t) have grease on them.

(To be continued….)

2010-11-29 14:16:40

balls jumping outta your guts, flowers with beards???….. sounds like ya need some help bern?. Your plans coming together ya know!! ..this is how it happens..hang tite

2010-12-02 20:25:06

I read your descriptions and look at your photos and find myself just shaking my head in wonderment. Your blog truly takes me to a different place, literally and figuratively. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow…


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Current Ramble
Other Cool Reads