20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sleeping Beauty and her Elder-scented Cradle

The photo was taken during one of my wild orchid-hunting expeditions that took place in the summer of 2020, in Harghita County, Central Romania. We just experienced a heavy summer storm that, fortunately, stopped by the evening. I decided to take the last photos of the day, in a nearby meadow full of various species of wild orchids. To my surprise, I noticed a Common Blue butterfly, Polyommatus icarus, hiding and probably sleeping in an Elder-scented, yellow inflorescence of the orchid Dactylorhiza sambucina. The light was also very special, having the golden glow of the day’s last sunrays (Orchids of Romania, by Nora De Angelli & Dan Anghelescu, 2020).

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Frumoasa, Romania
Copyright: © Nora De Angelli