Marathon Orchid Day

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Jun 10, 2006
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Germantown, Marlyand (D.C. suburbs)
My Uncle Kevin, Tom (from the Smithsonian), and I engaged in a true marathon Orchid adventure yesterday. Technically though, it began Sunday.

We left Virginia Sunday night around 1830. The ride was relatively
uneventful and smooth. We arrived in Brooklyn that night around 2330. We got to poke around at Steve Ludlum's place, affectionately referred to as The Orchid Factory. He has about 1000 plants, all growing in truly amazing conditions. We managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour, in order to prepare for the day ahead.

We woke up at about 0630 and got the compulsory coffee and danish. It took a few hours to truly be awake though. As weird as it sounds, we actually started the day off early. Our departure for the Bronx was at about 0730. The pastries at Edigio's and breakfast at The M & G diner truly hit the spot. Of course, being in Little Italy, we had to check out the area where 'A Bronx Tale' was shot. I also learned that Tom was living in the area at the time. To my surprise, he sang at Chas Palmentieri's wedding which was held during the filming of the movie.

Again - we're early. It's a nice relaxed drive up to the Botanic Gardens to see Ken Cameron and Gary Myer. Gary is a Dracula-holic, owning specimens of all but about 5 members of the genus. He was in town working with Ken at the genetics lab at the gardens to build a comprehensive genetic clade of the genus Dracula. This is the first time this task has been attempted, and it seems to be going quite well. Hopefully, we will gain a much greater understanding of the evolutionary history and genetic relations of the
species which comprise the genus.

The 5 of us hopped in the car and headed out for Easton, Connecticut, where we met the lovely Marguerite, Lucinda, and Cordelia of J&L. Those ladies really grow some great stuff! It was a beautiful New England day, with the sun shining, a light breeze, and perfect humidity. Lunch was a very social affair (although it interrupted my plant searching, hehe). I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely lady by the name of Elle, who, in addition to very generously buying everyone lunch, treated me to some nice Masdevallia knowledge.

After the J&L trip, we had some interesting conversations regarding Pleurothallid iconoclasts, botanical genetics, Ecuador, etc. etc. After dropping Ken and Gary back off at the Botanic Gardens, we bid adieu and made our way back to Brooklyn for the real fun stuff. The Uhaul depot was fun - I've never seen 4 people come nearly to blows over a hand truck before, so that was quite amusing! From there, we made our way back to Steve's to load up all the plants and bring them back to D.C. to be moved to the greenhouse. As we pull up with our 10 foot box truck and hear Steve shake his head and say "You didn't get a big enough truck." Between me, Kevin, and Tom, however, we managed to fit everything in between the 10 foot truck and the SUV. After the hour and a half or so of loading, we're finally on the road back to D.C. and everything is a little less hectic. After a nice unloading, and enjoying of the orchids in the greenhouse, it was finally time to drop off the rental car and get Kevin and myself home. After all was said and done, I got back to bed at 0630 - exactly 24 hours after I woke up! What a great trip. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Aside from all the excitement, I picked up a few things (of course!!)

-J&L Haul

1. Haraella odorata - a beautiful, well established plant, in bloom, with 2 grown fans, 2 new growths, and a second spike.
2. Masd. sp. NOID
3. Masd. pachyura
4. Trichosalpinx sp. - (I believe it to be chamaelepanthes, but will have to wait for it to bloom)
5. Stelis sp.
6. Pl. mirabilis
7. Pl. crucifera
8. Pl. sp.
9. Porroglossum meridionale
10. Pescatorea dayana
11. Zootrophion griffin

-Donated plants (so far - other divisions to be made at a later date)

1. B. nodosa - 3 nice divisions
2. Pl. sp.
3. Dichaea sp.
4. Epigeneium cymbidioides

All photos can be found here – sorry for some of the photos being out of order. The uploading got interrupted by a connection drop.

*** If anyone wants high res (1600x1200) originals, just send me a link with the picture
you want, and your email address, and I'll be happily obliged.
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Tom actually picked one of those up! beautiful, but i was on a budget and had to focus on pleuros. im sure ill go up again, sometime when i can BINGE and just get all sorts of awesome stuff

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