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2011 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

15—21 December

From: Gordon Walker
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk]Masdevallia Query
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 08:05

This is the name listed by a French nursery.
I will e-mail them to see if they can help.

Gordon.

Geoff wrote Re: [OrchidTalk]Masdevallia Query

No such Masdevallia, I am afraid. At least, not in Orchidwiz, and I have
never faulted them yet ! Check the label could any of the
letters be different ? M.Cascade, M. Cassiope, and M. Castor are the only three
masdevallias having names starting CAS...

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] acetamiprid label, Listerine, etc.
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 09:05

Geoff, Yes I have had one of the backpack sprayers, but found it too heavy md cumbersome for me, and I certainly couldn t use it in the greenhouse when plants are in spike, it s difficult enough just me moving about in there without causing any damage. I have an electrically operated demand pump with flexi hose and a lance permanently in place in the greenhouse that is used for watering/feeding and spraying clean rainwater, but it does not like being asked to do insecticides, or maybe it s the wetting agent, something is either too sticky, too greasy or too foamy, for whatever reason the pump starts to rattle and coughs and splutters, so as it cost quite a bit I have learned to respect its wishes, and so use the manual pump up when spraying the bug killers.
Sheila

Geoff wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] acetamiprid label, Listerine, etc.

Did you know that you can get a backpack sprayer for as little as 40 ? Continuous easy pump action with one hand whilst using the spray lance on a long flexible tube with the other . So cheap and convenient I keep two for use in the garden one for Rose Clear and the other for Provado ( anti-lily beetle) . I don t use them in the greenhouse because I have a DAB pump feeding hoses with lances and fine mist spray nozzles for spraying all the hanging plants and vandaceous stuff with just plain water which I do several times a day when the greenhouse heats up in Summer ( and also occasionally with nutrients, disinfectant or insecticides ).

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchid photos
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 09:20

Hi Brian, That s as I thought, I take my hat off to you, I am surprised that you are able to grow that mix of plants to the high standard that you do, in one greenhouse with just lights and the odd soil warming cable to create the differing conditions. Well Done You. I am comforted that you too had a bud drop problem with the heat, that makes three of us that I know about, so its not just me (or my growing)..
I look forward to seeing photo s when the seedlings you have raised from Ray Bilton come into flower, lets hope you have been nurturing a winner, it must be about 5 years now since he gave up and you took them on.
Sheila

Brian wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchid photos

Hello Sheila,
Yes all my cattleyas,miltonias, phallys,vandas and paphs are ib the same greenhouse as the cymbidiums.The temperature is roughly 54F but the phallys are under lights for 12 hrs a day which increases the temp by about 5F and at night they are under warming cables.The flourescent lights are brilliant because they give off a dry warmth which helps in creating a dry atmosphere so precious at this time of year.The bigger catt are above the flourescent lights which give the pots a warmth at the base of the pot.I will take some photos of this greenhouse so people can see where the plants are in situ.Of the 80catts,20 paphs,10 vanda and12 milltonias only a couple of catt would seem to apprecate a higher temperature. I have also suffered with my cymbid in the warm weather with 2 plant dropping half their buds. Your acetamiprid insecticide is the retail version of Gazelle which we spoke about some time ago.I have some Ray Biltons plants flowering for the first time this year so I live in the hope that I mighr have something special.Everything I grow as you know is in Rockwool and all are looking very well and my milts are now in the same medium for 2years plus. Hope to see you at the Wessex meeting in Jan.Brian

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From: Andy
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk]Masdevallia Query
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:30

I think Casa Anakar is not the grex but rather it is a clonal name of a selection of M Angel Frost. So the parents are M veithchiana x M strobelii

Andy

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From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Orchid photos last year
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 21:50

Some orchid photos from last year in the greenhouse but sadly they do not show the tiered benching on which the catts sit. The correct term for s sticker is an adjuvant and their are non ionic stickers and ionic stickers,but I used the word sticker which is a simple term which people can understand without using ones brain. Words like trasnslaminer oftem used in pesticide jargon confuse people and I would prefer to use simpler terms which avoid the use of a dictionary.

Brian

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From: Gordon Walker
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchid photos last year
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 08:00

Not plants which I have had any success with or now try and grow up in the north of Scotland but boy what a wonderful spectacle.
Gordon.

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchid photos last year
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 11:35

Thank you Brian, a wonderful display, I can see now why you have difficulty getting them out without damage for shows and club meetings.
Keep up the good work, Sheila

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchid photos last year
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 12:30

Some lovely flowers there Brian, is that a red miltonia lurking at the
bottom of the first picture?
Regards, Alex

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Scale insects.
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 09:00

Hi Folks,
I agree but since removal can be tedious and often difficult and damaging I found a novel way to nudge them off.
Did you ever buy an electric toothbrush you no longer use? Why not replace the battery or recharge it and slightly wet it, then set it to work on the blighters?
I had some succulents that were virtually covered with scale I have rejuvenated them this way. On the other hand, obviously orchids have more delicate leaf surfaces but the vibrating bristles can be angled and very gentle pressure applied.
Worth a try
John Stanley

Roger Grier wrote re: Scale insects.

Hi all,

When I grew my orchids, I found that if I removed the little devils.......scale, mealy bugs, etc, by patiently and carefully doing so, and then spraying with PROVADO, I rarely ever saw them again.

And I KNOW it works.

Rodge.

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 19:05

Hi All,
Just another penn th on this; I recall a meeting of CANWOS a few years ago at which Steve Manning showed epiphytes growing profusely on overhead power and telephone cables in South America. Not only didn t they seem too fussy over bark pH but they clearly weren t that bothered about Cu which is fatal to many, if not most, plants. I doubt anyone would refer to them as cuprophytes though! However, more to the present point, readers might like to try the following (don t be put off by bits of non English! There is English buried in there in places!
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?scriptsci_arttext&pidS0103-31312001000200007&lngpt&nrmiso
Follow the bibliography of this article and then let us all know your conclusions!
There are nit-pickers who refuse to think of geotropism as relevant in epiphytic orchids since they are, effectively, unable to reach the ground (geo). On the other hand, the fact that geotropism seems ( to me) to imply ground-wards as opposed to upwards or angles dependent on light source (phototropic) seems to justify the term geotropism as a directional term unless they are under an overhang.
Interesting topic though! Even so there are a few new tropisms in this article (new to me at least! But then I m frightened of deep water.

John

Tina Stagg wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes

Hello everyone

When I have seen epiphytes in the wild I have been too busy exclaiming over them, photographing them and trying to keep up with the rest of the group to take proper and considered scientific notice of the trees they were growing on. However, I do remember a very interesting lecture at a Congress once (at Leeds uni?) about preferred orientation. We were told that some orchids are extremely picky about their whereabouts and will only grow on the sunny side at noon, ie. south facing, or the damp and therefore mossy side (north), or the underneath of the branch, or the top, or whatever. So perhaps elusive success requires even more research into the minutiae of habitat including, no doubt, the pH of the bark.

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 23:15

I have not yet followed your link , but on the question of geotropism, I have a comment a point maybe not generally known;
When meristem tissue propagation is undertaken, the original clump of stem-cells proliferate, but only for a short time. Then they stop and begin to specialise ( root/shoot etc. ).There are ways of dealing with that, in order to get a really large volume of protocorms..
In the early days of this technique, it was discovered that if the tissue was kept moving, being turned over and over, it carried on increasing as a mass of unspecialised tissue so the flasks were mounted a wheel which kept rotating. When they stopped the wheel, they were able to cut the mass up into a large number of pieces, and either grow on, or start them off again...
Now why do the tissue pieces start to differentiate when the music stops ? Must be geotropism.
Nothing to do with earth or ground, just gravitational pull I think. Effective on plants which are not mounted on wheels too .

Geoff

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 09:50

Well, I did read it, and found it fascinating ; but the unanswered questions loom larger than the surprising conclusions. So two examples of the same orchid have such tremendous differences in the way they grow in terms of what happens inside the plants . But how would they actually grow in common parlance rather than in the technicalities of auxin production etc. ? Is one a poor grower and the other an easy one ? Ditto flowering Not of any interest to the researcher perhaps, but of paramount interest to us ! ( present company excepted Steve ?)

I scanned down the list of references in the bibliography, but didn t find any title which excited my interest enough to lead me further.

What did attract my attention, was the throwaway reference in the article As many others epiphytic orchids ,Catasetum has agravitropic, green and photosynthetic roots

Now it is commonly said that Phalaenopsis have photosynthesising roots − as part of an argument about transparent pots. That argument has , well not exactly raged, but been aired here. The idea that many others do too is new to me. Personally I have doubted it, not the presence of chlorophyll, but the photosynthesis , because root structure generally is different from leaf structure ( obviously ! ) but in particular, water enters the roots , not through clear continuous openings of the kind you could poke your finger through if only they were large enough, but through semi-permeable membranes . Leaves on the other hand do have openings which you could etc. etc.. called stomata. And for photosynthesis, there has to be continuous free diffusion of air containing say 3% of CO2 -which moves through the stomata into the cells where the chlorophyll is located, followed by the same diffusion of CO2 reduced air out of the cells so as to allow more to enter, and so on. How can this occur with normal roots ? No stomata ! Therefore no diffusion, therefore no photosynthesis ? Tell me I m wrong, and explain where my argument falls down ?

Anyone ?....

The above does of course refer to normal roots exhibiting geotropism, and also to the aerial roots produced by vandaceous orchids in particular, which grow out rather than down . There are other aerial roots of the kind which grow upwards, ( exhibiting negative geotropism) to form a trash basket collecting humus ,or as breathing tubes (why ? ) in say Ansellia or Catasetum, which are more clearly of a different construction to ordinary roots , so much so that the differences can be seen with the naked eye and they may be different too in the matter of semi-permeable membranes/stomata too .. Now if only I could find some references about all this !.

Geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:05

Hi Geoff,
I have read your response to my suggested article and, while tempted to respond as if from expertise, I have to say that my plant anatomy might be a tad dated! So forgive me if I seem to be talking through . . let s say . . . one of my stomatal orifices!

My understanding of gaseous exchange, semi-permeable membranes, etc., etc., is as you say, a stomatal opening is one you could poke a finger through (if only your finger were small enough!). That opening leads into tissue (cellular aggregate) in which each cell must have a membrane or its contents would run all over the place. However, surely (surely?) there are air spaces within the tissue into which your micro-finger could poke and which are interconnected and which allow gases to be in molecular contact with those semi-permeable cell membranes within their cellulose walls, most or many of which lead into cells with chloroplasts etc. In other words, any entry of gas including water vapour molecules must be through semi-permeable membranes or else the plant would be very susceptible to desiccation . Yeah?

Is the argument re-versatility of specialised structures like leaves, roots, stems etc. not so much one of mutual exclusivity of function as degree of specialisation? After all, there have been arguments about foliar feeding for years. If it works, then leaves must be multi-functional and able to take up nutrient atoms/molecules. So why can t roots also be multi-functional to a degree? As to whether or not one believes that they have or haven t any chlorophyll in them, surely that s a question of relative quantity. My eyes are certainly good enough to detect chloroplasts . . if there are enough of them . . and therefore prove that chlorophyll is there. However, I m less sure about being able to detect a total absence of chlorophyll. It s usually easier to prove the presence than the absence of something. I doubt we would argue about green-tipped aerial roots; otherwise what is the green stuff in them? I believe that the mechanical design (No! I m not going down that road!) of leaves has more to do with efficiency of gaseous exchange (opening and closing of stomata according to humidity, light etc.,) than the molecular mechanism of entry to a cell via a membrane.

I would certainly agree that evolutionarily modified aerial roots are very likely to be less efficient than specially evolved leaves but that is different from saying that gas(es) can t diffuse into both. Then we get into the realm of the function of velamen in some roots. If you re still awake Geoff, you could send yourself to sleep with http://www.jstor.org/pss/2434305 . Actually it s very short!

As I type, I am thinking of lenticels). I understand that they, too, are able to allow gaseous ingress to living cells . . . . . . . via semi-permeable membranes too. However, green stems of some plants do have stomata too and allow gaseous exchange for photosynthes in the underlying cells

At this point my guard cells are relaxing with fatigue and my intellectual orifice is closing up. Would anyone else like to comment? Especially to confirm or deny that I am talking rubbish?

As they used to say in the days of intellectual graffiti;
A Happy Christmas to all Our Readers!
John

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Epiphytes
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 20:55

I did get all this sorted out at least on a narrower line ; I did a piece about it for my Society; s little magazine. If anyone else is actually interested in all this stuff,particularly as to whether phalli's photosynthesise with their green roots, I ll gladly copy it.

Geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Why
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 13:55

Hi Roger,
If you don t believe in rising sea levels can you suggest where the melt-water from the measurably diminishing Antarctic ice sheet and from the Arctic (Greenland) ice sheets and glaciers is goingif not into the oceans? Also, the developing probability of an ice free sea passage through the Arctic ocean as its ice cover diminishes (which is measurable) at least suggests more water in the seas from adjacent land if not from floating ice (Archimedes n all that) if it doesn t prove it! And what about diminishing glaciers? They can be checked from historic photos even from the 1950s to the present ! Go on a holiday to the Canadian Icefields Parkway and you can see it for yourself. Anyway, satellite measurements indicate (measure) a gradual rise and even from Google Earth you can see where vegetation hasn t yet colonised terrain abandoned by wasted glaciers.

It s all to with time Roger. After all, a very large proportion of the rocks making up Britain were deposited under sea water and although sea level adjustment isn t the only reason they are now high and dry, they do demonstrate that there have been variations in relative sea level for at least the last 5 or 6 hundred million years. What is so special about now that we can presume the changes have stopped?

There is another aspect Roger; in the past, ice sheets have been accumulating (thus capturing Earth s water) or wasting (thus releasing Earth s water). It is very difficult to detect, from the geological record, periods when sea levels have been absolutely static. Whether one believes in one cause or another, sea level is pretty well always in a state of change. Even without finding a cause, the alternations of glacials and interglacials is proven. It would be a very rash to presume that these alternations won t continue and it has only been 10,000 years since the ice of the last glacial phase recognisably wasted to more-or-less the present interglacial. It s a bit like watching and old film with a scratched frame and assuming there won t be another before the end of the reel!

By all means disbelieve the suggested reason for current changes but please don t ignore factual data! 6 million years ago the Med was a desert basin (fact!) when the early Atlantic breached the Straits of Gibraltar to flow into it and fill it up, the rest of the global oceans fell some 35 feet. Compare the volume of the Med with the volume of Antarctic ice (which has been measured) and assert, if you can, that sea levels won t rise when that ice melts . . as is is doing! Oh! And no, I wasn t there when the Atlantic broke through! (Maybe you were?)
Season s Greetings Roger
Glad you are still orchidaceously active
Cheers
John

As Bob Dylan observed a while back, The times they are a changin .

Roger Grier wrote: [OrchidTalk] Why

Hi all,

Have a look at the Burnt-Tip Orchid counts from an area not too far from my home, and which I often visit.

I do not believe in Global Warming, nor do I believe in Rising Sea Levels.

So, what is going on with for one, some of our wild orchids????

Rocky.

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 20:15

Tricia,
I wonder if you are aware of anomalies between some email providers?
A neighbour of mine posted some pics of his granddaughter on the web,
available by password to friends.
I couldn't get 'in' and he'd had reports of problems from others too so he
asked if he could try accessing them from my machine through his email.
He eventually succeeded but we both discovered that our 'contacts' lists had
become duplicated in each other's email systems.
It took us ages to unscramble who was who and to which list they belonged!
To this day I am invited to open his window and I have to cancel before
going into my own! Fortunately I know him well enough for it not to matter!
He is with Hotmail and mine is Live Mail. I presume other systems are
similarly 'friendly' with each other.
Could this be of relevance to the problem you discuss?

Re; the world stage and where the audience are. I suggest you'll find 'em
all in the four corners of the globe! If you know where they are!
Thanks for the electronic card
John

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 23:50

Hi John,

You could be on to something. I admit I am not familiar with the
intricacies of Hotmail, Live Mail or similar email systems − they
sound entirely too promiscuous for a dyed-in-the-wool control freak
like me! I like to be in charge of the programme rather than it be in
charge but I appreciate not everyone feels the same way. However, the
problems I mentioned are seen by people with several different email
clients, so although there must be a common denominator it is proving
difficult to find.

Glad you liked the e-card.

--

Tricia

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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From: Gordon Walker
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: mail
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 08:05

Hi Tricia,
Thanks for your e-card ........helped take my mind off the -6C temperature yesterday morning.
Gordon.

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 08:25

Perhaps an inefficient system is sometimes a blessing ?
This is the first time I have read anything about problems...
and promiscuous >? I knew that computers are sometimes accused of making porn too easily available if wanted, but I had no idea that they got up to things on their own !
Geoff

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From: Peter Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Gordon
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:15

Hi, you are definitely on the wrong side of the Globe. I have at the moment +-30 deg centigrade.
I just spent one hour in the pool which got 27 deg centigrade. It is under polycarbon cover and
solar heated.

Best wishes for Xmas and the new year to everybody on the list.

Peter in Bloubergstrand

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From: ANGUEL IORDANOV
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A yellow Vanda
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:25

I love them but can't get them to grow at home in room conditions. Potted in to a pot using back and standing in water at the bottom. lets see what happens.

Any suggestions?

Anguel Iordanov

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 18:00

Hi Tricia,

I agree with your sentiments re; control as opposed to being controlled.
What do you use?
I got into Live Mail since it was on this machine from new and I had had
such hassle with T**K -*al* that I was happy to keep a working system rather
than risk confusing 'em more!. All to do with learning curves!

Re; your end-piece on knowledge. Once, in a deep discussion on the
difference(s) between educational 'aims' and 'objectives' it was pointed out
by a colleague that the objective was simply to keep one's feet dry! All
very clear.

John

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 18:40

Hi again John,

I use two email clients, one called Pluto which incorporates the list
server enabling Orchid-Talk to exist in its current form and also
Apple Mail, both of which allow a good degree of control − although
Pluto is more versatile in my opinion. I run Pluto under emulation on
the iMac as it needs a different operating system. Works for me, may
not suit everyone! As you say, all to do with learning curves :-)

Dry feet are always best.

--

Tricia

Who the hell is General Failure? And why is he reading my harddisk?

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A yellow Vanda
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 19:40

I have never heard of anyone succeeding with Vandas on a window sill or equivalent ; air too dry.

Geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A yellow Vanda
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:55

They are difficult in a house Anguel. I have V. coerulea in a clay pot
filled with broken pot sherds and it has grown but no flowers yet. Tricia
has told me to use more fertiliser than on my others. maybe next year
.....

Regards, Alex

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:30

Mmm,
Having acquired a virus on the laptop I don't use for email (so don't panic)
and having been unable to shift it even with a new installation of Windows,
I intend throwing in the towel and throwing out the laptop to become a Mac
user after Christmas.

I can hardly ask in the forum (a tad off topic!) but if you have any advice
you think a potential Apple Mac convert should know or might appreciate, and
if you should become fed up with turkey, Christmas puddin' and TV, . . .
you get my drift! I would appreciate any advice/experience/wisdom etc. etc.
by direct email.
(I'm serious in my wish but not serious in an expectations for a response
over the festive frivolities)
Thanks again for the explanation and info. To me, Pluto translates to PLUTO
or PipeLine Under The Ocean from a few years back!
John

From ancient graffiti: "I used to be uncertain but now I'm not so sure"

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A yellow Vanda
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:35

Update on the fertilizer front − Brian said the reason my Ascocenda
flower spikes were browning off was too much fertilizer, so don't
overdo it... I've potted them in large grade coconut chips (well
washed in several changes of rain water) in clear pots as some of
them were almost bursting out of the glass vases, so I hope they will
respond favourably.

Tricia

The older you get, the better you realize you were.

Alex wrote re: [OrchidTalk] A yellow Vanda

> They are difficult in a house Anguel. I have V. coerulea in a clay
> pot filled with broken pot sherds and it has grown but no flowers
> yet. Tricia has told me to use more fertiliser than on my others.
> maybe next year .....

> Regards, Alex

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Question.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:50

Congratulations! Wise choice. I will be happy to discuss/offer advice
off list, just ask. My son-in-law runs a one-man consultancy for
people new to Mac so he can probably fill in any gaps for me :-)

Tricia

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

On 21 Dec, in article ,
John Stanley wrote:
> Mmm, Having acquired a virus on the laptop I don't use for email
> (so don't panic) and having been unable to shift it even with a
> new installation of Windows, I intend throwing in the towel and
> throwing out the laptop to become a Mac user after Christmas.
[snip]

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Re: Gordon
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 23:35

Hi Peter and Gordon,
Those of us ancient enough to recall the Goon Show may remember that Eccles kept warm sunbathing in winter on Brighton Beach with the simple expedient of keeping his thermometer in a Thermos flask. A message there for those worrying about orchid house fuel bills eh?However, here in tropical Crewe we ve been sweltering in 10C all day
Season s Greetings
John

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