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2015 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

January 1—7

From: Horace Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:05

To start the year, I have a basket of cymbidiums in my hall ; The two spiker is King Arthur ‘Imperial' ( a third spike not yet open). An old hybrid − registered in 1963. Quite a few awards in USA , not to this variety however.
The pink tall one, is a bit later − 1985 registered − Gleneagles ‘ Cooksbridge Delight’ , and the near white ( cream actually) is Strathbraan ‘Cooksbridge Pearl’. (1983). I have some newer hybrids, but they are mostly smaller plants which may flower next year, or perhaps one or two later this year, since the flowering season now for this genus is so much longer.

I’m very pleased with my cymbidiums, despite the dreadful thrips which have marked the leaves of many, and destroyed a good few flowers or complete spikes too. My theory about thrips is that it is difficult to get rid of, simply because one may be using the wrong remedy − there are 19000 species of thrips, varying enormously in size, and in their diet too − there are even insectivorous species ! The biological remedy I tried − Ambylseius cucumeris is known to predate Western Thrips − Frankliniella occidentalis , and maybe another dozen or so thrips species − but certainly not all ; many orchid sites on the internet treat that ( Frankliniella) as if it were the only thrips there is ; but those sites never show damage of the kind I have, and their illustrations of the insects are all wrong too , as I long suspected, and finally confirmed when I eventually saw some of the things. Which one I have/had, I don’t know by name, but it is much smaller than Western thrips, and jet black, not yellow in the adult stage , and not at all bothered by cucumeris, it seems.
So I have adapted my strategy to cover unknown bases − for example I now have far more yellow glue traps much closer to leaves, and I date them when I hang them − then I can see how many there have been about since I last changed the traps. Clean traps means no hatch, any sign of new captures, and out comes the sprayer and I spray twice with the same thing at 3-4 day intervals then change to a different chemical or type of pesticide and repeat. Then new traps and start again…

The cymbidiums I think I like most − it is a developing taste I suppose, since it is a bit more than 10 years since I disposed of all my collection when downsizing and moving house, and in those 10 years I only glanced at cymbidiums at shows, are the Japanese ones. Not so many flowers per spike − at least on the half dozen kinds I have, but very free with their spikes − I had 7 on one plant in a 6 inch pot ( before those b****y) thrips destroyed four of the spikes completely, and damaged the flowers on the others. Another, with a better flower count had 5 spikes in the same size, and lost one before I realised that thrips damage is not just bulls eye punctures on the leaves, and started spraying spikes particularly rather than unintentionally.

This pic taken with my new toy − my Xmas present to me. One of the things I bought it for is the ability to take three shots and combine them into a single one, all in the camera with a single press of the button ( I have done this in Photoshop in the past ) , and when I have mastered it, the three shots will be able to get colours more precisely right ( I think). But such sophistication comes at a price, in more ways than one ; I have had four 1-2 hour sessions with the on-line instruction book ( some 200 pages long) and I am now at the stage where I think that something I want can be done, and I have to come back to the book to find out how to do it but for a lot of the possibilities ( GPS logging, movies, wi-fi messages and others) I merely know that there are more chapters to read .

As usual I have written too much.

So Cheers now

Geoff

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 13:15

OK, Geoff.........share with us the identity of the new toy. I am just at that stage myself currently homing in on the Leica D-Lux (109).
Richard

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From: Horace Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 16:40

Hi Richard − I have been a Nikon man now for 40 + years…. and have just bought a D5300.

I still have a D300 but the body alone − no lens − weighs almost one kg ( battery, memory card and strap inc) ; the new camera weighs 'only” 750gm with the 17-55 kit lens attached − which is the difference between taking the camera with me, or leaving it at home.

In South Africa , on the pre-conference tour in the West Coast flower reserves, with a couple of serious orchid pros − using cameras with swing out and swivel monitor screens to take pics of ground orchids , I saw the real advantage of that feature. So when I came back in October I did some serious homework and came up with this p[articular Nikon . it uses a new resin-bonded lightweight body together with the complete sophistication of the other members of D5000 range ; problem was that when first introduced 12 months earlier it was selling at a four figure sum for the body only.
So I asked a couple of Nikon dealers who have me on their mailing list to look out for a good used model − and one of them came up with a brand new one, imported (legally they say − at any rate Nikon registered it to my account with no demur) from China, at a price well below £400 including the VR2 lens.

Only 'problem” was that everything was in Chinese − including instruction book and all the menus etc. However it was not difficult to convert the camera to English, and the alternative instruction book which came as a disc is multi-lingual .

Of course I am prejudiced in favour of Nikon , partly because of a lifetimes collection of Nikon accessories which I can use if wanted, but 'Which” always has their cameras in the best buys category so I would probably have got to the same place without my history.

geoff

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:55

That looks a real cracker, Geoff.
I know what you mean about the articulated screen − I have been using my
Leica V-LUX1 for the last 7 years which has just that and it is so useful
sometimes. My problem is rather like yours that I want something which is
more portable so I can carry with me more often instead of only taking out
when I know there will be an opportunity. Like you also, I do have my pet
manufacturer and I have had several Leica so I suppose I always home in on
those. I have been researching the field for several weeks and have reached
the stage where I just need to get to my dealer to see and handle the subtle
alternatives − even the so called identical Panasonic and Leica have
fundamental differences. I just wish the dealers would give more part
exchange value for my existing camera.
Having sight in just one eye I insist on an EVF and going smaller it is
difficult to find models which are near pocketable with decent sized EVF. I
also want a decent size sensor to pick up as much as possible for RAW
images. I note that your D5300 is blessed with a "real" sensor whereas some
compacts have such tiny elements. It does seem more or less standard these
days to get GPS and wi-fi built in.
Enjoy your new play thing.
Happy New Year.
Richard

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From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 21:05

Hello Geoff
I thought that you had thrips under control but maybe not. Is this the samethrip that JD has.What are you spraying with as I seemed to remember that savonna was the favourite chemical in your posession .This is quiet time of year for thrips as warm temperatures are the normal breeding ground for thrips so you might have a real problem.
Brian

Geoffrey Hands wrote:

..I’m very pleased with my cymbidiums, despite the dreadful thrips which have marked the leaves of many, and destroyed a good few flowers or complete spikes too. My theory about thrips is that it is difficult to get rid of, simply because one may be using the wrong remedy − there are 19000 species of thrips, varying enormously in size, and in their diet too − there are even insectivorous species ! The biological remedy I tried − Ambylseius cucumeris is known to predate Western Thrips − Frankliniella occidentalis , and maybe another dozen or so thrips species − but certainly not all ; many orchid sites on the internet treat that ( Frankliniella) as if it were the only thrips there is ; but those sites never show damage of the kind I have, and their illustrations of the insects are all wrong too , as I long suspected, and finally confirmed when I eventually saw some of the things. Which one I have/had, I don’t know by name, but it is much smaller than Western thrips, and jet black, not yellow in the adult stage , and not at all bothered by cucumeris, it seems.
So I have adapted my strategy to cover unknown bases − for example I now have far more yellow glue traps much closer to leaves, and I date them when I hang them − then I can see how many there have been about since I last changed the traps. Clean traps means no hatch, any sign of new captures, and out comes the sprayer and I spray twice with the same thing at 3-4 day intervals then change to a different chemical or type of pesticide and repeat. Then new traps and start again…

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 06:20

Just one word of caution if you have not had gps built in before- I did have a Sony pocketable compact , super zoom (20-1) 20 mph, etc, with that feature, and I loved it. But it was always on, and flattened the battery in hours, not days. With the Nikon, it can be switched on but automatically switches off after 3 hours and needs to be reset. Worth watching that point !

Geoff

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From: Horace Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....a reply to Brian....
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 08:15

I think my thrips is the same one as John Dennis has − very small black adult insects. Maybe we both got them from the same source − I have found some damage on hybrid oncidiums − probably there for some considerable time, but not as easily visible as it is on cymbidiums, unless you make a point of holding a leaf up so that the sun shines through it.

Most recently I sprayed twice with Decis Protech, then Provado 2, ( before Xmas) and Resolve since Xmas.

A quiet spell − no new damage − may mean that they are all dead, or simply that the life cycle has slowed down in the colder months ( not that it has been very cold, apart from a few days at Xmas ) − in which case they are lurking in the compost, ready to hatch when it warms up.

Maybe another soil drench is the next step, using something different. I have another two or three different things to try, although I don’t think the horticultural soaps or the oils will be effective in soil drench. Maybe another go with a systemic, and I think Provado is the only one I have which has systemic properties. What do you think ?

geoff

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:30

A valuable tip, grateful thanks, Geoff.
Richard

Geoff Hands wrote:

Just one word of caution if you have not had gps built in before- I did
have a Sony pocketable compact , super zoom (20-1) 20 mph, etc, with that
featur e, and I loved it. But it was always on, and flattened the battery
in hours, not days. With the Nikon, it can be switched on but automatically
switches off after 3 hours and needs to be reset. Worth watching that
point !

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: John Dennis
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] A happy new year to everyone....a reply to Brian.
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 15:20

Like you Geoff, the little b......rs have gone quiet at the moment and I hav
e not seen any on my Cattleya or Laelia flowers. I have not sprayed a lot, o
ther than one dosing of SB Plant Invigorator and bug killer. I did do an occ
asional spot spray of the Aerosol version of Provado Ultimate Bug Killer. Li
ke you I hung lots of little Satchets of Amblyseus cucumeris, right thro' th
e Summer. Although I'm equally not sure that they are effective on the Blac
k Thrips. I just think it was a bad year for them. Quite a few of our mutua
l orchid friends have had them, so I don't think they came in with any parti
cular plant. I think that they were just out there in our gardens. I really
hope that they have just gone away. I first noticed them last winter actual
ly when they destroyed the flowers of my Epicattleya plicaboa 'Dancing Queen
' just before Christmas 2013. I went on the rampage with Vitax Sticky Plant l
abels, placing them in every pot I have. I caught many,many little bugs but n
o Thrips. The bugs I caught were the little compost flies that we commonly s
ee around indoor plants. Of course they could have been young Thrips but I r
eally doubt that. There is some sort of association. I tried to grow Eulophi
a guiniensis this year, but the young tender leaves were attacked and browne
d off. However I kept spraying Provado as an extra precaution and the new le
aves were quite clean. This year when the leaves fall, I will soak the pseud
obulbs in the water soluble Provado.
JD

Sent from my iPad

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From: John Dennis
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Thrips
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:30

Hi Geoff and Brian,

Reinforcing my theory that it was just a bad year for the Black Thrip. My Cy
mbidiums have been outside for the whole year, in fact they take up so much r
oom in the greenhouse that I have decided to try to keep them outside they a
re in a very sheltered spot and wrapped in fleece. When one spikes up I brin
g it Ito an otherwise empty conservatory. Thrips can't live in the cold wea
ther, not much!

So I brought one in about two months ago with four flower spikes. Several o
f the flowers were a bit messed up as they opened so I pinched them off. Tod
ay when I had another look at the plant I found two Thrips wandering around.
That poor old Cymbidium has gone back in the cold. I wonder if Thrips are c
lever enough to hybernate in the compost until the weather warms up. I also f
ound a shrivelled bud cluster on my Epicattleya Voila or Plicaboa and sure e
nough there was a Thrip in there. I may refrain from exhibiting my plants u
ntil I am sure that I have got rid of them.
All orchid enthusiasts should look very carefully at their plants. I bet mos
t people have some Black Thrips if they look hard enough because I am sure t
hey were abundant in our gardens this year, and the greenhouse offered a lov
ely warm shelter where they could multiply.

JD

Sent from my iPad

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Thrips
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 13:10

Hi John,

I don't believe there has been a definitive picture of a thrip on this
list, so if you are unfortunate enough to find any more please take photos
and send.

Regards,

--

Tricia

A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Neofinetia collection.
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 14:35

Happy New Year to everyone. We are very much cat people and have just picked up two kittens from Cats Protection, Haslemere . The main problem is they like biting the Neos leaves and some are in a mess but not dead in any way. The total collection 12-13 Neos. Mainly falcata but have a good Richardsiana, if I remember correctly. Plus one large Paph armeniacum.
Free to anyone, but must pick up because they are in handmade special pots, which are heavy. Will let the person have some unused pots as well. As my sister died last year of cancer I will accept any donations to Cancer research.

First person wanting to have the small collection, and will pick it up , comes first.

Peter Fowler.

Sent from my iPad

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From: Horace Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Thrips ....
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 17:15

I have done a lot of reading on thrips, since it is essential to know your enemy. For example the biological remedy − Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) cucumeris ) is often recommended , as "predatory on thrips” . But in fact there are almost as many species of thrips as there are orchids − 19000 in fact − and cucumeris is known to predate at least six of these species . Just 6 out of 19000. Do we have the right kind of thrips for this solution ? In my opinion, based on my plants and my use of cucumeris, no.
I have not been able to discover which species I have . I have only seen adult insects once ,just two of them − which enables me to say I don’t have Western thrips − and all the advice in the AOS pages seems to be based on that species − and this is one which cucumeris does like for dinner.
'Black” thrips is not the common name of one species ( unlike the names Western thrips, Avocado thrips, Hunter thrips, and so on ) in fact I have found at least ten different species which are black, but all rather larger than mine, I think..
So what will work ?
First, the life cycle of all thrips is as follows − egg (1) − in my case usually laid on newly developing growth buds or flower spikes ; I reckon the eggs are microscopic and invisible to my eyes ; hatching follows probably triggered by a hormone action resulting from sap exudation from the developing growth etc. temperature is important, but perhaps only inasmuch as in temperatures too cold for the growth to develop, it is too cold for the egg to hatch.
The hatchling − called nymph (2) feeds , then undergoes a mild transformation or metamorphosis into nymph (3) − both of these are near transparent, and located on the underside of the leaves. Difficult to see except by a thorough examination, and difficult to hit in spraying − and most of the available insecticide methods need spray contact ; even the systemics we have are expected to kill far more by contact than by subsequent feeding. The feeding stages could last as little as 3 days !
Nymph (3) falls off the plant and lands on the compost, or on the floor of the greenhouse − unless you have a plastic covered floor flushed with disinfectant like the big commercial orchid nurseries in Holland, it doesn’t matter which.
In the soil/compost/gravel on the floor , the nymph changes by a further metamorphosis into pre-pupa (4) and after a time dependant on temperature into pupa (5) which again changes − after a further time again dependant on temperature, into adult thrips (6).
Stage 1 − the egg is probably resistant to many insecticides and of course to systemics . Stages 2 and 3 are the ones where spraying may kill. Stages 4 and 5 are out of the spray , and 6 may be very brief − these insects are parthenogenic ( females only) so are ready to lay eggs, without any feeding, almost as soon as they hatch/fly/crawl ; so spraying − yes, they are vulnerable, but they are not around to be sprayed for very long − maybe a time measured in hours rather than days.

It occurs to me to hit them where they can be got at 100% reliably − in the compost . In other words by a soil drench, or better still, standing pots in the insecticide , all compost submerged. I did this once using Provado, but was uncertain about dilution − should it be weaker or stronger than if sprayed, and would the same stuff be usable ?

I don’t use the same insecticide 3 times in succession for obvious reasons, and as it happens I have sprayed foliage with Provado twice recently, so I considered Bug-off, by Scotts. So I contacted them, explained my problem, and asked for advice. They told me to use the Vine Weevil killer version which is made to be used in just this way − soil drench, and is systemic too.
They did tell me to take the usual precautions, try on one or two plants and wait for a month to see if any damage occurs, although they don’t expect any. I treated a cymbidium and an oncidium ( I have a lot of leaf damage there too − not so easily seen, but when looked for, unmistakeable ) today. Drench time will be in early February, if the two drenched plants still look healthy.

Btw I am writing a piece for my Soc’ magazine − Top Orchid − with this and more in it.

Hope this helps !

Geoff.

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Neofinetia collection.
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:40

Sorry folks, but the plants have found a new home and will not be nibbled by any more cats, I hope?!
Greetings
Peter F.

Sent from my iPad

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: N & T Burgess
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Neofinetia collection.
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 19:20

Hello Peter

I would be interested in some of your Neofinetia but unfortunately haven't got room for all your collection. If you are willing to split the group up I would be interested, that is if no one has claimed them already,

Kind regards
Norma Burgess – in Farnham

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Thrips
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 21:40

Hello John and Geoff
The thrip you have almost certainly came in on imported material and has
probably been spread by shows and monthly meetings at orchid societies.I
picked up 2 infections of thrips this year on plants from international
shows which came into my ownership and the plants sprayed and isolated.The
thrip problem disappeared very quickly as the new growth came up
spotless.The problem is that the thrips have gone unnoticed in many peoples
greenhouses and the bug has taken hold. If you use a spray programme when
the thrips are not that active then when the thrip begins to breed in
spring in increasing numbers immunity to the sprays you are using is quite
likely.Research the active ingredient of the sprays you are using and try
and find a new spray with different modes of action and change to this spray
when the thrips are breeding as this is the time to eradicate the blighters.
Brian

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