Marisa holding garter snake. Tristan looking for another garter snake.

Injured garter snake on screen with Erasanthe henrici.

Ivan; 1991 - 2009. One helluva nice cat.

The yard on August 10, 2010.

Aerangis jacksonii in bud.

Microcoelia bulbocalcarata root.

Our backyard in winter.

August 25
    On a brighter’s an Angraecum drouhardii with TWO flowers! The evening fragrance is WONDERFUL! I couldn’t ask more from an orchid! This one puts a smile on my face!

It seems to us that anyone who really like orchids would like this one!

August 24
    All I did was turn away for a couple of days (observationally speaking). The Angraecum lecomtei began to open and was looking good, and then POOF! One overly warm day and it just browned. I missed getting a picture of it partly open. I missed seeing it fully open. Bummer.

August 19
     What we’re choosing to learn about is angraecoids. We grow many of them and we grow many of them very well. There are great challenges involved. A large number are facing extinction in nature due to loss of habitat. We’re trying to obtain as many species as possible; to grow and reproduce them in a safe environment [ex-situ propagation] and then get the offspring in the hands of other growers. If we can keep a healthy, diverse population in the hands of orchid lovers, then the plants will not face total extinction though they are extinct in nature. It is challenging to find the plants. Many are only available through importation. Importation has it’s own set of challenges [I could go on about that for pages]. Rare plants often command higher prices and unfortunately, some growers don’t wish to see their “prizes” made less valuable by allowing them to be reproduced. I don’t like seeing this selfishness imposed other living things. We’re going to keep trying to make unusual agraecoids available to as many interested growers as possible.

This is Angraecum lecomtei...I'll include another picture when it opens.

August 16
     I’ve had several people suggest I include an “about us” section to the website. I think it’s to make us seem more we really do exist and you’re not sending your money to some internet black hole. I think this will be the spot for you to learn more about us and our insanity. We got our first orchid in 1983. It was Cattleya Jose Marti ‘Mothers Favorite’. We potted it in soil. It lived despite us. There are so many great “first orchid” stories out there! The important thing is to keep learning! The more we learn about orchids; the more we see there is to learn about them! I don’t plan on ever being bored again.

August 13...a Friday
     No. There will never be a snake in your package of orchids. And no, the children are not for sale.

August 12
     Okay...I see what could happen here. Some tidbit from yesterday’s observation or remembrance will help me with another one. I don’t know if these will interest anyone, but I hope so. Our cats are mostly indoor/outdoor cats. After a couple of months of “training” they get to go pretty much anywhere they want. The “training” is to get them to stay away from the road and so far (knock on wood) it’s worked. One of them (Snowball, a.k.a. “Killer”) presented us with a garter snake. The snake was playing dead. It was punctured, but alive, so I put it in the greenhouse to recuperate. It hung out for a few days, then escaped to the wilds again.

August 11
     Writing yesterday, I mentioned being bored in 1992. We’d made a big move from Seattle to Missoula Montana. Most of our possessions were in a non-accessible storage unit. We had our collection of approx. 1,000 plants in a corner of a large commercial greenhouse and were living in a strange little “apartment”. I didn’t have a job. I spent hours and hours playing fetch with our cat. It’s not a good thing when the cat barfs on the carpet and in cleaning it you discover that the carpet is white with a pink and green floral design...when, until then, you’d thought that the carpet was brown.

August 10
     I am one of the least habitual people on earth. While that may be a good thing where "bad" habits are concerned, it's awful when it comes to “good” habits like making regular additions to a website or flossing your teeth. I'm going to try again, because there is no shortage of observations to be made when you have a such a full life as I do. We have a nice-sized greenhouse full of amazing plants, 1-1/4 acres that we've transformed from overgrazed pasture to a yard and orchard, a major house re-model (keep in mind that one of us is an architect), plus the other life forms; two amazing kids (one of each variety/gender) and an animal family that we keep adding to. The last time I was bored was in 1992.

 January 21
     I'm feeling a little impatient...I can hardly wait until these open. Will they open? A nearby aerangis was at this point...maybe we spent too much time watching it, waiting for it, hoping to see it bloom for the first time...every bud blasted.

A watched aerangis never blooms?!!

To those who are curious, this is Aerangis jacksonii.

January 19
     Roots. I've always been fascinated by the roots of orchids. Growing them on plaques (rather than potted) allows the grower to see them more easily. Taking a look at them on a regular basis can be an excellent way to gauge your growing skills and the health of your orchid. Some of them are just beautiful.

January 18
     It's been eleven years since we had a "really good" snow storm in Missoula. Yes, it flooded the following spring and since we're close to the river that meant our basement was sitting in water...but when I look out and I see this fluffy white blanket, I want it to continue just like this for another week (or two). I've missed having a "good" winter [thank you, global warming]. When I get tired of the cold, all I have to do is enter the greenhouse and Iím in the tropics. It's the best of both worlds.