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  • From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 21:25:34 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Aroid Collecting Friends,

During a nightmare about gigantic Amorphophallus ravishing my Peace Lilies I
had a wondrous Dream.  I will tell you the story!

It was that I was in Team that had gone to this wonderful Jungle Place never
visited before, a bit like Roraima with waterfalls and swampy rivers, and we
found huge numbers of new kinds of the amazing plants that we all love.  In
our Team there were also a few Ornamental Fish Collectors, Butterfly, Moth
and Bug Enthusiasts, Snake lovers, Bird Fanciers and Anglers that we knew
before or got quickly to know.  They were all wowing about in the water, the
mud, the trees and the glades.  It was a great time, and it was a place
where the Government people liked us being there as Naturalists and
willingly gave us permits to take back home some of the things we had found.
Everybody mucked in, and it was enormous fun.  It was much like I used to do
in the woods of Somerset near where I was borne but hotter with everything
so much more brilliant and bigger like I'd always dreamed about before.   An
Aladdins Cave of colour and fragrances, surprises everywhere.   And although
we split into various little groups we all shared what we found.  Because
there were a lot of us it made everything cheaper and allowed us to stay
even longer.  Because it was such an important Team Organisation, we got all
the support we needed from the locals and the officials.  In the dream it
became a regular thing several times a year going to different places each
time the same way.  People in the Botanic Gardens sometimes came and they
advised us each time as to the best and most worthwhile places to go so that
they could share in what we found.  It was easier for them too   I thought
during the dream how amazing it was to have teams of keen Naturalists
joining together to do their collecting.  Far far better and more efficient
than people going in ones and two's uncertainly to places on DIY trips and
collecting only the plants they want when people back home might like so
many things that didn't interest.  And maybe even better than some of the
ecotourist holidays with the same old find a monkey itineraries.  In the
dream with so many eyes and ears sharing everybody got far more of what they
wanted and together the Group could look for everything that those who
stayed at home wanted as well.

Then I woke up and thought about it.   I wonder if we could get together
with other eGroups and go on expeditions like in the dream to help everyone
whether they came or not.   The Botanic Gardens, and Animal Collection
specialists would advise us and suggest the best places to go and even if
they didn't come along we could look out for everything they were interested
in.  We might even get grants from Horticulture or Universities or
Government agencies or even Airlines if we became THE Tropical Rain Forest
Study and Collecting Group?

Just a dream which we maybe could come true.  I was thinking of spending the
Northern Winter in Tropical Asia on a DIY trip but I would be just as happy
to help organise something anywhere useful and best for everybody and maybe
help film and sound record it.  Or do anything as part of a team.  That is
if fellow members have keen eyes for new Peace Lilies.

Are there enough people out there to make a team for the first of many
tropical wonder trips?   If so when, where and what for?  Perhaps the people
who are very experienced in Jungling could advise?   Would you like to send
any suggestions to Ron Greenman in time for Winter 2001 travel, all offers
of special expert or general help appreciated.  Or perhaps you know of an
expedition of people with very varied interests who are going already.   I'm
cautious about commercial "Nature Tours" there are so many and maybe some
are more suited for people who are just Nature Spectators rather than
growers as well?

Whether the Team comes true, the Dream was great.



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