D. Christopher Rogers
707 Dead Cat Alley
Woodland, CA 95695 USA
● Invertebrate Taxonomy
● Invertebrate Ecological Studies
● Bioassessment and Study Design
● Endangered Invertebrate Species
● Invasive Invertebrate Species
● Periphyton/ Phytoplankton
Moscow, ID ● Bozeman, MT ● Woodland, CA ● Joplin, MO ●
email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 26,
2007 9:35 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] My First IAS
I wanted to weigh in on my
impressions of my first ever IAS Show and Sale. As it happened I was to be in
south Florida for other purposes and decided to come to the show. My goals were
to see the show, hear Leland, have Julius teach me how to say "chubas",
and to generally get the feel of this organization I only know from Aroid-L and
the newsletters. All of these goals were met. As an added feature, I brought
along with me a friend-since-childhood from semi-nearby Delray Beach (curiously
also named Ted - we were the two Teds) who was not even a plant person, much
less an aroid fancier. And such was the event that even the non-plant person
had a terrific time.
We arrived too late to experience
the show part of the meeting and too early for the banquet. We wandered around
looking for some IAS authority and found a darkened room filled with an
assortment of display plants. We could see through the gloom that some were
obviously rare and attractive. Others were not so obviously rare, but were also
attractive. The quality of the plants was very high.
We continued our perigrinations for
a bit until we saw two individuals outside the display. "Would either of
you happen to be aroid people?", I asked. We were immediately warmly
received by who we found out were Ron Weeks and Derek Burch. Ron and Derek then
took us back into the darkened display area, switched on the lights, and gave
us an enthusiastic tour, with commentary.
Pretty soon it was time to begin
assembling for the banquet. We bought a second ticket for my guest and made our
way to the designated room accompanied by Ron and Derek. After a little
chitchat with other folks Ron came in again and ushered us into The Presence.
There he was, the famous Julius Boos, looking faintly like an off-duty Santa.
I was bold. "OK, Julius, say it
for me: chubas." "Chubas, mon!," he said, with a hearty laugh.
We then related the heartwarming chubas story to my friend, who turned out to
live less than a mile from where Julius works. The world is filled with coincidences.
Then Julius spirited me back into
the display area to show me a special Philodendron and a few other aroids of
interest to him, some with chubas, some without. Julius, in case you know him
only from the list, is an ebullient person and has a ready manner with
newcomers to the art of plants. Come to think of it, Julius is that way in his
writing as well.
Next it was a treat for me to meet
and speak with Steve Lucas. I have been a fan of his postings and in person he
is just as intense and articulate as he is on-line. I suppose it's a compliment
to reveal that he is older in person than I expected. He has a muscular writing
style that made me think he was maybe in his 30s. As it is he is a seasoned
person with the clarity of wit of a younger man.
Then came Leland Miyano, the
featured speaker and traveller from afar. Leland was embarrassed, I think, to
hear that his speaking was one of the main motivations for my coming to the
show. But he did not disappoint me. His slides and narration were a thing to
experience and worth the trip all by themselves. The range of topics drifted
from aroids many times. I wanted to be back on the internet where they have
those little highlighted words that you can click on to receive more
information. Fossil moa birds from Hawaii. Click. Rare palm trees rediscovered.
Click. The completely unexpected section along the Atlantic coast of Brazil,
where the sun bakes down on what we would call badlands. Click. Unknown aroids
that survive this climate that would mummify a person in two hours. Click.
Frogs that ooze foam and make one delirious. Click. Roberto Burle Marx. Click.
My plant-innocent friend found
Leland's presentation tremendously entertaining.
It was unfortunate that I didn't
budget more time to visit. But I had to be off first thing the next morning to
the Florida gulf coast. While there I was inspired by Leland to find a few new
aroid species on my own. What's the big deal?, I wondered. Leland made it look
easy. So off I went into some of Florida's many overgrown areas, fully
expecting to make a name for myself with at least one species new to science.
But lo, it's harder than it looks. After a couple of hours I did manage to come
across some Pistia. But I am doubtful that they would be of interest to Dr. Croat.
They appeared to be the same Pistia found everywhere in Florida by the ton. Let
me know if I'm wrong; I still know how to find them again. I also found a small
cluster of palms I was sure was a new species. But I mentally channelled Julius
and he informed me by telepathy that they were plain palmetto palms. Like I
said, it's not as easy as it seems.
At least I avoided the wonderful
stingless bees that seem to have been a favorite of Leland when in Brazil. Or
maybe it's more accurate to say the Leland was a favorite of the bees.
I have some resolutions I can
recommend to others. Maybe you have thought about attending but wonder how
someone not at the A-list level of aroid horticulture might be received. First,
you will be welcome regardless of your experience. Second, plan to spend some
time in the exhibit area as well as the banquet and auction. If you are curious
and have questions, this is where to get answers. Also, the breadth of plant
knowledge extends to beyond aroids. People at the show seem to know about lots
of kinds of plants. Third, bring a plant. If you have several, bring them for
the show and to donate for the auction. Especially if the plant is weird or
unusual you won't find any better audience than this. Fourth, bring some money
and bid on some rare plants or buy them from the helpful vendors.
And for those of you that are not
members, join the IAS.
Ted. The one from Detroit.