[pleurothallid-l] FW: Student Judge looking for opinions

geiger at vetigastropoda.com geiger at vetigastropoda.com
Wed Nov 7 09:25:42 EST 2012

A) I don't care about awards. I am a trained systematic biologist, but orchids are just a 
hobby. I like odd-ball orchids.
My "awards" are publications. There is so much to discover scientifically with the smaller 
species, that there is a vast publication potential. Just been working on Oberonia (flowers 
~1.5 mm) for about six months, already have material for two pubs.
I carry that approach over from my professional work on minute snails. Just published a 
1291 page monograph on the small slit shells (0.5-11 mm, modal 1.2-1.5 mm), where I 
described over a third of the species (see link below).

B) Good Photography is not easy (z-stacking at >1:1 requires understanding of things like 
effective f-stop and diffraction limited resolution). Just submitted an article on the subject 
to Orchid Digest. Some details are even best appreciated by scanning electron microscopy.

C) Round-flat is a sorry reductionist view of diversity. I find this entire goal rather 
disturbing, giving that orchids are the most specious family in Phanerogames.

D) The morphological diversity is arguably greater in small flowers, because some 
mechanical constraints do not apply at the smaller scale.

Bottom line: So what! Let them have their awards, warts and all, I make actual contributions 
to the field looking at small species.

Daniel L. Geiger, Ph.D.
Curator of Malacology
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol Road
Santa Barbara CA 93105

805 682 4711 Extension 152

geiger at vetigastropoda.com - dgeiger at sbnature2.org

Spring 2012: Geiger & Owen: Abalone Monograph 

Late 2012: Geiger: Monograph of the Little Slit shells

On Tue Nov  6 19:29 , "James Rassmann"  sent:

>In b/t the election news here's a response:
>Miniatures generally aren't passed over, but smaller flowered species 
>(botanicals) are.
>When I started judging 30+ yrs. ago judges wouldn't look at a "small", out 
>of the ordinary "botanical". In fact I recall one elderly judge loudly saying 
>(braying), "get that crap out of the judging room". Now interesting botanicals 
>appear in many Centers frequently.
>I see occasional efforts by some judges to talk up a typical clone 
>of one small species or another. That's unfortunate as there really are great 
>clones out there of many species - including the small things. Unfortunately 
>judges who don't travel overseas rarely see the "good stuff". Come to the 
>Medellin, Colombia Orchid Show and get your socks knocked off!
>Judges of longer tenure tend to be fixated on the standards (Cats, Phals, 
>Paphs and so on). Younger judges tend to be more open to interesting small 
>"Beauty not easily noted by the naked eye isn't beauty." This statement 
>must come from a very short sighted (no pun intended) judge. Have this person 
>get glasses or a loupe. Or perhaps a better Center photographer.
>Judging Centers are not homogenous! Some are deeply entrenched in the dark 
>ages on many levels. As a member, and later Chair, of the JC for many years I 
>can say with some experience that Judging Centers march to the beat of very 
>different drummers - some of whom can't keep the rhythm going to save their 
>Jim Rassmann - feel free to pass on my name.
>  ----- Original Message ----- 
>  From: Lynn O'Shaughnessy 
>  To: pleurothallid-l at lists.ibiblio.org 
>  Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 6:43 
>  PM
>  Subject: [pleurothallid-l] FW: Student 
>  Judge looking for opinions
>  I received this question 
>  through the Pleurothallid Alliance website.  Answers are most 
>  welcome.  I will be sure they are passed on.
>  Thanks!
>  Lynn O
>  Hi, I am working on a talk regarding the reluctance of the 
>  AOS to award flower quality awards to very tiny flowers- despite many of them 
>  having all the characteristics considered highly desirable in other (larger) 
>  flowers. Below is the text from the question I have been putting up on orchid 
>  forums. I would love to hear from some of you- in fact- I may have 
>  already. 
>  I am particularly looking for a solution to this issue, is 
>  it equipment- things that magnify, dissect, take good photos? Is it a 
>  reasonable data base so one can actually compare the candidate to another? Is 
>  it overcoming the prejudice in the AOS, it was based on the cut flower 
>  industry after all, or what? What does it take to make a tiny plant with 
>  equally tiny flowers, a thing of beauty? 
>  Any responses would be delightful, I am also looking for 
>  photos to use, so if you have a plant that really wants to strut its stuff, 
>  please pass the pic on, I'll credit you.
>  What follows is the board post:
>  My new research 
>  topic is on the issue of why miniatures are so often relegated to getting a 
>  CHM or a CBR, even though many of them have flowers that are full flat and 
>  round.
>  Below are some 
>  of the things people have said to me, these are 
>  growers/hobbyists/judges/vendors etc.
>  "We give it a 
>  CBR if we would mow it over, and a CHM is something we would keep in our 
>  greenhouse."
>  "Shouldn't the 
>  standards of beauty be just that? Standards- meaning that a restrepia should 
>  not be compared to the size of a cattleya."
>  "Centers with 
>  equipment, dissecting microscopes, special camera lenses, etc, tend to be more 
>  likely to award these plants (minis.)"
>  "We are losing 
>  an entire market for the AOS, people become disenfranchised when their plants 
>  are only considered for two types of award."
>  "The AOS was 
>  designed to be about the cut flower market. That means big."
>  "I want the Wow 
>  factor to reach me from across the room, either as several large flowers, or 
>  many tiny flowers en masse. The former is flower quality material, the latter? 
>  CBR or CHM."
>  "Beauty not 
>  easily noted by the naked eye isn't beauty."
>  "At our sales 
>  table we see less of the devoted hobbyist, you know, the kind of person who 
>  wants the latest pleuro on the market- people who only bought one 
>  type."
>  "Miniatures 
>  represent an enormous market as people are downsizing, being able to grow 
>  minis successfully in terrariums, under lights means that they are becoming 
>  even more popular."
>  "They are really 
>  just weeds."
>  As you can see, 
>  I have written down all sorts of commentary. Now I would love to hear from all 
>  of you- as people who love these plants. I too, have gone over to the minis, 
>  having first fallen for restrepias, now I have several terrariums of all sorts 
>  of pleuros.
>  Personally I 
>  believe that the AOS is failing to evolve with the times. I am also concerned 
>  about the lack of consistency between judging centers across the US. As a 
>  dog/poultry/horse showing person, I know that lack of consistency is the 
>  quickest way to cause the public to lose interest, and that public, or fancy 
>  as we call it in the dog world, is who really controls the money. These are 
>  the people who join associations, come to orchid shows, enter plants in 
>  judgings, buy from vendors- you get the picture. 
>  I would love 
>  some responses to the things I have been told, also would love your own ideas, 
>  along with a possibly solution- a data base of enough pictures of each type of 
>  mini- I know, crazy- but to really know if a flower is unique amongst its 
>  peers, one must have comparisons, and this does seem to be a real problem in 
>  the AOS.
>  Thank you in 
>  advance for your help. The talk is largely complete, but I want to hear your 
>  words first.
>  Happy 
>  Growing
>  Ellen Coss Kennedy and Coco the Wonder 
>  dog
>   _______________________________________________
>  mailing 
>  list
>pleurothallid-l at lists.ibiblio.org

More information about the pleurothallid-l mailing list