Happy fall everyone! Fall arrived, even though our foliage isn't quite as spectacular as we are accustomed to having here in WNC. Seems like in just a few short days many of our leaves have come down. I just got back home from attending the 19th annual International Slipper Orchids Symposium and the 2019 AOS Fall meetings. Gone for 4 days to Apopka, Florida and come home to dramatic changes in the foliage that's remaining on our trees. Graham Ramsey, Bob Hydzik and myself were all down attending the big orchid event, so the WNCOS was well represented. I will continue to encourage all of you to consider making trips to some of these incredible events here in the USA. Great opportunities present themselves at these events and we always bring home exciting new orchids. I've got some exciting, breaking news to share regarding the WNCOS, and i'll get to that here shortly.
How was the field trip to Looking Glass Orchids? We want your feedback. I had every intention on being there, however something came up and I found myself in the emergency room at Mission Hospital. Not only once, but twice! By the time you all were arriving to Russ Bolts greenhouses, I was preparing for emergency surgery to remove a rupturing gallbladder. I will never forget this experience, and have never felt such pain in my life. Grateful to have had a successful surgery, recovery and am back at life at full strength. I am really looking forward to seeing all of you this Sunday at our regular meeting location, 2pm, Asheville Visitor Center on Montford Ave. Take the elevator up to the 2nd floor, you won't miss us.
This Sunday we've got our annual elections and the slate of officers for the 2019-2020 to present to you. We'll knock this out, and will have our regular show and tell component of our monthly meeting. So, bring your blooming show and tell orchids and be ready to show off! After these activities, we're going to have an Orchid Swap Shop! This is open to every member of the WNCOS. An opportunity to bring in plants you no longer desire to grow. Maybe you've got some divisions or keikis, some extra seedlings, maybe a surplus of potting mix such as SpagMoss or Orchiata. No real rules here folks, let's just keep it clean and orchid related. You may sell, gift, buy, trade, etc. Not putting any hard rules in place, but please be kind and courteous. Again, this is orchid related only so don't bring in a bag of grass seed or a bale of wheat straw.
We'll set the room up for those bringing in materials, and try to give everyone a little space. Maybe you have some really cool pots you didn't use this year and would like to clear out before the holidays. Whatever it is, take this opportunity to use our swap show to obtain something new or move something along you no longer wish to keep. As for anyone selling, your proceeds are yours. There is no percentage due back to the society. I would strongly suggest you use cash or checks, and no we will not have an ATM machine on hand for those of you who forget to bring a few bucks.
Graham Ramsey is taking some orchids this Thursday to Durham to install the WNCOS exhibit in the 2018 Fall Show at Duke Gardens. If any of you has a really nice blooming plant right now that you'd like to see exhibited in their show, please contact Graham immediately and get your plant to him by this Wednesday.
Finally, we have exciting news. Do you all remember that incredible exhibit we put together in the 2017 Asheville Orchid Festival? To jog your memory, we won our first ever AOS Show Trophy and Gold Medal at the 2017 Festival. I believe we scored 92 points on it, which was a wonderful honor. Well, here we are over a year and a half later with some additional, exciting news from the American Orchid Society. Just announced this past weekend, the WNCOS has won the Walter Off Exhibit Award for our 2017 exhibit in the Asheville Orchid Festival. The Walter Off Exhibit Award is given to an AOS Show Trophy Award, Silver certificate or Gold certificate, or educational award which is recognized as the most outstanding example of these types of awards given at an AOS sanctioned orchid show in the USA, it's territories and Canada, in the previous calendar year. Basically guys, we won the award for having the most exceptional orchid exhibit in 2017 at all AOS sanctioned shows. How incredible is that!? Once again, a huge congratulations to the WNCOS, a real feather in our cap. I would like to thank and congratulate Graham, Leslie, Clarke and their impressive team who worked unbelievably hard on that years exhibit. They really, truly earned this and should be super proud. One of the best things I can personally do is stay far and clear from anything artistic, which includes our exhibits. I can take zero credit, but am all proud and want to be sure to share this excitement with all of you. If you were a member last year, attended the festival, helped out in any way or had your plants in the exhibit, you are to be congratulated. Who knows if this will ever happen again, so take a moment to celebrate please. A really huge honor, and yet another reminder that we have one of the best damn orchid societies in the USA!
See you all Sunday at the Swap Shop!
Mike Mims, WNCOS President