We love to travel and give illustrated lectures. Fee can be negotiated, but travel arrangements
must be covered.


My short biography        (CLICK HERE to see a longer version)

I have been growing plants for over 50 years. My first love is cactus and succulents,
but I have expanded my interests to include bromeliads, flowering bulbs, cycads,
bonsai, and a few others. Professionally I am a chemist, but my hobby is botany. I
have published almost 60 articles on botany, in technical journals such as Canadian
J of Botany, and in hobby publications such as J Bromeliad Society, Pup Talk
(Saddleback Valley), National Cactus & Succulent J of Gr.Britain, etc.  

I travel frequently around the world, with a preference for Asia. Since buying my first
digital camera, it has become a priority hobby too. I have taken well in excess of
100,000 photos in the last 10 years, and use them to extensively illustrate my talks. I
began giving hobby talks in college, and have expanded the number and frequency
of the talks in recent years. Since all my photos are now digital, I have my own digital
projector and keep all my talks on a personal computer, ready to go at a moment's

1. Silverswords Of Hawaii ( and not just Haleakala)
Followed by Greenswords and othe relatives—Where did they come from?

The Haleakala Silverswords of Maui are spectacular plants. One of the relatively rare types of
succulent composites, they grow only on top of mountains in harsh dry environments. I had the
opportunity to take a large series of photos of these rare plants in flower. But, there are other
kinds of silverswords, and greenswords, all of which are more rare and less known than the
Haleakala plants. And  what are their relatives, since they are on an isolated volcanic island?
Come and see!

An Illustrated Shopping tour of Thailand, especially the plant markets

I have made many trips to Bangkok, which boasts the Chattuchak weekend market. This is
supposed to be the largest flea or vendor type market in the world with over 14 THOUSAND
stalls—and they keep building! Chattuchak is only open weekends, with general sections
devoted to antiques, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, books, furniture, pets—many
subsections of fish, birds, invertebrates, etc; art, shoes, ceramics, silk flowers, fresh and
preserved foods including more types of dried squid than even Korea, rocks, jewelry, etc. Not
to forget the fresh and cut flower/garden plants section. While focusing on orchids, cacti,
bonsai, waterlilies, and tropical exotic flowering plants of all types, you will also see a wide
variety of colorful shops.  

The Singapore Botanic Garden, especially Bromeliads, Bonsai, and Orchids;
Followed by The Secret Cactus Garden of Singapore

The Singapore Botanic Garden far pre-dates the establishment of the nation of Singapore in
the 1960's, having been started in 1859. Singapore is a rain forest area. The botanic garden
is world famous for its palms, orchids, landscaping, and even bonsai and bromeliads. No fees,
no visible guards, no litter, no real closing hours. Very nice place to visit.
Also there is a very beautiful cactus garden in Singapore, but, it is very hard to find even when
you know where it is supposed to be--on top of the international airport building. Lots of cacti,
succulents, and cycads, all flourishing in the rain forest environment.

I travel extensively for my job, and take the opportunity to visit zoos and botanic gardens
wherever I go. The Singapore botanic garden is one of my three favorites, along with Kew
Gardens and Nong Nooch Botanic Garden.

The Nong Nooch Botanic Garden, Thailand. WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BOTANIC

Picture almost a mile square of landscaping, sculpture, plants, flowers, bonsai, animals.
Picture them being tended by a staff of 800! With their own nurseries and pottery factories,
and with guest houses on-site. They have almost every cycad species, over 2000 of the 3000
palm species, and many specialist collections of bonsai, bromeliads, orchids, gingers, etc etc.
Also the petting animals, exotic dancer show, and elephant performances. I took over 600
shots that day, but promise not to inflict all of them on the audience.

 Organpipe National Monument & Tucson Nurseries

This is a brief auto tour of the famous national monument, where more than three tree-type
cacti grow naturally. One of the highlights was the sight of the largest crested cactus in the
world, to my knowledge. And to top it off, there are also lots of shots of 2 of the famous
Tucson nurseries, Arid Lands and Bach’s.

Famous Collections-The (largely) Mesemb Collection of Steve Hammer

Steve has allowed me to snap photos of his massive collection on several occasions. There
are of course, large numbers of flowering mesembs (living rocks, like Lithops and
Conophytums), especially conos. But he also has lots of other plants, Haworthias, stapeliads,
bulbs, and other unusual things. Not for the compulsive taxonomist, as this is a picture show
with many names not shown. But, amateur or beginner, see the condition of the plants of one
of the world’s best growers and see how many species you can identify (Note—Steve knows all
of them by sight!).

The Philippines, Being an Account of a Leisurely Vacation.

Part I. Manila south to Davao City. Showing bromeliads, monkey eating eagles, orchids,
volcanos, and other secrets of the country. We spent 5 weeks in the Philippines, driving from
Manila 600 miles south over 4 major islands with two ferry trips. We saw volcano-ruined
churches; Mayon, an active volcano; the eagle breeding sanctuary; the largest tree in the
Philippines; and more.

The Philippines, Being an Account of a Leisurely Vacation

Part II. Mindanao to Cebu, Bohol, Manila, and points North We spent 5 weeks in the
Philippines seeing as much as possible. This segment covers the ferry trips and stops on a
different route back to Manila, then driving to see Baguio, the mountain seat of Philippines
government; the mausoleum of Ferdinand Marcos; pygmy tarsiers on Bohol; and more. Plus
bonus pictures of two weeks in Thailand, showing Bangkok gardens, the Golden Triangle
area, ethnic tribespeople, and a magnificent Buddhist temple. We had begun our vacation with
a week in Bangkok, then ended with a week in Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle where
Laos, Burma, and Thailand meet.

Flowers of the Anza Borrego Desert

The last few years have seen some spectacular spring flower shows. This program shows
some of the about 400 kinds of flowering plants in this region. See everything from the
expected cactus, to the Desert Lily. You will see examples of the four types of desert plant life
strategies: enduring, evading, ignoring, and accepting; to cope with the stresses of the desert
life style.

Huge Flowers On the Big Island, Hawaii

Tree Ferns taller than a plum tree? Regular Ferns with caudexes bigger than a person?
Flowers bigger than your head? See the Hilo Botanic Garden, the Hilo Orchid Convention,
Kona highlands plants, orchid nurseries, and lots more. Hawaii is called the garden islands, for
a good reason, and the Big Island also known as Hawaii, has the most of everything.

Bonsai In Asian Countries        

This is a photographic appreciation of mostly specimen bonsai. These photos have been
taken in Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore, with a scattering from other places. See plants
worth more than a good car, along with many other beautiful dwarfed trees.

Digital Photo Tour-Bulbs/Cacti/Succulent/Broms/Orchids/Wild Flowers & Others.

This is actually a tailored talk. Pick the type of plant your group is most interested in, and I will
show photos of Bulbs, or Bromeliads, or Orchids, or Cacti, or Succulents, or Wild Flowers, or
Bonsai, or Giant Tropical Flowers, to illustrate the talk. Each talk will show 200-400 best shots,
taken from around the world and from our personal collection. Includes some information on
taking & editing digital photos, emphasizing botanical shots. Or ask if I can put together shots
of some special interest, like Asia Stone Art, Asian Temples, Animals, Parks, etc.  

BROMELIADS                                                    ORCHIDS   

WILDFLOWERS                                                GIANT TROPICAL FLOWERS




I have given many other personal presentations over the years. Here is a sampling.  

1. "The World Of Cacti", Cleveland Garden Center, 1965.

2. "Mesembs", Akron C & S Society, 1977.

3. "Life on a Tight Water Budget", Sigma Xi Society, Des Plaines,Illinois, 1978; Chicago C & S
Society, 1979; New Trier Men's Club, 1979; Milwaukeee Botanic Garden, Milwaukee Cactus
Society, September, 1982.

4. "Tissue Culture of Cacti", Chicago C & S Society, 1979.

5. "Raising Succulents From Seed", Chicago C & S Society, 1980.

Plus numerous other talks on various aspects of succulent plant culture at the Chicago C & S

More recent ones are focused on my available talks listed at the top. These are all profusely
illustrated with top quality digital photos.

6. Singapore Botanic Garden and Secret Cactus Garden of Singapore, Saddleback Valley
Bromeliad Society, early spring 2003.

7. Organpipe National Monument, Bakersfield Cactus Society, April 2003.

8. Silverswords, Orange County Cactus Society, October 25, 2003.

9. Nong Nooch Botanic Garden, Thailand, South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society, 2004.

10. Silverswords, Thailand, Saddleback Valley Bromeliad Society, January 6, 2005
                       BUDDHA TEMPLE, THAILAND NEAR LAOS

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