La Asociación Costarrense de Orquideología, this is the national costarrican orchid asociation´s annual orchid show is the biggest event of this kind in Costa Rica and probably in the rest of Central America and the Caribean. This year it´s in the Cariari Country Club.
Two judge panels from the American Orchid Society came this year to judge the plants. The results come from comparing the flowers characteristics with the ones in a gigantic data base from around the world.
This year´s show was much flashier than others I have seen in past years here. The exhibits are much better, though the lighting doesn´t help much when it comes to photographing (I had to use a flash for every take). If you can´t get enough light at noon, in summer in Costa Rica, there isn´t that much you can do, however, the ones I captured were not too shabby(you can see more in my photo blog: //www.flickr.com/Allendale/).
The only real complaint I have is that every coming year you see fewer and fewer native species in the show. In a country that boasts having about 1400 species of orchids (about one tenth of the ones in the world), this is discouraging to think about. I mean, it´s o.k if we have some chinese who export thousands of dendrobiums and vandas a year, but we ought to see some more of our own stuff even if only for the sake of scientific interest. Some say it´s because national species are protected which may be true but it´s hardly the point. Myself, I must admit I was one of the priviledged who found orchids in their own habitat some years ago (and I can can say there´s no feeling compared to actually finding an orchid no matter how many you can find in stores. Yes, I was one of those nuts that went to the jungle to search them. I also got some other thing like wasp and bee stings, ferocious ant bites and even the occasional scorpion sting (no venomous snake bites though I intruded in their domains great part of the time). Falls from trees, and other scratches and bruises. Yet if you ask me if I would do it again I surely would.