I actually thought I was going to hear a presentation titled "The History of Gardening in the United States".
Well, that's next month's meeting.
From Parsons' website, http://www.flowershots.net:
Ron Parsons is considered by many to be one of the finest flower photographers in the United States. His photography and encyclopedic knowledge of orchids is known both nationally and internationally. He has been photographing orchids, wildflowers, and almost every other kind of plant for over 25 years, and has a slide collection that numbers well over 80,000 slides! Ron loves to travel, photograph orchids and wildflowers in situ, visit orchid and other plant enthusiasts collections, and most of all, to take photographs of plants and flowers that he likes.He also co-authored the recent book Calochortus (discussed here) and showed us pictures of twelve Mexican species from the genus that he observed on his trip. I believe my favorite was the pendant C. balsensis whose blossom was over three inches wide when pressed on a herbarium sheet.
He does film photography, not digital. Pictures on his website are scans of original photographs. I'm not a photographer, but I was intrigued to learn about the ring flash he uses to produce black backgrounds for close-ups.
Parsons and his collaborator Mary Gerritsen spent the first two weeks of last September photographing the plants and flowers that made up this talk. They visited parks and natural areas in several Mexican states--Jalisco, Michaoacan, Estado de Mexico, Morelos, Guerrero (he thought Taxco was a great place to visit), Puebla, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Queretero, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato. This was the end of the rainy season in central Mexico and it sounded like you couldn't hurl a sombrero without hitting some beautiful flower, rare orchid, or unusual agave.
As much as I enjoyed seeing all the lovely pictures of unfamiliar Calochortus, Bletia, Habenaria, Pinguicula, and Tigridia flowers, my pulse really quickened for the drifts of dahlias, zinnias, and an unidentified Tagetes.
I've said before that the rare and exotic tends to wear me out rather quickly, but does that mean I'm destined for a future of marigolds?