OSA is pleased to welcome as our speaker, Chris Gubler, Gubler Orchids,
of Landers, California. The subject of Chris’s presentation is: the transition
of orchids in the marketplace, and the changes reflected in Gubler Orchids.
Chris majored in Ornamental Horticulture with minors in Botany and Marketing
and graduated from California Polytechnic, Pomona. There are very
few orchid nurseries in the US that are owned and successfully operated
by third generation orchid growers. Gubler Orchids is one of those few
nurseries. Plants on the March raffle table will be donated
by Gubler Orchids. (In October, 2000, when OSA School Program Team
Members traveled to Landers to present our orchid programs for the children
in the area, Chris donated three large cartons of fine fir bark which we
have been using in our school programs in Arizona. He has also been very
generous in pricing seedlings which we purchase for use in our school programs
and sale plants for our November show.) We are especially pleased
that Chris agreed to speak to us because his busy schedule does not allow
time for presentations to orchid societies. He agreed to speak to us because,
he said, “you’re special”.
GREETINGS ORCHID ENTHUSIASTS
Believe it or not, we are already planning for our next wonderful Orchid
Show. The 2001 show theme is Orchids in Toyland. The idea is
to collect new toys that will first be used as show props and then be donated
to Toys for Tots for children who may not otherwise have a happy Holiday.
I think this a wonderful and worthy plan. With your help, we
can start gathering toys now because I’m sure it will take some time to
accumulate enough for an impressive show and a generous donation.
I’ll be giving you more information in the months to come.
Thank you all for your help and generosity.
From the President’s Desk
Lou Ann Remeikis
I am so psyched to have Chris Gubler speak to us at our March meeting!
For those of you who have never met him, you are in for a real treat.
For those of us who already know and love him, we are thrilled to have
him make a presentation to our group. Bless his heart, Chris will
be coming to Phoenix in a whirlwind a couple of hours before our meeting
and will be off at the crack of dawn the next day as he is due in Hawaii
the next day! I really appreciate his commitment to keeping his speaking
engagement with OSA members in light of the fact he has other demands on
his time! I hope everyone can attend the March meeting to show their
appreciation for his efforts! I’m sure you will be rewarded by attending!
There were a number of activities that OSA participated in during the
month of February. We first participated in the Phoenix Chinese Week
2001 Festival celebrating the Year of the Snake. Although I was unable
to assist any of the three days the festival was held (due to my clumsiness
and breaking my foot), I appreciate so many people pitching in to make
our participation a success. The following is a list of the members
who showed up and worked at the festival. I send you a sincere thank-you!
Bob MacLeod, Julie Rathbun, Kelly Thomas, Wilella Stimmell, Pam Albright,
Jennifer Busch, Shirley Engberg, Connie Hall, Jennifer Hall, Jane Heckel,
Norma Kafer, Gary Kooistra, Ainsley and Bryan LaCour, Kathleen Luther,
Glena Petro and Rhonda Woodward.
I apologize if anyone was overlooked and not recognized for their assistance
at the festival. I cannot stress enough that the success of OSA depends
on members such as the ones listed in this newsletter. It is YOU
that keeps OSA strong!
Another event OSA was a part of was the Boyce Thompson Arboretum’s Language
of Flowers, held on February 10th and 11th. Kelly Thomas, Karen Berger
and I manned the OSA booth on Saturday and Wilella Stimmell and Julie Rathbun
took over for us on Sunday. We had a lot of fun talking to different
people from all over the world. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a unique
place that is sought out by people who spend their winters living here
or vacationing from some pretty fascinating places. I also enjoyed
the cool (not cold) weather yet seeing snow covering the mountain at the
Arboretum. All in all, a very pleasant day!
How do I thank Aaron Hicks for pitching in and presenting the February
in-house program on the Vanda sanderiana seedlings? Aaron did not
know he was making the presentation until that night! Not only did
he conduct the in-house program, he brought additional seedlings from his
collection just in case we ran out of the sanderiana seedlings. Aaron,
you are such a good sport! Thank you.
Did everyone have an opportunity to bid on those beautiful nobile dendrobiums?
We were very fortunate to have found any, and of course we share the wealth!
If we could have obtained more, I’m sure they would have found good homes
to go to!
OSA’s Librarian, Glena Petro, will soon complete an inventory of our
Library. We will make this reference list available to the members
so you can see what is available for check-out. Any “member” is allowed
to check out these reference materials to read and study. This
resource is maintained for YOUR benefit, so take advantage of it!
As mentioned at the February meeting, Norma Kafer is to be recognized
and thanked for her efforts in getting the February newsletter out to our
members. Wilella Stimmell usually leads a team of volunteers to copy,
fold, tape, address and stamp the newsletters before delivering them in
mass to the Post Office. Willie was in Sarasota during the time this
task needed to be completed and Norma jumped in and did the whole thing
without any help. Thanks again, Norma!
FYI - The OSA Board of Directors are starting the preliminary work
on our annual field trip. It was the consensus of members at a recent
regular meeting that Santa Barbara’s Orchid Show is the field trip of choice.
We have learned the Santa Barbara Orchid Show is scheduled for July 21st
and 22nd. We traditionally attend the show on Saturday, so
we will be working towards that end and will provide further details in
the near future. So, mark your calendars for July 21st if you plan
Before I close my message to you, I wish to also thank Julie Rathbun
and Wilella Stimmell for taking the time, and at their own expense, to
travel to California recently to obtain orchids for the Society - to include
seedlings which will be used during the Community Service Programs coming
up. They really go above and beyond for the good of the Society,
and we all appreciate it! I should go ahead and thank some
of our members, in advance, as there are several who are traveling to California
to attend the San Francisco Orchid Expo. The Orchid Expo takes place
February 24th - 26th. Members who attend the March meeting will have
an opportunity to take home orchids brought back from this orchid show
as the attending members are bringing back plants for another silent auction.
ANOTHER reason to attend March’s meeting, huh?
I think the March meeting will have something for everyone. I
look forward to seeing you on March 1st! Until then…
ARIZONA FEDERATION OF GARDEN CLUBS FUND-RAISER 2001:
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the AFGC Fund-raiser on MARCH
17 at the PHOENIX ELKS LODGE, 14424 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. The festivities
begin at 10:00 a.m. and continue until 2:00 p.m. The theme of the fund-raiser
is: Arizona - From Desert to Oasis. Each of the affiliated clubs is supporting
the fund-raiser by donating items which will be sold at set prices, placed
in a silent auction, or sold via a live auction. (OSA’s Board of Directors
voted to donate 6 blooming plants to the fund-raiser.)Donations of items
from individuals will be happily accepted by fund-raiser committee members.
Phone Linda Chumney (480-496-4563) to arrange for pick-up of items.
Ticket price is $25.00 and includes lunch, speaker, and camaraderie. Make
check payable to: AFGC and mail to: Dot Valenti, AFGC Fund-raiser Registration
Chair, 511 Leisure World, Mesa, AZ, 85206-3123. Gene Perret,
humorist for ARIZONA HIGHWAYS magazine, will be the featured speaker and
will autograph copies of his books. Master Gardener, Chuck Reading, will
be the auctioneer.
FACTOID: “China produces and discards more than 45 billion pairs of
disposable chopsticks every year, cutting down as many as 25 million trees
in the process, according to government statistics. ... At the current
rate of timber use, environmentalists warn, China will consume its remaining
forests in about a decade.” ARIZONA REPUBLIC, February 11, 2001, page A30.
OSA COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator
On February 14, JANE HECKEL, NORMA KAFER, JAY MUNN, JULIE RATHBUN, KELLY
THOMAS, and I presented three Orchid 101 programs for 94 2nd and 5th grade
students at Jefferson School, 120 S. Jefferson Ave., in Mesa. In addition
to OSA program team members, our helpers included three teachers, two teacher’s
aides, and a non-orchid grower whose name is familiar to OSA members because
she paints orchids on textiles, pottery, wood, and she has donated several
of her masterpieces for our annual December fund-raising auctions. (Rosemary
McCain loves to paint, and she has said, “I can paint on anything.”)
Program team members brought an assortment of blooming plants for our display
table, and after each program ended, the students closely inspected the
flowers and asked many questions. On one plant, Restrepiella ophiocephala
(common name: Snake’s Head Orchid), the children had an opportunity to
see a developing seed pod, a keiki, and flowers. The plant was an
excellent visual aid, as were: a Phalaenopsis hybrid with crown rot which
reinforced our advice to the new plant owners that they not leave water
standing in the crown of plants; a deciduous Calanthe Cornelius Vanderbilt
in flower; a vandaceous orchid growing in a basket with no medium; a plant
growing in a tree fern fiber “pot”; and a plant that needed to be repotted
and groomed. The Jefferson students had no reservations about
getting their hands dirty with fir bark, but two students weren’t particularly
happy to find a juvenile sow bug and a tiny earthworm in the bark mix of
the original seedling pots. The sow bug was squashed; the fate of the earthworm
is unknown. Sheri Bewsey, the teacher who scheduled our programs,
provided lunch in the school cafeteria for our team members. It had been
many years since any of us had eaten in a school cafeteria, and we were
pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of foods offered.
When we introduce school children to orchids, and they are made aware that
the native habitat of the magnificent plants on display is the rapidly
disappearing rainforests, we move one step closer to meaningful conservation.
A special word of thanks to new OSA School Program Team Member, Jay Munn,
for volunteering to help with our programs. Since Jay had not observed
one of our presentations, he had no prior knowledge of what was in store
for him when he appeared at Jefferson School. We put him to work, and he’s
coming back for more of the same! He plans to help with the next round
of programs which will be presented for Paramount Academy.
There has been a DATE CHANGE for the three programs we will presentfor
78 Kindergarten students at PARAMOUNT ACADEMY, 11039 W. Olive, Peoria.
The NEW date is Monday, MARCH 5. Time of day for each presentation (9:00,
10:00, and 11:00 a.m.) remains unchanged. On MARCH 20, we will present
a program for 26 Kindergarten students who attend SPIRIT OF HOPE MONTESSORI
SCHOOL, 14403 N. 75TH Ave., Peoria. Our presentation will begin at 9:30
a.m. We welcome wider participation from OSA members in our school
programs! If your day job prevents you from assisting or observing during
our presentations, feel free to furnish our team with: lava rocks (used
in the bottom of the milk jug “greenhouses” - available at sand/gravel
businesses where you bring a shovel and buckets); large, clear plastic
bags (placed over the milk jugs) - two gallon size; small/fine fir bark;
or 10 ½" x 13 1/3" sheets of 7-mesh plastic canvas - available at
craft shops for 25 cents a sheet (each sheet is cut into 6 pieces, and
each piece becomes a platform for a seedling pot in the milk jug greenhouses).
We are always in need of these items, and OSA members have generously donated
them. Be on the alert for recycled clear, square, 2 ½"
band pots. We are using 3 ½" inch clear pots for our school programs,
but they must be cut down so they will fit on the platforms inside the
milk jug greenhouses. The smaller, clear band pots would not need to be
reduced in height. A spokesperson for Anderson Die & Manufacturing
Co., Portland, Oregon, stated that the company had made the band pots “a
hundred years ago” (surely an exaggeration!) as a special order for a commercial,
California orchid grower. Any of the pots still in circulation, probably
were saved after the orchid seedlings potted in them, outgrew the pots.
The spokesperson for Anderson also stated that the company could be persuaded
to again manufacture clear band pots if there was a large enough demand
for them. (A band pot has a cross on the bottom of the pot. Water drainage
is achieved through a space in the shape of a triangle at each corner.)
A LAYMAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE FIRST ANNUAL DISCOVERY SEMINAR SERIES:
FOUNDING SCIENTISTS OF SELBY GARDENS
by Wilella Stimmell
On January 25, 2001, it was my pleasure to be seated in a room with
internationally renowned plant biologists. In a lecture forum, ten scholars
shared their views on tropical plant discovery. The first presentation,
Documenting Orchid Diversity, was made by Calaway Dodson, First Executive
Director of Selby Gardens and founder of the Orchid Identification Center,
and currently Senior Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Dr. Kiat Tan, who served as Assistant Director to Cal Dodson, was the first
director of the Orchid Identification Center. Dr. Tan, current Director
of the Singapore Botanical Gardens, spoke of his experiences at Selby and
presented slides highlighting his work at both Selby and Singapore.
Dr. Carlyle Luer, Marie Selby’s surgeon, served on the board that established
the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and after a hiatus, currently serves
on the Selby Board of Trustees. Dr. Luer’s presentation featured a pictorial
history of Selby. D.C. Randle, Selby Research Associate and author
of children’s books, developed the environmental studies program for Crossroads
School in Minnesota. D.C. spoke about the vital need to involve youth in
tropical research. (He seemed quite pleased to later learn that in the
hinterland of Arizona, school children are being introduced to orchids.)
Dr. John Atwood spoke about conservation of tropical plant diversity and
revealed that Vermont considers itself the “cradle of conservation”. Liberal
churches there have a stated goal to protect tropical habitat. In
an innovative approach, John, an accomplished church organist, plans to
give organ recitals to raise funds to save tropical rain forests.
Dr. Robert Dressler spoke about plant taxonomy in the 21st century.
Robin Foster, Conservation Ecologist, presented a slide programof his latest
trip into Peru and reported that it was not possible to take any plant
material out of the country. The only means available to identify
species was to beam photos via satellite. Dr. David Benzig spoke
of the role of botanical gardens in a time of unprecedented global change,
and Dr. John Kress discussed the role of botanical gardens and natural
history museums now and in the future. (All of the presentations
were video-taped, and when the tape is made available, we might show it
during one of our monthly meetings.) In the panel discussion which
followed the presentations, several of the panelists revealed a rather
pessimistic view that meaningful changes would happen to reverse the speed
with which the remaining rainforests are disappearing. One member
of the audience chided the panelists for not being vocal enough “canaries
in the coal mines”. I mean no disrespect to the panelists, but the average
age of the men was probably 50. It seems unreasonable to expect that these
dedicated scientists, who have devoted their adult lives to research, should
also be expected to “sing”. Passionate laymen are capable of rendering
assistance in sounding loud warnings and might well make the difference
in whether our planet has a bleak or bright future. I came away from the
seminar with a renewed sense of purpose that what OSA is doing - exposing
Arizona school children to the treasures of the rain forests - is
tantamount to a canary singing in a coal mine. We’re singing as loudly
as we can!
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING SPECIES AND/OR HYBRID PLANT MATERIAL
FOR DNA STUDIES at the University of Florida?
In an e-mail received from Norris Williams, Department of Natural History,
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Norris states
that his laboratory is looking for: “1. Plant material from hybrids
of known parentage which the grower has BOTH the hybrid and BOTH of the
actual parental plants. Preferences are for members of the Oncidiinae,
Stanhopeinae, Vandeae, and Cypripedioideae, but we are willing to try other
groups. 2. Our ongoing projects on molecular systematics of the Oncidiinae,
Maxillarinae, Stanhopeinae, Vandeae, and other advanced orchids. We need
good material for vouchering and extracting. This could be an inflorescence,
or in some cases, just a couple of flowers and if at all possible one growth.
The actual amount we need for extracting DNA is small, a piece of leaf
about the size of a fingernail, or a flower.” Thanks to John Atwood
for a more complete explanation of which plant parts are needed for DNA
studies and how to collect them. “All you need is a test tube filled about
3/4 with silica gel. Pull off a flower or use a sterile razor blade and
place the flower in the vial. If you reuse a razor blade, it is important
to sterilize it under fire to eliminate contamination... You can use the
tip of leaf tissue, but it is usually tough to grind. All you need
is about a square centimeter of material. A soft leaf from the center of
a developing vegetative bud is usually easy to grind. ... It is best to
use two flowers, one for DNA, and one for a voucher... 1. Just lay
the flower (or flowers in the case of minute ones) on the silica gel, then
gently shake the gel over the flower until it is buried. 2.
Probably top the vial with silica gel. 3. For vouchering, ideally
you should send an entire growth with flowers to be made into an herbarium
specimen... However, that means sacrificing a bit of the plant’s production.
If not an entire growth, then an inflorescence, or at least a flower [should
be submitted for DNA testing]. ... A second flower is bare minimum.
...a soft leaf still emerging and growing could be used, but at this time,
flowers are preferred.”
To contact Norris Williams for instructions on how to package plant
material for shipment, send a message to: email@example.com
POSSIBLE SILENT AUCTION AT THE MARCH 1 MEETING: Prior to our March meeting,
several OSA members are traveling to San Francisco and will attend Pacific
Orchid Exposition. For the past several years, our March meetings have
featured silent auctions of plants OSA purchased at Orchid Expo. Last year,
in addition to plants purchased by growers for their own collections, OSA
purchased 177 plants, most of them in bud/bloom, for our March meeting
silent auction, AND four OSA members transported all the plants in an assortment
of boxes and suitcases with them on their flights back to Phoenix. The
tension mounts as the travelers anticipate which plant treasures they will
find this year!
ORCHIDS AND CULTURE SHOCK
By John T. Atwood, Senior Scientist
For Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
This year Selby Gardens exhibited one of the most spectacular January
orchid flowerings in memory. Several paphs were brought into synchronous
flowering a full six weeks early. Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, P. philippinense,
P. X Mt. Toro, and P. stonei were displayed together with the expected
Cattleya percivaliana. Cattleya percivaliana specimens were especially
full, and seven containers of Paphiopedilum rothschildianum exhibited a
few racemes each with four flowers. Nature doesn’t always do as well. When
I visited Paphiopedilum rothschildianum in 1984 growing on its native serpentine
cliffs, no natural inflorescence exhibited more than three flowers probably
owing to the El Niño-induced drought during the previous season.
To what can we attribute this special flowering in Sarasota? Good culture
is part of the answer, but the rest is probably the cold treatment. Sarasota
experienced severe cold snaps in December and January. Years ago the effects
of cold on flowering was tested on Paphiopedilum insigne. Plants subjected
to cold displayed far greater flower production than the controls that
were kept warm. For a long time temperature drops have been known to trigger
flowering in orchids, and some just will not flower without it. Warm nights
limit production of standard cymbidiums in Florida, most of which grow
well, but rarely flower. As an extreme observation, once I was determined
to coax a Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum into flower by subjecting the plant
to freezing temperatures. The surface of water in a glass froze when placed
beside the plant. Without apparent harm from the freezing temperatures,
the plant flowered a few weeks after it was placed in a warm sunroom.
In Florida, cold fronts bring real concern for freezing, and
some orchids, notably Phalaenopsis, should not be subjected to temperatures
much below 55 degrees F. But seasonal cold is useful for triggering the
flowering response when danger from freezing can be excluded. Hardiness
in some orchids, notably most cattleyas, and Dendrobium bigibbum (Dendrobium
phalaenopsis) hybrids is surprising. Robert [Bob] Scully (personal communication)
has noted the poor flowering of Cattleya mossiae in Florida because of
the higher temperatures.
Understanding natural habitats is key to cultivation of any plant, especially
those species collected from the wild, therefore some field observations
from the tropics may be useful in understanding the flowering response.
Even lowland tropics are occasionally chilly. Once I slung my hammock in
a Nicaraguan cloud forest at about 3,000 feet only to awaken to extreme
cold intensified by strong winds. I avoided hypothermia by lining my hammock
with newspapers that I normally used for pressing plants. Orchids living
in this area included Maxillaria mombachoensis, several species of Elleanthus,
Sobralia, Epidendrum, and numerous pleurothallids. Cold air drainage on
Mt. Kinabalu keeps Paphiopedilum rothschildianum well chilled nightly.
I once spent a night in the Philippines at 47 degrees F with Paphiopedilum
haynaldianum. In Monteverde, Costa Rica, cold fronts (“nortes”) occur in
January and February accompanied by high winds, mist, and rainbows-fine
weather for catching pneumonia!
The eighties brought record cold to Sarasota, Florida. After losing
six Laelia anceps mounted on pines to the Christmas Eve freeze of 1989,
I realized growing epiphytic orchids permanently outside is risky. Still,
Dendrobium nobile survived my grim experiment as did Laelia briegeri growing
on a south-facing stone wall. The eighties were followed by a mild decade
with few frosts and subsequent poor flowering in Cattleya mossiae. Now
in returning to the predicted cold cycle I wonder if Selby’s Cattleya mossiae
will surprise us this year?
THANK YOU LETTER RECEIVED:
In thanking OSA’s Board of Directors for bestowing Honorary Life Member
status on him, Dr. John T. Atwood, Senior Scientist for Marie Selby Botanical
Gardens stated: “Your society has been most helpful to me over the past
several years. This membership demonstrates your appreciation especially
for my articles that you publish in your bulletin, and I will continue
to write similar articles from time to time. Thank you for your kind expression
Butterfly Quilt raffle tickets will be available at the March meeting:
$1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. Proceeds go to the Arizona Federation
of Garden Clubs. Drawing will be June 3, 2001. Photo is available.
SEEING IS BELIZING
by Monica Hansen
Graduate Student, Environmental Sciences, Northern Arizona University
For those readers who might not know who I am, I have been the grateful
recipient of two OSA scholarships. I received an OSA scholarship which
helped me complete my senior year of my Bachelor's degree program in Botany
at NAU, and I received another OSA scholarship which enabled me to begin
my Master's degree program in Environmental Sciences at NAU.
I developed my love of plants, especially of orchids, in Indonesia,
where I spent my childhood. I had a wonderful opportunity during
this past winter break from my studies, to leave the Ponderosa pines and
the snow-covered San Francisco Peaks to journey to the splendid tropical
country of Belize. I traveled with my co-worker, a plant ecologist for
the USGS-Colorado Plateau Field Station. The purpose of my trip was to
compare my thesis topic - studying the effects of harvesting plants by
Native Americans within National Parks - to the Belizean perspective of
cultural and biological sustainability.
I was surprised to find that Belize is an environmentally aware country.
Approximately 40% of the country is preserved with Eco-tourism providing
an income for many of the indigenous peoples. Most people with whom I spoke
were concerned with the state of the forests, and billboards abounded with
messages about conservation.
My first Eco-tourism adventure was to Caye Caulker off the coast of
Central Belize. I went snorkeling within Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swimming
with nurse sharks and manta rays, and visiting the mangroves where I saw
manatees swimming about. The mangroves provide an excellent opportunity
for Eco-tourism as well as promote preservation of the fragile ecosystem.
The Belizean government has enforced strict rules on the use of motorboats,
trash pick-up, and numbers of tourists permitted within these areas.
My next Eco-tourism adventure was inland - to explore the tropical
forests, and of course to see the national flower of Belize, the black
orchid (Encyclia cochleata). I spent most of my time in San Ignacio, in
Western Belize. Within the Mountain Pine Reserve, I saw many orchids, including
Encyclia cochleata, which the locals were proud to display. I spent time
canoeing the Macal River and looking at iguanas sunbathing, epiphytes covering
the trees, and tropical migratory birds along the river banks. Along the
river, we stopped at Panti Medicine Trail. Along the trail are found over
4,000 plant species, with approximately 50 species identified for the tourists.
The trail is an example of the effort being made by the Belizean government
to incorporate indigenous knowledge and preserve the rainforest. Medicines
from the plants along the trail are extracted sustainably for commercial
export and provide funds for the maintenance of the reserve. I had not
been aware of this method of incorporating local peoples for sustainable
cultural and biological preservation, and it seemed revolutionary to me.
Belize was much more environmentally aware than I expected, and I hope
the natural beauty and biological diversity will be preserved for future
generations. As a botanist, I was pleasantly surprised at the effort
to support all types of habitat, including the lowland tropical forests,
mangroves, and the mountain pine forests. I hope that Eco-tourism will
provide financial support for preservation of more areas within Belize
and that indigenous peoples will follow sustainable practices that will
facilitate preservation of the forests and cultural knowledge of the plants.
A Warm Thank You
We in the Western Saddle Club and The City of Phoenix want to thank
all of you who helped us with The Unique Horse Show and The Special Olympics
in January. Without people like you helping, we couldn’t put this
show on. Also, I hope you enjoyed the kids as much as we enjoyed
having you all.
Hope to see all of you next year.
Thanks again for helping
This month’s website comes to us from
The site: The Arizona Orchid Society
The Address: Http:/welcome.to/orchidsocietyaz
Things are constantly changing at our web site! Check us out
regularly, or catch up on a past issue of the Orchidist! Have fun!
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