Marvin and David climb to collect epiphytes, Sarstoon-Temash National Park.
Once all the data is recorded that can be without touching the epiphyte, the plant is collected. Using knives, pruning shears, telescoping loppers or fingers, the collecting operation is almost surgical; great care is taken to disturb as little as possible of both the plant and the substrate it is attached to. If possible, only part of the plant is collected. After everyone has had a chance to view, photograph, examine why it is what it is (usually a conversation including words like sheath, pseudobulb, rhizome, stipule or petiole), and exclaim how beautiful and delicate it is; the epiphyte is tied with the numbered flagging tape, and placed carefully into a collecting bag to be put in a shaded part of the skiff.
Photograph by Tony Rath, from "To Boldly Go Where No One Wants To"
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