Day 1

Good morning!

Technically the title of this post is wrong.  It’s day 2 today, although I didn’t write about day 1 yesterday due to tiredness!  To give you an idea of the dedication we have to update you all; it’s now 5:45 and I’m sitting at my laptop drinking coffee!

‘WOW’ is the only word I can use to describe the Big Bang Fair!  WOW Indeed!  My stand has been judged twice today and I’m looking forward to the results this evening.  I’ve been told that our Lab team have also had a very busy time, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t seen them!

Stand 28 & 29

The show is now sold out and a total of 20,000 people will be coming through the doors over the three days (including yesterday).  It really is amazing.  If you’re looking for more photos, have a look at the Big Bang Fair’s Facebook Group.


Greetings from Manchester!

Greetings from the Big Bang Fair in Manchester!

As you may be aware we are in manchester from now until Saturday for two reasons:

1) I (Luke Barnes) am in the finals of the National Science and Engineering Competition (intermediate age category, science devision).  This means that I have a little display up here, displaying my work on Changing orchid altitudes in the Sikkim Himalayas.

2) We (Writhlington Orchid Project) have a stand demonstrating our STEM Club (Science, technology, engineering & maths).  This will include demonstrations of Micropropagation of Orchids at the show, as well as talking to people about our project.

I look forward to keeping you up to date on both of these ‘strands’ or our presence at the Big Bang.  It looks so far like it’s going to be an amazing event!

Until next time!


Behind the Screens

You may have seen how recently we have been playing with a green screen to make a very fun little video about Sikkim’s climatic zones.  You may be wondering, what is going on behind the scenes?

The 'snow' moment on the green screen

The following pictures will hopefully give you an idea of what our green-screen (or ‘chroma key’ as it’s known as in the ‘Film Biz’) filming was like.  Come behind the scenes  screens with us at WSBEOrchids!


Playing with a green screen.

What happens when you cross a project relating to the Himalayas, a team of enthusiastic people, a green cloth and a lot of little bits of paper? I thought not!

You may or may not know that when filming in front of a green screen (or cloth in our case) you can make yourself appear to be anywhere in the world.  We tried this today and think that the results are quite impressive!


Setting seed for the future

One of the most popular tasks at Writhlington is pollinating plants to produce seed to use in the orchid laboratory. We produce most of our seed this way which means that we can be absolutely sure that seedlings are the correct species and keep photographs of the parent plants. The job of pollination goes the the student in charge of that group of plants and since Cattleya percivaliana was in flower last week it was Heather that had the job of polinating it.

Pollinating Cattleya percivaliana

Seedlings of Cattleya species are always popular and we find most of them produce good strong seedlings. In the photo you can see that Heather is using a thin stick to transfer pollen to the stigmatic surface. If pollination is successful she will see the seed capsule swelling behind the flower in a week or so. The seed will be ripe and ready to sow in about twelve months. We will keep you informed on progress.