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Today was Huntington day and hot.  Eunice had been set a project by one of her classes that told a story, and had decided that ‘Paul visits the Huntington’ was one option, so I was told where to stand, how to look etc. So this is what a Hollywood movie star feels like, with a bossy Director!
Nice to meet up with Karen Zimmerman again, after our talks at the Australian Convention in Brisbane in 2014 and to see her Aloe hybrids. Then, after lunch, ET commandeered me round the cactus garden.
Testing the D600 was not as easy as I thought, as they had installed the latest firmware on it as part of the full service. That meant that all my settings had gone, even the diopter adjustment to the eyepiece had been set to 0, so it seemed a completely strange (new?) camera with everything looking out of focus through the viewfinder. We didn’t have all day to reset my settings, after spending too much time chatting with Karen. So I managed just some six test images and they look fine on my small laptop.
Because I have taken my telephoto zoom lenses around on previous occasions, I was determined to shoot most images on the D750 with the wide-angle lens, to produce ‘something different’.
I was glad that Eunice drove to our next destination as I was tired after walking in the hot sun – still acclimatizing. They had closed off the freeway home without notice for road repairs, but we still arrived in good time for my presentation at the San Gabriel CSS, the largest of the bunch yet, with seating for an audience estimated at 180 set up. The mini show, plant and pot sales and the snacks and refreshment table were equally impressive, comparable to one of the larger zone conventions in the UK.

Again,  lots of nice people in the audience. One guy came over and introduced himself as Peter Sharp from Worcester Park, Surrey. He had been a friend and colleague both at work and at C&S clubs in the UK of Bill Maddams, who had recently passed away quite suddenly. He was wearing a T shirt showing off Echinocereus sharpii (not easy in UK cultivation!). He was the Mr Sharp that had discovered the plant!!!
Gunnar Eisel introduced me and Buck Hemenway was back after another trip to South Africa.
Unable to buy plants to bring back home, I bought my first two (smallish) ornamental pots as used in US shows, one from Rosanna Barella, originally from Mexico (with her husband carrying the plants in and out and counting the money). I took her picture at her stand and said she would now be in my ‘What I Saw Last Winter’ presentations in the UK and joked that by buying her pot, I was now her UK Agent. I don’t think that she was used to such a surprise.
The second pot came from a Japanese / Chinese / Korean lady and I have her picture as well. If any reader can provide her name I’ll update this page with it.
The talk seemed to go down well again, despite a sometimes problemetical PA system.
Ken from the Long Beach Branch (#1 presentation) liked it so much that he had come for a second viewing. Jim Hanna, with plant sales, must have liked it even better as this was his fourth attendance! I suggested that I’d just show the pictures and he could do the talking, so overcoming any language difference.
Ken had heard that we were going to Anza Borrego the next day and was interested in coming along.  Sure, we’ll take Elsie (Eunice’s car, a Land Cruiser, initials LC).
Another fun (but longish) day. No time for today’s Diaries before my eyes shut.

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