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Apologies for the long silence. First of all, internet facilities, if present, were poor, probably not prepared for four people with electronic gadgets descending on them.
Secondly, we met up with Ian and Cliff last night. Cliff reported a news item that the WordPress server had been hit by a hacker. In any event, I have not been able to access it since the previous message on 5th February.
Thirdly, soon after arriving in Mexico we took turns in being laid up by ‘The Airline Lergy’, bugs picked up as we pass through the ‘petridishes of the world’ on the way here. Alain was the first to go down – I’ll spare you the details – Jonathan was next, followed by Chris and finally I succumbed.
After two days of not getting out of the car for stops and not being able to finish
off a pint of beer at night – yes, it WAS SERIOUS!! Today I’m feeling a bit better.
So, this message comes as a test from Jonathan’s laptop. An earlier attempt to use Alain’s keyboard (thanks for the offer, Alain) failed due to the fact that his laptop has a Belgium keyboard, with all the keys of a UK keyboard taken like a letters from a game of Scrabble, throwing them up in the air and rearranging them in random fashion. The result was worse than my usual laughable attempts, but would have so confused my proofreaders, Jonathan Clark and Brian Bates, to make them reach for that well known song of the 1960’s: ‘They’re coming to take me away haha hihi’ by Napoleon XIV.
I managed to take 99 images today, so must be feeling better, but when I compare the list of plants that I photographed with Ian’s missive for today, it seems that we were two
different trips!
I managed 99 images, with little walking – too weak!
Checking through the images back home, I listed:
Agave sp., Astrophytum ornatum, Coryphantha clavata, Echinocactus platyacanthus, Ferocactus glaucescens,F. histrix, F. latispinus, Fouquieria fasciculata, Hechtia sp., Mammillaria crinita wildii, M. geminispina, M. longimamma, M. polythele ‘obcanella’, Opuntia sp., Quercus sp (Oak), Sedum (?) sp., Tillandsia sp., Yucca sp.
And this is Ian’s for the Saturday 11th.: ‘… it was good to see Paul was looking better than
he had been last night. Ian’s list for the same stop(s) was ‘Mammillaria elongata and M. rhodantha mollendorfiana, Neolloydia conoidea, Ferocactus histrix, Coryphantha cornifera, Echinocactus platyacanthus, lots of Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele most of which were in full flower. Much easier to find when in flower! Some more Coryphantha here as well.
The third stop (PK:S3571) was for another Turbinicarpus this time Tkrainzianus minimus. I found what I think was a T. pseudomacrochele and then higher up a nice group of T. krainzianus minimus. Chris was nearby so I showed him.
There was also a different Mammillaria that I need to id. A final stop yielded Ferocactus latispinus, lots of Stenocactus in flower, Coryphantha octacantha, and a M. formosa type.’
I thought that I had missed the Turbs  due to feeling unwell until, back in the UK, I found my images of the Turbs in the wrong folder on my HD! I have no memory of seeing these plants or taking the pictures! Scary!
Looking to confirm the ID of the Turbs: I seem to have taken only images of plants in flower, but the flowers hid the plant body and spination so that ‘one of the subspecies of Turbinicarpus schmiedickianus’ is perhaps the safest option.
Many thanks to Ian for his daily reports!

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