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Light levels and "The mirror incident...."

This is a discussion on Light levels and "The mirror incident...." within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Some of you have read this already, but I thought I'd put it in the ...

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  1. #1
    mde's Avatar
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    Default Light levels and "The mirror incident...."

    Some of you have read this already, but I thought I'd put it in the orchid culture section as well........(originally in the Not in Bloom section in response to another posting on light levels in an Encyclia). On the off chance there is some other dip out there like myself, heed my warning: No light reflecting mirrors on your patio!

    I like Julie's description, so here goes, "THE BOND LASER" --->

    I've just been a little freaked out about sunburn since an extremely unfortunate event this past December. I'm laying this mistake out there for all to hear. Yes, it's true, I'm apparently not as good a plant parent as I lead on to.

    I have a habit of using reflecting mirrors on my patio. It attracts the birds, and it can "play the light" beautifully if angled properly at certain times of the year. Well, when winter came to us here in Minne-snow-ta, I just kind of forgot about them, and by some freak chance, one was propped at just the right angle to catch the sun on the Winter Solstice and the approximately 5-6 days after (not kidding here) and it sent a laser beam of light into my living room, right through an encyclia leaf , on through multiple leaves of a brassia , into several dendrobiums , an oncidium , a zygopetalum , and finally through an African violet , before it dissipated somewhere near the stairwell. I was out of town this week, and when I got back, I discovered these dead brown spots through my prized foliage. And honest, I couldn't figure it out. I was totally perplexed. And horrified. And then on Sunday the 26th of December, I was home for once during the daylight, and behold, this beam of light was shining through the dead spots, dead on (pun intended), and I felt these spots, and they were "hotter than Haiti" as granny would say.

    Moral of the story: no mirrors on your patio if you are growing orchids inside the sliding glass window.

    I'd love to blame some jealous neighborhood orchid grower who also is adept at meticulously calculating sun angles to mirror angles, but I didn't know Kevin back then . (just kidding Kev-I'm still chiding you over your roots and leaves thread posting! Really, I am happily insane, and very definitely, beyond any reasonable doubt, anal-retentive, and glad to be that way!)

    -Matt

  2. #2
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    Well, I guess at least it's nice to know that the winter sun does have some punch if manipulated. I thought this was one of the gloomiest winters I can remember. It just seemed like there was never any sun.

    I think there might be an anal club here somewhere in the near future.

    Me

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    How about a poll for President of the AR. club Gin

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    Do you think a pool can do the "mirror" affect? I have my orchids on my pool patio, so im interested in how it affects the amount of sun my orchids get. Does anyone know?


    Tracy

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    Sounds like a top-secret James Bond orchid laser slicing out of a woman's compact (do women use these anymore? maybe a cell phone or a PDA...)

    Julie

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    I doubt that the surface of water could reflect light so locally....most of it dissipates as it penetrates the water, and what little is reflected probably is beneficial since it would be so diffused. Even my mirrors last summer would reflect some light in, but just not at such a sharp angle, and it never caused any harm then. But I don't want to be responsible for an orchid tragedy so I'm adding a disclaimer....reflect at your own risk!

    Matt

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    OMG I just saw this.

    At least you discovered what was causing that! I'd have been tearing my hair out.

  8. #8
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    Louis-

    Believe me, I was. I'm fairly new to orchids, so I had all kinds of thoughts swirling around....virus, bacteria, rot, water issues, etc. Light never crossed my mind since it was the lowest intensity time of year, but it must have been the exact angle? At any rate, lesson learned. I now have a number of orchids with holes cut in their leaves, as I couldn't stand to see those brown spots every day!

    Matt

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