Dale was first stuck by the orchid bug in my early teens, when he discovered a commercial Phalaenopsis grower near where he grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1976, he quickly became acquainted with Rod McClellan’s orchids in South San Francisco and it wasn’t long until his kitchen window was brimming with orchids.
A move to Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) in 1989, afforded an opportunity to house the rapidly growing orchid collection in a backyard greenhouse. In 1999, he and his wife Lynne completed construction of a new greenhouse (and home) in Petaluma. Austin Creek Orchids was established in 2001. Semi-retiring from the high tech industry in 2014, left a bit more time for grandchildren, travel… and orchids!
In the past few years, Dale has focused largely on Paphiopedilums, although he grows many other genera including Angraecum, Bulbophyllum, Cattleya, Dendrobium, and various Vandaceous species and hybrids.
Dale has done a fair amount of international travel over the years, but with the exception of his 2015 trip to southwestern Australia, it was never about orchids. His presentation on “Orchids of Western Australia – Dragons, Fairies, Spiders, and other elusive creatures” provides an introduction to a few of the more than 400 unique terrestrial orchids that are found nowhere else but in Western Australia.