Victor Engel

Joined: Aug 13, 2016 Last Active: Jul 24, 2024 iNaturalist

I grew up in Guatemala, the son of a Bible translator who used to be a horticulturalist. Both of us were keenly interested in orchids. I'd frequently get volunteered by my dad to climb up tall trees to go fetch an orchid he spotted while perhaps driving down the highway. My interest in orchids probably started when I was 4 years old in Chiapas Mexico, but it developed when I lived in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. I lived in Guatemala from 1969 to 1979. After that I lived for a year in Saskatchewan and then 11 years in Dallas Texas and then in 1992 I moved to Austin.

While in Dallas, I spent a good bit of time at what was then called the Dallas Nature Center in southwest Dallas, studying the Corallorhiza and Hexalectris species. I wrote an article on the saprophytic orchids of the area for the American Orchid Society Bulletin. Some time later, I collaborated with P.M. Catling on an article describing what is now called Hexalectris arizonica.

I'm not the type of person who studies herbarium specimens. I prefer to go out into nature and see living things. I met up with Dale Williams from Duncanville, and together we compared notes on the Hexalectris species in the area. I've not been very active recently in doing field work for orchids, but the recent activity on this site has inspired me to do some more exploring next year.

Meanwhile, I've started to catalog all the creatures that are attracted to a UV light, which means mostly insects. Those are likely to be the main new entries for a while, not counting additions added from my archives.

I just started a group on Facebook, Wilds of Travis County. It's intended to be a showcase for individual species native to the county. If you would like to participate, please request to join.

View All