As a child, Patsy West collected tulumnias and Onc. Lucayanums with her Father at Hawksbill Creek on Grand Bahama Island in the 1960’s, which they imported under permit to their home in Ft. Lauderdale. From 2005-2009 she was president of Eclectic Orchids Design which specialized in orchid themed clothing, art, and home furnishings. With the Design Line, she was a vendor at the World Orchid Conference in Miami in 2008. During those years, she was also half owner of a cold-growing cymbidium farm on the Big Island, Hawaii. Located in the Puna District, 15 miles out of Hilo at 1,600 feet up Kilauea Volcano. The cut flower business at Mountain View had been established by a Baron and Baroness from Germany in the 1960’s.
Her 2005 exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society won a First Place Ribbon for the Manatee Orchid Society of Bradenton. She purchased the Ken Kone orchid collection of 1,700 plants that year. They have now been released and are growing in trees at her family property, Tide Creek, a host location on the 2011 FLOS Ramble. By profession, Ms. West is a noted ethnohistorian and University Press of Florida author on the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians of Florida.
A stroke of good luck took Patsy West to Ecuador February 2011 where she was introduced to the family of noted Ecuadorian orchidist and collector Alfonso Pozo. He and his daughter Monica have established The Orchid and Cloud Forest at Garupampa, a natural preserve of over 123 acres of native species: orchids, bro- meliads, ferns, and wild flowers at 8,600 -9,600 feet.
When not on the trails photographing orchids in the wild, awesome, ever changing Andean vistas and spec- tacular sunsets can be viewed from the Lodge. Her article “Visiting Alfonso Pozo” was in the May 2012 issue of Orchids magazine of the American Orchid Society. She has just returned from her 4th trip to Ecuador and will present a program on Orchids at Garupamba