Well, this is likely old hat for you more experianced members, but for a noob like myself, it was a big lesson learned.
I recently recieved some VFT's from another member in a trade. They were well packaged, shipped Priority mail, all the normal precautions taken. Unfortunantly, they sat in my mailbox for about 2 hours, in direct sun, on a typical Phoenix June afternoon with temps in the 110's before I got home from work to retrieve them. I knew the moment I opend the box that I was in trouble. The plastic baggie filled with damp LFS they were packed in, aside from being hot, smelled like steamed vegetables when I opened it. I was SICK! So, I'm posting my experiance to help others avoid having 'steamed CP's'.
I have come up with a couple of tips to help avoid catrastophies like I had. First, request the shipper mail the plant so that they have the best chance of arriving on a day that you will be home to recieve the package or alternitivly, shipped with reciept signature reqiured. That way, if your not home to recieve them, they go back to the Post Office and wait for you to collect them, and not into the 'mailbox oven'.
The other thing that works, at least for me, is to also ask the shipper to send them in a larger box. The plants that got cooked were shipped in the USPS's smallest 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 1 3/4" free Priority box. That box appears to have been designed to just fit into the old standard size home mailbox. You know the kind of mailbox that's at the end of the driveway in most residentual neighborhoods. My front porch is always in the shade, and by using a larger box, the letter carrier will leave it by the front door, in the shade and out of the solar heated 'mailbox oven'.
I have no idea what the temp gets up to in mailboxes else where. It would be nice to know, if some of you in other areas of the country would like to put a thermometer inside your mailbox to check, and post results, that would certainly help. Here in Phoenix, my thermometer pegs out at 120 in no time flat during the afternoon heat. My guess is it got close to the 140-150 degrees in my mailbox. Poor plants ...
I'm sure some of you senior members can add some more tips to this, so please do.
I'm including a picture of the death trap box, in it's flat state, like you get them from the Post Office.