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The Taj Mahal

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Agra, India―Seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise strains one's vocabulary: stunning, elegant, magical, unworldly, transporting, lyrical and even poetic perfection of proportion in stone. Built by the Mugahl ruler Shah Jahan as a tomb for his wife Mamtaz Mahal, who died at age 37 after delivering her 14th child, the perfectly proportioned monument was begun in 1633 and completed 22 years later by some 20,000 workers and artisans working around the clock. The ultimate expression of Mughal ...

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Two Types of Temples

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A vast plain of temples some 800 to 1,000 years old lies down the Irrawaddy River south of Mandalay. The plain covers 16 square miles and includes more than 2,000 temples. This is Bagan, the most important archeological site in the country of Myanmar (Burma). In 1287, Kublai Khan and his Moguls invaded and broke up the Burmese kingdom, which had one stretched from India to the Mekong River, and for several hundred years, the jungle grew and reclaimed the stupas and temples. In 1975, an...

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A Fort and a Fair

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Pushkar Camel Fair The camels used in this part of the world are dromedary camels, each with a single hump. A camel develops one tooth a year (which is how you can age them) and can pull 2000 kilograms of weight. That's 4,400 pounds. A camel holds water in three sacks in its throat; the hump is fat. Pushkar, which is the site of a shrine to Brahma and has a holy lake in which pilgrims immerse themselves, is the scene of the annual camel fair. Located on the eastern edge of the Thar ...

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Team from Botanic Garden of Culiacán (Sinaloa, Mexico) Visits The Garden

Monday, November 7, 2011

Between October 31 and November 1, biologists and associate staff of the Botanic Garden of Culiac n (BGC) (Sinaloa, Mexico) visited the Garden. During this visit a memorandum of understanding with Fairchild was signed and plans for future research/education projects were established. Founded in 1986 this botanic garden has an extraordinary living collections of palms. Image on the left; from left to right: Ing. Carlos Murillo (Director of the BGC), MS Erika Pagaza (Scientific Director of...

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The AOS Partners with Fairchild

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is very pleased to announce that the venerable 90-year old American Orchid Society (AOS) in Palm Beach County, known for its passion for orchids and global leadership, is moving its international headquarters to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. With our shared commitment to conservation, education and research, we are joining forces to ensure the perpetuation and appreciation of orchids in North America and throughout the world. "The AOS' move and...

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Traveling in the Past

Friday, November 11, 2011

Village life in India remains as difficult as it was centuries ago. As we have driven through Central India, where the IT, steel and coal tycoons do not tread, we have watched grain being threshed and water being lifted from a Persian well by oxen. We have seen the same oxen pulling carts through village streets and women pumping water from roadside wells. Cattle, sheep and goats are herded on the roads as trucks, tut-tuts and ancient buses vie for the same narrow and rutted pavement. ...

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Dr. Hong Liu Attends 20th World Orchid Conference

Friday, November 11, 2011

Supported by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden our Dr. Hong Liu is attending the 20th World Orchid Conference at Singapore between 13 and 20th November 2011. Dr. Liu will deliver a talk on "Conserving Wild Orchids in Southwestern China: Buffering the Impact of Global Changes"...

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Harold Suárez from International Center for Tropical Agriculture Visits Fairchild

Friday, November 11, 2011

Between October 30 and November 11, Harold Su rez from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali (Colombia) will be visiting us. For the last five years Harold has been working at the Biotechnology Unit of CIAT where he has been involved in several projects with oil palm, fodder grasses and legumes. He has an interest in plant molecular systematics and during his visit he learned about our unique palm collections and also interacted with our colleagues from FIU, USDA,...

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Tea Time and a Botanic Garden

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Darjeeling,India--Tea gardens climb the hills beneath trees with delicate bipinnate leaves. Leaves gently fall among the tea plants acting as fertilizer while the trees provide just the right amount of shade for the shrubs that can live 50 years. Women are the tea workers, wearing cloth bags that quickly fill with leaves. These are hung from their heads, while their index and middle fingers are bound with strips of rags to protect them. This is the autumn or third and last picking of the ...

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Palace Flowers

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In central India, the Mogul influence is seen in all the palaces and forts of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur, as well as the the Taj Mahal in Agraand Akbar's magnificent tomb there. What I have loved most about these splendidly decorated places is the flower motif found again and again. At first, I tried to identify them. Lilies and lotus are pretty easy, and I managed to see a daffodil-like flower, but it turns out that most are imaginative interpretations by Persian-influenced artists. Here ...

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The Tiny Kingdom of Bhutan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We have come to the tiny landlocked kingdom of Bhutan, with a total population of 700,000, after spending three weeks in the world's second most populous nation. The country's single airport is here in Paro, pop. 10,000. What a refreshing change. It is the land of the thunder dragon, where the Dzong is both monastery and city administration center, where larch and spruce and pines reach through the clouds at 13,000 feet, but so do the prayer flags. The national tree is a cypress and the ...

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The Himalayas

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A summit on climate change in the Himalaya is emphasizing food security, energy and water security as well as biodiversity here in Thimphu, Bhutan's capitol. Representatives from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are working on a 10-year plan that will hopefully mitigate dramatic changes now affecting them. Glacial lakes are forming rapidly, and threaten to burst at any time as glaciers melt rapidly. In 2008, a major river here flooded, causing severe infrastructure damage in Paro, ...

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Autumn snow

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The thanksgiving holiday is both a chance to give thanks, and to catch up on all of the things that can get set aside in the midst of a busy autumn. Fairchild is absolutely delightful this time year. The weather is perfect, the grounds are prepared for festivals and larger number of visitors, and there are cannonball tree flowers. Back in late October I had the opportunity to give an invited seminar at Swarthmore College in southeastern Pennsylvania. It was a good excuse to visit several ...

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Research by Dr. Ken Feeley Highlighted in Cover of Diversity and Distributions

Friday, November 25, 2011

The article "Keep collecting: accurate species distribution modelling requires more collections than previously thought" by FIU-Fairchild Faculty Kenneth Feeley and Miles Silman (Wake Forest University) was published as the cover article in Diversity and Distributions (Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 1132-1140). This paper illustrates how temporally auto-correlated collection biases decrease the accuracy of species distribution models and hence necessitate larger sample sizes....

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MIAMI’S FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN PRESENTS WILL RYMAN AT FAIRCHILD

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MIAMI'S FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN PRESENTS WILL RYMAN AT FAIRCHILD Desublimation of the Rose Ryman to Unveil New Works Among World-Renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Including a 30-foot bloom, Ryman's Tallest to Date On View at Fairchild Starting December 1, 2011 - May 31, 2012 During Art Basel Miami Beach November 28, 2011 (Miami, FL)-Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden presents the unveiling of new, large--‐scale works by American artist Will Ryman,...

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The Keys to Growing Beautiful Bougainvilleas

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bougainvillea, in all the vivid colors of the tropics, is very easy to encourage blooming. The keys to promoting flowering in bougainvillea are: 1. Prune 2. Fertilize lightly 3. Less water. Remember this: bougainvillea blooms on new growth. Prune back your plant and lightly fertilize. This will promote new growth and flowering. On November 1, I pruned the bougainvillea next to my house. The next day I applied some 8-3-9 granular fertilizer and watered lightly. My bougainvillea on November ...

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