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Rain, and its consequences

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Great southern white male butterfly. Caterpillars are feasting on the new growth that has appeared with the onset of our rainy season. Gulf fritillaries, sulfurs and great southern whites are in the neighborhood, pirouetting and flitting, gliding and darting in the sun and shadows. Chomped leaves are a part of the show and our native passion vine, Passiflora suberosa, as well as the purple-flowering Passiflora incarnata are filled with crawly life. Alas, snails, too, are numerous, so it's...

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Mangos star in the culinary conference

Friday, July 9, 2010

When you line up to taste mangos Saturday at the International Mango Festival, see if you can determine the suite of flavors that Chef Allen Susser described finding in several mangos during Chef Allen Susser Friday's culinary conference: vanilla and honey, candied lemon; apricot, papaya and a little vanilla; lush peach and pineapple with a touch of acidity. It's this fine-tuned tasting that makes him a chef. Once he has figured out the flavors, this owner of Chef Allen's in...

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A Fabulous Weekend at Fairchild’s International Mango Festival!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For Immediate Release A Fabulous Weekend at Fairchild's International Mango Festival! Coral Gables, FL, July 14, 2010-Close to 10,000 visitors were in mango mania mode this past weekend, July 10 & 11, as they celebrated the "king of fruit" at Fairchild's 18th annual International Mango Festival. "It just goes to show that mangos are truly South Florida's favorite fruit," comments Dr. Richard Campbell, Senior Curator of Fairchild's Tropical...

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Topsy-turvy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dazzling Gloriosa superba. Hanging in Suzanne Kores' workspace in the Davis House is a giant reproduction of a 1999 stamp that depicts flowers of a bird of paradise, royal poinciana, hibiscus and gloriosa lily. Kores, who is the garden's director of program development, has taken the "stamp" with her from office to office. Outside the Davis House, a gloriosa lily is climbing a palm tree and dangling upside down flowers so beautiful they stop you in your tracks. Wavy...

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My Meadow Garden - Two Months Later

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It has been just over two months since I planted a small meadow garden in my front yard. The summer rains are enough that my hand watering is finished. The plants are establishing very well and I am really pleased with the results. Here are some photos I took last weekend: Click on images to enlarge In the photo above, the Croton linearis has grown so that it is almost completely hiding the limestone rock. The blue-green form of Elliott's lovegrass, Eragrostis elliottii, have also grown ...

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A bug's legs

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maypop, Passiflora incarnata, is passion vine with lovely purple flowers. It has been a great Fancy legs on this leaf-footed bug. draw at home for Gulf fritillaries, even though it has developed strategies that try to discourage butterflies from laying their Nectar glands on calyx ofa passion flower. eggs on the leaves. Its flower buds have nectaries on the edges of the calyces that draw ants, presumably to attack butterfly larvae. In addition to the ants, the plant tries to discourage ...

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Lotus Land

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Little wonder the lotus is a sacred flower in parts of the world. The Bali Red that opened at home yesterday is exquisitely proportioned and delicately colored. We acquired seeds from a gardening friend, and followed his instructions. Bali Red on its first open day. Seeds were scarified with a metal nail file and soaked in water for days in the kitchen window until the first leaf began to emerge. They were tenderly planted in aquatic soil mix but not put in the pond. Instead, we have them...

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July 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sandra Soto, a PhD student at the Universitat de Girona, in Girona, Spain, will be working with the SouthFlorida Conservation Team for the months of July and August 2010 on the Connect to Protect project. As part of her doctorate studies she was encouraged to undertake a 1-3 month research stay at the CTPC in order to further develop her research skills and gain experience with ecological and conservation theory. Her experience with biogeography, cartography, landscape ecology, and...

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