New backyard plant: Wild Cinnamon

Canella winterana foliage.

The rainy season is right around the corner, so last month I worked on the landscape a little bit. I’d been disappointed in the performance of the gumbo limbo tree out front; it was in the shade of the towering coconut tree that dominates that front yard, and I wanted to see whether it would do better in full sun. It was bothered by scale, the spiraling whitefly infestation that’s hit south Florida, and the sooty mold that both those pests leave in their wake.

After about a month t’s obvious that full sun is not keeping the scale in […]

Gumbo dreams

The "medium" gumbo limbo, showing the morning's rain everywhere. Boca Raton, FL, July 2, 2011.

Like most people, our house backs up onto another house’s back yard. We each have a backyard fence, and there’s about an 8-inch no-man’s land in between the fences. And that gap is being colonized with some plants, both native and non-native. One of the natives is actually quite a desirable tree: a Gumbo-Limbo (Bursera simaruba). According to the local wisdom here in south Florida, this tree is so easy to grow, you can just break off a branch, set it in the ground, and the branch will grow into a tree.

The problem is, the tree was not only […]

A trip to Gumbo Limbo

The most exciting thing about Sunday’s trip to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (other than giving Eric his first excursion in his new backpack) was the tree snail in the parking spot next to ours:

Related Images: […]

Sunday Stroll – thunder, no rain

After yesterday’s debacle, I decided not to bother checking the radar. It was clear out, so we went for our stroll. And a good time was had by all. The white-winged dove presided over Phase 1 of Operation Walk in the Park, just long enough for me to get a picture, even without my zoom telephoto:

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Saturday Stroll-with rain

This morning’s stroll, according to the radar, should have been safe. It had been raining off and on all night, but the radar images clearly showed that the rain bands that had been coming on shore all morning were petering out, and the last ones had already moved through our area.

Heh. So much for technology. If you want to know whether it’s going to rain: look outside! Unfortunately, I neglected to do that, so our morning stroll was quite a bit wetter than I’d expected. We spent most of the walk huddled under a palm tree at the new […]