If you are a pedestrian so slow, in the old-fashioned sense of slow on the uptake, that you need a sign to tell you not to stop here, please just do us a favor and stop anyway:

Railroad crossing, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Spiny palms

Plants have evolved many different defensive strategies over the millenia to enable them to compete for space. Some plants use chemical defenses like poison, sometimes signaled by bright colors, sometimes not. Other plants choose physical defenses against herbivory, like spines:

The spines on the frond of this Cuban petticoat palm (Copernicia macroglossa) are pretty subtle, but presumably effective. To protect its trunk, the tree just covers it completely in a coat of these fronds:

It would be pretty hard for an arboreal browser to get through that armor!

Taking the arms race one step further, this […]

You get to know things better when they go by slow

There’s a line in an old Poi Dog Pondering song (“The Ancient Egyptians”) that always sticks with me; the singer, Frank Orrall, is explaining to his friends, who keep asking him why they can’t just take a bus or a car, the reason he prefers not to: “No, no, no, didn’t you know, you get to know things better when they go by slow…” Right on, Frank! In this anonymous world of air conditioning and motor cars it can be hard to get a good sense of just how the world around us works, and we need to be able […]

Garage days

This morning’s stroll was a complicated affair. A flat tire on the main buggy meant the first part of the ride had to be in the backup wheels, while Dad went into the shop to fix the flat. You learn a lot of things in the shop: how things work, what a “jack” is, what a “pump” is. One other thing you learn, or at least you try to: patience! Take a look and see how Eric does!

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:

Related Images: […]

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 […]

Did Dr. Seuss take a walk in Boca?

About a year after we redid the landscape at our house, Florida native style, the landscaper we worked with sent Eric the classic book on environmental thinking for the young: Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. You remember it, I’m sure: truffula trees, brown bar-ba-loots, swomee-swans, all cavorting in a pre-development paradise.

Well, one of the things I’ve always sort of enjoyed about south Florida is how Seussian the landscape is. Even more than southern California with its joshua trees (although those are native), the flora here in Florida seems to have come straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss.


Saturday stroll

On the weekends I get to spend a lot more time with my son than I can during the week. There’s no rush to get out the door; no meeting to prepare for; no freeway traffic to fret about. The morning stroll can last quite a bit longer; we can take more than one, if the fancy strikes us, as it did today. Even during the week, though, when time is at a premium, Eric and I always find the time to go for a morning stroll, unless it’s pouring down rain. It’s usually just down to the corner and […]