Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Christmas Pony Ride

After Christmas we took a walk and found ponies down the block.
D.J. enjoyed the neighbors tradition and told all about his horse ride.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Key Largo You Teach Them Young

Our grandson has a lifetime fishing license and he needs it to fish even when fishing off the family property.

Usually he uses a net for little fish and shrimp to put in the family aquariums. He will not eat shrimp because they are his friends. Now I wounder if he will eat this fish.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guess Were WE Went

Last night a friend took us to the movies. That's amazing, in that I go to the movies at least one movie every ten years. It was fantastic. The art of animation was at it's best, don't miss Avatar. Check out this trailer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Snow Here

It's in the 60's this morning and the television said that this is a cold spell and we will have another in 3 or 4 days. I guess that the reporter wanted to be sure that we dress up for the cold weather. And in the summer he will tell us that the rain is going to be a hurricane and be sure that you keep connected to their program.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Coral Gables Museum

The city invited us to see the progress of our new museum. This room is part of the old police station.
Here is a picture of the out side of the old building.
And here is one of the new part of the building.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Still Looking Good

This poinsettia tree is a Coral Gables icon. When it was put up after Thanksgiving the tree was green with red rings of flowers. Now the flowers are mature and the leaves are hard to see. If the winter is too cool the flowers will not be this pretty after Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Midnight Candle Service

We had 30 minutes of music before the service.

At the end of the service the lights went dim and we waited as one by one we had our candles lite.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ours Is 2D

Every one has it in 3D but ours is flat and big. Twenty years ago I was not sure that I liked this. Every year we put this up in front of our church and it means more and more to me each year. I hope to get a picture of the candle light service this evening.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Episcia cupreata

This relative of the Africa violet has already had damage from cold weather (notice the edge of the leaf in the middle). That was from and evening in the 50's. If we get nights in the low 40's the growth will all die but ground stems will grow back in spring.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Cold But The Orchids Still Bloom

It was 58f yesterday and 54f this morning. If the temperate stays above 40 there will be no damage. At 50 the tropical plants slow there growth.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Acting Like It's Spring

Tecomanthe hilli grows up into our Oak tree. Every spring it will turn the oak into a flowering tree. Then in the rest of the year it has a few flowers here and there. This is the first time that the vine has bloomed like this in December.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Palms That Are Easy To Grow, But Hard To Find

These are growing at the Montgomery garden. Fairchild also has them. Next time I go to one of those gardens I will get the name. I tried to google for the name, but it was fruitless. I did find a great palm site - take a look.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ae Ae Bananas

These are the small ones, the tall ones are on the other side of the garden. I have more Ae Ae bananas this year then ever. The summer was very hot and we had a lot of rain. I like it that way and the bananas seem to like it too. Here are some more pictures of my Ae Ae bananas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Birthdays In December

The four year old was born two weeks before Christmas and the little one was born on the 26th. It could be worse, you could be born on Leap Year and get presents once every 4 years.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A New Building On Miracle Mile

This building is at least 40 years old. For the last year and a half it was rebuilt, adding a second floor and a totally new front. It was a rectangular group of doors an windows. Now we have something to look at as we walk down the street.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jaboticaba Flowers Cover The Trunk

The jaboticaba flowers bloom on the trunk, starting near the ground and up to the smaller branches. Now for 3 or 4 days the garden will be filled with the fragrance of the flowers. The fruit will ripen in January. The two 70 year old trees are mature and they fruit off and on all year. The trees don't ripen their fruit at the same time. But the big crops are in the winter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One House Left

The Old Spanish Village group bought many commercial buildings and and even more blocks of homes. The owner of this house refused the money. Many cities would have taken this property for the good of the Village. The little guy had his way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Coccothrinax crinita

The Old Man Palm or the Old Mans Beard Palm has a beard, that is until it's really old. I'm old and have lost my hair and so has my Palm (here is a younger palm). My palm had a beard for 30 years and then it just fell off. This year I put some orchids on the trunk that will have a fountain of pink flowers every spring. All I can do is put on a hat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A New Water Feature In Coral Gables

This pool is in keeping with the other water features of our city. This one was built by the Old Spanish Village group.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Looks Like Summer In Our Yard

It got up to 89 yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Shrubs In Our Yard Are Orchids

The orchid is a Sobralia decora and it grows in the ground just like a regular shrub. The flowers last only for one day. Every few days 5 or 6 flowers will open up and a show like this one will happen maybe every two weeks in the fall and winter. This happened last Sunday and we had a number of friends come over the enjoy the orchid. Click here to see a closeup.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Advertisement On The Fence

I don't think this will be built. When Merrick was putting together Coral Gables in the 20's, he put aside land for churches. The city also gave the land for the University of Miami. Religions and schools would have a hard time to fine free land today. About 10 years ago a neighbor gave the city virgin land for a park. Now our city is mature and new space for parks, schools or churches come at a heavy price.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Advertisement On The Fence

This is one of the buildings that will be built in the Old Spanish Village.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One Empty Block In Downtown

The Old Spanish Village bought many blocks like this to produce the village. Some of the blocks were filled with homes, but this one was all commercial buildings. Every day there is something new in Coral Gables. The fence around the block has pictures of the buildings that will be built in the village.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Back Of New Entrance

Check out one of the old entrances
. The feeling is the same, but you know which is the new one.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A New Entrance To Coral Gables And The Old Spanish Village

This entrance has the style of the old entrances, like the Alhambra entrance. New constructions can us the style of the 20's and 30's but they can't make it so perfect as to pretend it is old.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Leaves Are Dropping And That's Not A Good Thing

These Ficus trees don't normally drop there leaves in the fall. Hurricanes could not kill them, but a little white fly will kill them. Fortunately Coral Gables has a large variety of trees in the public areas. Most of the Ficus trees are on public property because they are too large for your average back yard

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Every Corner Of Our Downtown

The little tree and the flowers are plastic, thus no watering needed. Also there are no electric lights. The city is trying to be 'green'.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Old YMCA, But Now We Wait For The New Village

In the 40's the Coral Gables YMCA used one of the floors in this building.

Now the building has a new life, the headquarters of Old Spanish Village. This company is remaking five blocks (maybe 10) in our city. Special villages dot the city, such as Chinese village, Dutch village, French village. This village is taking us to the future. We are all waiting to see what the economy will let us do.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Rare And Strange Fern

In a another year or two the fronds will touch the ground . It is spectacular.

I had one that did just that. After 20 years the plant was root bound and I had to take it apart. I wound up with 20 plants. Now I need to find some homes for the new ferns.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Rare Palm

Sorry, I don't know the name. This small palm is about 5 feet tall and it looks great. But I'm not sure what it will look like when it's 30 years old, on a tall pole like trunk.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Humpty Dumpty Has Been Put Together

The accident was on Sept 29 09. This last week the specialists finally got here and humpty-dumpty has been put together

Friday, November 27, 2009

The MBG Grows Talipots

The Talipot (Corypha umbraculifera) no longer can be found in the wild. The Montgomery Botanical Garden has at least 10 of them. And I have 2 in our front yard.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We Are Going To The Childrens House For Thanksgiving

With a pecan/apple pie.

And a pumpkin.


3/4 cup brown sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1//2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 ginger
Use of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are optional
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup rum
3 eggs whites
1/3 cup sugar

1/2 pint whipped cream

1 baked pie crust

In a saucepan mix together brown sugar, unflavored gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a bowl beat 3 egg yolks with 3/4 cup milk and stir it into the sugar mixture. Bring the mixture to boil and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in pumpkin and rum until the mixture is well blended. Chill the mixture until it begins to thicken slightly.

Beat 3 egg whites beaten with 1/3 cup sugar until they hold definite points. Fold into chilled mixture. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the baked pie shell and chill until firm.

Whip cream with sugar and vanilla to taste. Spread mixture over pie and pipe rosettes over to decorate. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Flower Of A Seedling Waterlily

In the spring a friend gave me a lotus plant and I planted it in a small pool. It grew for three months and then a baby waterlily popped up. A waterlily seed must have hidden in the roots in the lotus. Its 5 to 6 months old and the flowers should now only get bigger and better. Oh, the lotus didn't bloom the season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Palm Frond

Some people miss the beauty of a single palm frond and they see only the green ball on top of a big pole.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Saw This At The Ramble

I made a movie clip of the Ramble. Take a look.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Still

And that's all it needs to be.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Ramble At F.T.B.G.

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has a Ramble every November. It started yesterday and it will go to Sunday. This is the time to buy that rare plant. It's a high end garage sale.

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Of The Fishtail Palms

This Caryota gigas and often called the Thai mountain giant palm or black trunk fishtail palm.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Collection Of Cyclads

The average house doesn't have room to have more the one or two. It's nice to see a Cyclad collection that has the space that it needs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Would You Like This For Your Back Yard?

The Director of the Montgomery Botanical Garden lives on the property and this is his view.