Back in April I bought a fresh mint plant from the supermarket. The normal pattern with these store bought plants then follows:-
Water the plant
Pick the leaves to use in different ways
Water the plant
Pick more leaves
Water the plant
Unless you have a garden…
Plant has barely any leaves left, doesn’t really recover and gets thrown away
Not this time. I was fed up of buying plants to use but then not having them last longer than a month tops.
Living in an apartment is limited when you want to keep your plants healthy, alive and a long time but having good weather most of the year certainly helps them stay around a little longer if not more work to keep them happily watered. If I’m hot then the plant certainly isn’t going to feel any cooler.
In the past I’ve had mint in the garden. It takes over patches year after year, gets stronger no matter how much you cut it back and always returns with a vengeance. It can quickly get out of control but smells amazing so you put up with it anyway.
I decided to tackle looking after this potted mint plant a different way. He’d already survived being grown, popped into a plant pot, travelling to the store and then coming home with me. It had even survived me plucking its minty leaves so I could at least help him survive a bit longer!
For more than 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab.
The restaurant was opened in 1913, by Joe Weiss, who began his Miami Beach career by cooking at Smith’s Casino. Joe’s is the top buyer of Florida stone crab claws, and it plays a significant role in the industry, influencing the wholesale price and financing many crabbers.
Even though stone crabs are their most famous dish now, fish was served, rather than crabs, when the restaurant first opened.
Joe’s Stone Crab is often visited by politicians, actors, and athletes. The restaurant is reputedly referenced in Ian Fleming’s novel “Goldfinger” as “Bill’s on the Beach” in which James Bond ate the best meal he had ever eaten in his life.
There are two sections to Joe’s – the Take Away section, although you can eat in too, and the main restaurant that offers a lunch and dinner menu.
Joe’s Take Away, is the best of both worlds. The Take Away is casual dining serving three meals a day, 7 days a week with a coffee bar and private room, JoAnns, for special occasions.
There’s a selection of breakfasts and speciality dishes available starting from 7:30am and yes Stone Crab is available for breakfast if you wish.
They have seasonal opening hours that coincide with the Stone Crabbing season (Oct 15 to May 15). When the season is over, Joe’s Take Away closes and the main restaurant only offers a reduced dinner menu available in the evening.
They also offer the famous authentic Key Lime Pie. You can buy them by the slice or alternatively take a whole pie away. This is a great option as you can freeze it until you need a piece (if it lasts that long!).
Interesting Facts about the Florida Stone Crab
The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. Its sweet taste and perfect texture, however, means its popularity has spawned a number of impersonators, including Pacific Rock Crab, Baja Stone Crab, Red Rock Crab and Japanese Crab (to name a few).
Because these non-Florida Stone Crabs don’t have the benefit of the warm tropical waters of the Keys and Gulf, they are stringier in texture and much gamier in taste. That’s why at Joe’s Stone Crab they only serve the real thing.
Florida Stone Crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts but are commercially harvested almost entirely in Florida. In the wild, adult Stone Crabs are easily recognized by their oval body and two large claws.
The adult body of the Stone Crab is dark brownish red, more or less mottled and spotted with dusky gray. An interesting feature about the Stone Crab is the mark on the inside of the large claw that resembles a thumb print.
If you are ever traveling down this way, you have to make time to visit the Coral Castle Museum.
Coral Castle was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.
The castle was originally located in Florida City in the 1920’s but was moved single-handedly to it’s present location by Ed in the 1930’s.
It was a fascinating tour. When you arrive you are greeted by one of the tour guides who will direct you to join one of the on-going tours – don’t worry you won’t miss anything as it’s a circular tour and you can join and re-join as many times as you wish if you missed any part of it.
Follow your welcome guide who will escort you to the entrance and explain how the tour will work.
As you enter you are greeted by one of the many knowledgable tour guides
Ed welcomes you to his home and encourages you to enjoy a tour. He’s looking a little under the weather.
Ed was only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall but as you wander around you will be amazed at how this sleight man could maneuver large heavy and rough coral slabs to construct a selection of beds, tables, walls, his workshop and sleeping quarters.
Ed’s welcoming message – you will be amazed and leave with more questions than answers!
Ed definitely had some interesting ideas – but how he did most of this is still clouded in mystery
Ed carved messages to keep his visitors informed
Admission to Coral Castle used to be a little cheaper back in the day but it’s still worth the entrance price. Check the website for current entrance fee prices.
Some of the features at the Coral Castle include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of a finger, a Polaris telescope pin-pointing precisely where the north star is located and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.
There is also the world’s largest and heaviest Valentine. The table is a perfect heart shape and weighs 5000 pounds!
The 9 ton gate is perfectly balanced and moves extremely easily. It is Ed’s amazing engineering skills that continue to baffle experts and visitors.
Ed accomplished this by drilling an eight foot longitudinal hole that precisely aligns with stone’s centre of gravity for perfect balance. The door fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side. The door is so perfectly balanced that it can be easily pushed open using only a finger. How he did this remains a mystery, as even the most advanced electronic analysis equipment we have today would find it difficult to reproduce it.
Cryptozoology – The search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti.
In fact did you know there’s a Cryptozoological Museum?
The mission of the museum is to share items cryptozoologically collected, since 1960, by Loren Coleman and gathered from other donators to his collection.
They even have a cryptozoological map of the Monsters in America. Check out the monsters living in your state.
Loren Coleman, author/co-author/contributor of over 100 books, is someone you’ve seen in Bigfoot and cryptozoology documentaries and reality television programs, since 1969. This museum is his legacy, and was founded in 2003. For more on the history of the Museum, click here.
Here in Florida we have the Skunk Ape. It’s also known as the swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape. It is a hominid cryptid said to inhabit the U.S. states of Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, although reports from Florida are more common.
Let me know if you spot any of these monsters. In the meantime, I’ll keep a lookout for the Skunk Ape…
Did you miss last week’s Dictionary Corner – Hump Day – why not check it out here
This morning, early on the beach, we were entertained by an amazing collection of clouds that covered the arrival of the sunrise. They were dramatic and each one was different from the next. It would have been rude not to capture them considering Mother Nature was putting on a great show.
Now you can enjoy them too…here are the collection of Morning Sunrise Clouds courtesy of Mother Nature herself.
Morning Sunrise Clouds
It was amazing that so many different variations of cloud were in the sky all at the same time. It looked like an artist’s brush had painted the sky.
They appear depending on the atmospheric conditions which change throughout the day. Each one unique, and even though you will see similar clouds again, they will always be different.
Do you have a favorite cloud? Can you name any of the clouds featured in these pictures? Let me know below.
Sometimes humans are just too interesting to ignore! On a recent trip we were enjoying a nice relaxing sit by a lake. In the distance we could see a few ducks, Ibis and Embden Geese walking purposefully towards us.
It turned out to be a wonderful photo op – they also had a lot to say, and even though we had no food to share, they ended up just sitting and chilling by the lake. Well most of them – one feathered friend, the Embden Goose explained a lot how he was extremely unhappy at the lack of food provided!
Somewhere up in the trees were a flock of crows but they kept out of sight even though they too had a lot to say.