Neighborhood Trees

If you wander your local neighborhood what kind of trees do you have?

Here are a selection of my local neighborhood trees and a lot of them are fruit trees 🙂 with a few mystery trees thrown in – do you know what they are?

Papaya Trees

A big thank you to Beatriz of gardeningB.com for pointing me in the right direction – these are actually Papayas not Mango as I incorrectly identified. See, I need all the help I can get 🙂 

However, I’m going to keep this fun Mango fact here 😉 because it’s so interesting.

Mango Mystery – Solved
Mangos are distantly related to a few plants that you’d probably never guess: the cashew and pistachio.

Fig Trees

Did You Know?
Fossil records date figs back to between 9400-9200 B.C.

Avocado

Fun Avocado Fact
Avocados will not ripen on the tree. They must be picked from the tree to initiate ripening. The leaves supply a substance that prevents ripening. The best way to store avocados is to leave them on the tree; they will store for 7 months or more when left on the tree.

Now it’s your turn..

I need some help identifying what the following trees/fruit are? Any clues?

and then of course there was this tree…

Large and nicely displayed in oversized plant pots but do you know what it is?
Large and nicely displayed in oversized plant pots but do you know what it is?

and this was underneath it…a good clue and useful to help identify it. Does this help?

Can you eat this? Looks like something you would dry and put out at Christmas time.
Can you eat this? Looks like something you would dry and put out at Christmas time.

If you can solve the mystery, please leave a comment below.

I’ll leave you with one last photo – a collection of mini balls that were under a palm tree. They’re definitely the fruit/seed from the palm tree (usually green when still attached) but to me they look like eyeballs. I guess Hallowe’en must be on my mind, even though it’s a couple of months away, and the colors reminded me of Fall/Autumn.

Not really eyeballs but it was such a funny collection I just had to snap a picture.
Not really eyeballs but it was such a funny collection I just had to snap a picture.

If you liked this, you may be interested in other food and drink articles
Witch Finger Grapes and The Most Tasty Cocktails


 

Witch Fingers Grapes

Whilst in the supermarket the other day I noticed an interesting bag of grapes called Witch Fingers.


Could be a lot of fun to eat at Hallowe'en
A spooky shaped grape. Could be a lot of fun to eat and have around for Hallowe’en

What a uniquely shaped grape! I’ve never come across this variety before.

Apart from the obvious use at Hallowe’en – can you think of any other uses they would be good for?

Have you tried them? Let me know what you think.

The Rose

My husband bought me a beautiful rose yesterday and being the fragile flower that they are I quickly snapped a few shots to preserve it. It’s holding up well now it’s inside out of the heat and it smells amazing – shame I can’t post the smell here either – maybe one day.


A picture of my sweet smelling rose
A picture of my sweet smelling rose

I was so pleased how the photo turned out. I only had my iPhone 4S with me but it did a great job – or maybe it was the photographer 🙂


Rose perfumes are made from attar of roses or rose oil, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. An associated product is rose water which is used for cooking, cosmetics, medicine and in religious practices.

The production technique originated in Persia then spread through Arabia and India, and more recently into eastern Europe. In Bulgaria, Iran and Germany, damask roses (Rosa × damascena‘Trigintipetala’) are used. In other parts of the world Rosa × centifolia is commonly used. The oil is transparent pale yellow or yellow-grey in colour.

‘Rose Absolute’ is solvent-extracted with hexane and produces a darker oil, dark yellow to orange in colour. The weight of oil extracted is about one three-thousandth to one six-thousandth of the weight of the flowers; for example, about two thousand flowers are required to produce one gram of oil.

Rose water has a very distinctive flavor and is used heavily in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine—especially in sweets such as nougat, gumdrops, raahat and baklava.

Rose petals or flower buds are sometimes used to flavor ordinary tea, or combined with other herbs to make herbal teas.

In France there is much use of rose syrup, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows. In the Indian subcontinent Rooh Afza, a concentrated squash made with roses, is popular, as well as rose-flavored ice cream and kulfi.

Rose flowers are used as food, also usually as flavoring or to add their scent to food. Other minor uses include candied rose petals.

Rose creams (rose flavored fondant covered in chocolate, often topped with a crystallised rose petal) are a traditional English confectionery widely available from numerous producers in the UK.

The Local Dog Park

There are quite a few dog lovers who live in Miami Beach and we also have a number of Bark Parks.

Here are a few furry friends making the most of the sun and green spaces. Not a bad place to exercise and meet the locals!


A Dog and his owner taking a stroll
A Dog and his owner taking a stroll
Chilling with friends in the bark park
Chilling with friends in the bark park
Checking out the green stuff
Checking out the green stuff

Seagulls on the Beach

Sometimes the seagulls on the beach are interested in what you are doing but are still too nervous to really trust you…unless of course you are carrying food and then they suddenly lose all their fear and become your best friend and slightly possessed!

Seagulls flying mid-air on Miami Beach
Seagulls flying mid-air on Miami Beach
Catching Food
Seagulls catching food scraps
Seagulls
Seagulls

Trees by the Bay

A selection of trees by the bay that looked interesting in the sunlight. I thought the long grass underneath the trees looked very wispy where the sunshine was coming through.

Raccoons

Whilst visiting Matheson Hammock State Park, three cheeky Raccoons wandered by to investigate some nearby trash cans.

Raccoons possess amazing dexterity that allows them to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They are also great climbers, which allows them to better access food and shelter.


 

Three Racoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL
Three Raccoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL

Fun Raccoon Facts

  • The raccoon’s scientific name, Procyon lotor, means “washer dog” although it is a closer relative to the bear family.
  • On the mammal IQ scale raccoons rank higher than cats and just below monkeys.
  • The raccoon has the ability to rotate their hind feet a full 180 degrees to allow for their ability to climb down from trees head first.
  • The word raccoon, derived from the Algonquin Indian word “arakun” means “he scratches with hands”.
  • The baby raccoon’s eyes do not open until 20 days or so after birth. It won’t have rings on its tail, or a mask around its eyes, until it’s older.

Activity: Nocturnal in nature, raccoons are mostly active at night. They are most active in spring, summer and fall, and will sleep in their dens for most of the winter.

Social Interaction: Raccoons are independent after 12 – 14 months of age. Adults live in loose knit communities of 4 – 5 raccoons for better protection against predators.

Communication: Raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12 – 15 different calls.

Triumph

Pelicans fly through the air, dive into the ocean but sometimes they just want to sit and be.

They are very chilled out birds but it was a triumph for me to capture these images without disturbing their rest.


A pelican having a rest by the Miami Beach Marina
A pelican having a rest by the Miami Beach Marina

Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879–1972) was an American poet and humorist. He was a newspaper editor for the Tennessean, Nashville’s morning paper, and President of the American Press Humorists Association. He penned this well-known limerick in 1910.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

or:

A funny old bird is a pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belican.
Food for a week
He can hold in his beak,
But I don’t know how the helican.

The limerick was inspired by a post card sent to him by a female reader of his newspaper column who was visiting Florida beaches. It is often misattributed to Ogden Nash and is widely misquoted as demonstrated above. It is quoted in a number of scholarly works on ornithology, including “Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure and Function,” by Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch, and several others.

Having a rest by the bay
Having a rest by the bay