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paulgila

the official "mattyb & paul in south florida" thread

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paulgila

join mattyb & paul(pohonkelapa) on their latest adventure as they discover the vast richness of southern florida,from verdant farmlands to the miami beach strip,from palm collectors dream-nurseries to spectacular private gardens!

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matt gets snarly before intra-continental flights.

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while paul is contemplative.

or just not awake yet.

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just to prove we were in atlanta.there we met an airport employee who "out-jeebused" matt.

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he was appropriately chastened.

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paulgila

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1st "sables" we saw!

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our rental car. we got a cool up-grade cuz they didnt have any of the sub-compacts that we

actually paid for.

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matt installs the gps,which came in quite handy.

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traffic sucks.

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paulgila

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dont even talk to him when he looks like this.

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east meets west at the ken johnson ranch.

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we take our 1st tour of the ken johnson family compound & are amazed at the palmage!

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the moon hangs low over the palms.the first few nites were hot & humid as we expected.

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paulgila

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satakentia that has been dug by ken johnson.

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casualty due to lightning strike.

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coccothrinax encased in stone.this is the native "soil" in this part of florida.

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huge borassus waiting for a home.

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paulgila

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the upper bits of said borassus.

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"beeeeeeeeeer meeeeee."

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nice to see cocos again.

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ken johnsons awesome pool area.we spent alotta time here.

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paulgila

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this is what they call a "diving stone" in florida.

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satakentia crown. what a knock-out!

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"who needs deodorant?"

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working on getting some product endorsement gigs like mattyb.

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paulgila

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stumbling around in the dark taking pix of palms is every palm talk members duty.

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ken johnsons kentiopsis.

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ken johnsons satakentia.

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ken johsons cat.

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paulgila

matt & i will both be posting our pix here.more to come!

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BS Man about Palms

Ask me how much stuff that mini van will hold. :bemused:

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John in Andalucia

Ken looks hard at work! Keep 'em coming!

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Dave-Vero

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Nice start!

Satakentias are beautiful. Montgomery Botanical Center has some really large ones (I didn't take a photo). The American Orchid Society's garden in Palm Beach County (now closed to the public due to financial problems) has them in formal rows. These are two of 'em. It's impressive that a bunch of big specimens of uniform height were available for the garden. And they obviously transplanted well.

I suspect that Satakentia aren't going to be fully hardy at my home in Vero Beach. Leaf damage at 30 degrees. Pity. But the Coccothrinaxes, assorted Dypsis, and Archontophoenix seem hardier. Eric Schmidt of Leu Gardens in Orlando has just published a long list of palms worth trying in their sometimes-chilly climate (citrus died in the historic 1989 freeze). Leu has a wonderful palm and cycad collection. Even better, nearly everything was propagated from seed, so the collection cost very little (just to ensure that you appreciate Eric's Palm Talk posts).

The ability of South Florida plants to grow in lime rock is impressive. Miami's "pine rocklands" aren't called that for nothing. But they have quite a rich local flora. Go south to Big Pine Key, and there's several Caribbean palms growing in the pinelands.

North of Miami, there isn't much rock. We have limestone near the surface in some spots and limestone reefs just offshore, including one locally that does a decent imitation of Waikiki surf once a year. Some of those reefs make good snorkeling and lobster-hunting. Farther north, there's soft rock made of little clam shells, called coquina. Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville Beach, each has a neat old coquina church, and the Spanish fort in St. Augustine is all coquina. The stuff was great for forts because the soft rock absorbed cannonballs.

The south Florida mainland has enough rainfall to support pretty lush gardens. The best local expert has long been Georgia Tasker, who writes for the Miami Herald and is closely connected to Fairchild. She advocates building a 'tropical hammock' in your back yard. In other words, a low-canopied forest of tropical trees that will provide a degree of shelter during a hurricane by absorbing some of the wind energy that would otherwise be applied to your house. Of course the canopy will shred. The native tropical trees recover pretty readily from being shredded. Tasker emphasizes that windstorms and occasional cold snaps are inevitable. A well-designed garden will recover faster and better than a dumb garden.

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Jeff Searle

Oh boy......I can hardly wait for more! And guys, the minivan was a great set of wheels. A real chick magnet! :lol: We all look forward to much more.....

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freakypalmguy

Bout time Poho.

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Kim

Nice luggage, Matt. It must have been a tough choice between the cherries bag and your Hello Kitty bag.

Enjoying Ken Johnson's Kentiopsis, Satakentia, and cat. Keep 'em comin'... :interesting:

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bubba

Looking forward to the Mother of all threads!

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Ken Johnson

No doubt this thread will get interesting and maybe a little shocking for some. We did so many things each day that it will take pages to show all the documentation. The pictures so far are just the first few hours of a full week. You can imagine whats to come. The Boyz got here Tuesday night and before the sun came up the next day we were hard at it already!

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MattyB

I don't have many pics of the beginning but here's a couple.

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San Diego just after take off. A thick fog bank sat just off shore. This is overlooking Kim's house on Pt. Loma.

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This is Paul's best side. I'm documenting Paul stumbling around in the dark taking pics of Ken's palmage and cat.

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5:00am the next morning Paul and Conrad check in with palmtalk. We were getting some coffee in us to go crabbin'. The blur is so you can get the feel of what it's like to wake up at what feels like 2:00am after a 7 hour flight and drinking beer all night.

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paulgila

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matt begins to "bungle in the jungle" uncontrollably.

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waiting for the crabbin boat to leave we had some time to check out thye ken johnson

estate in the morning light. it was 5:30 or so local time but still 3 hours earlier for us.

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"mmmm palmy."

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awesomely bulbous kentiopsis crown.

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paulgila

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matt has to see if palms taste the same on both coasts...

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so i suggested he try this one,too.

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gratuitous sunrise photo.

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ken johnson makes ready with the boat.

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paulgila

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we reach the "boat-launching place"(yes,i think thats the official name) & get ready to launch.

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i think this is one of the best photos i have ever taken.

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biscayne bay.translation: "the bay of biscayne."

it even has street signs.

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whats the speed-limit here?

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MattyB

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Ken Johnson with da gangsta lean driving style.

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paulgila

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ken & his crew get to work pullin' crab traps. i helped.

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i was heavily medicated.

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traps being re-set.

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"arrrr."

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paulgila

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some pix need no caption.this is not one of em.

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we were going so fast the wind tore off ken johnsons shirt.

luckily has pants stayed on.

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MattyB

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Click on this for a crabbin video!!!!!!!!!

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MattyB

We got back to the Johnson farm and Paul crashed and took a 3 hour nap complete with drool and all. I'll spare you the photos. But I did get some pics of the Johnson boys doing what they do best....dig up palms!!!!!

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Victor dug up a bunch of Dypsis cabadae for an order while we were out on the boat. When we got back, Ken started pulling and stacking them up with the tractor. They even let me drive it.

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On of many ways Ken straps it on.

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The rootball is shrink wrapped and it's ready to go.

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MattyB

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Victor was a madman with the jackhammer in that coral rock.

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I'll take 6 D. cabadae, 10 feet overall, to go.

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Sitting behind the cage reminds Ken of his days in prison.

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paulgila

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bizzie farm we passed on the way back to kens from crabbin'.

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i managed to snap a few pix of palms in ken johnsons field before i passed out.

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l.rotundifolia is one of my faves!

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MattyB

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After a hard day diggin palms, a little crab meat will set you straight! Ken demonstrates how to bludgen them to death.

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Ken's hand moves fast.

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Pohonkelapa gives it a try.

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You're not supposed to eat the shell Paul! These stone crabs were amazing!!!! What an experience Ken, thanks!

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MattyB

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I accidently made this video. Ken had to adlib.

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paulgila

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later that afternoon we decided to explore a bit. 1st stop :local thrift shop.

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next stop:popeyes chicken."make mine EXTRA greasy please."

pictured is matt discovering "parking lot palmage."

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after those guilty pleasures we toured the "coral castle." built in the 1930s by a baltic refugee entirely

alone & with primitive tools. it is also the scene of a notoriously bad 1950s b-movie which we later

watched at ken johnsons.the more you drink the better the movie.

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layers.

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paulgila

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the tour ate up a solid 15 minutes.

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cocothrinax growing right outta the wall.

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succulents-smuckulents.

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castle panorama.

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paulgila

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another awesome coccothrinax.

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heres the hole we threw the $10 admission into.

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my jaunty hat "rake" mirrors the castles architecture.

coincidence? you decide.

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the built in observatory-thing never quite caught on.

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MattyB

Nude on the Moon is the name of the movie, and yes we did watch it at Ken's. And yes we were all nude while watching it. No we were not on the moon we were at Ken's I already said that. Who's voice is in my head anyways?

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paulgila

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matt easily moves the 9-ton door with the help of alleged EMFs.

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heres where all the stone came from.

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back at ken johnsons i couldnt help but take more palm-pix.

carpoxylon.

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copernicia.

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paulgila

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kinda artsy-fartsy. at least thats the excuse i use whenever matt runs into my shot.

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this syagrus amara caught my eye.

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one can never have enough shirt-less palm-banter.

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the ken johnson house is surrounded by a near-impenetrable "palm belt."

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paulgila

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the pix from our 2nd nite have been deemed as "too snarky" for posting so we'll move on to thursday.

here is an example of the bewildering street signs in florida with 2 or sometimes even 3 names for 1 road.

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matts best gopher impersonation.

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some snarky photo-ops were just too good to pass up.

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i didnt tell matt but a ring of meat,or muscle,is called a "sphincter" in the medical biz.

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paulgila

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we reach jeff searles nursery but he is out "getting a burrito" so we look around a bit.

its hard to even spell this the way its pronounced in florida but the closest i can get is "croat-ens."

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sometimes i just cant help but look cool.

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mattyb has the same ability.

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MattyB

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Jeff and Paul looking at some Madagascar pics in the office. Pops in the back.

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Jeff kept getting interupted by someone calling. Someone named Bob Stanford or something.

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Secret water source for Jeff's nursery. He throws dead racoons, chicken bones, and other assorted garbage in it to make his secret palm fertilizer recipe.

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Big ole' Gastrococos crispa!!!!!!

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MattyB

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Shade house 1

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Jeff's "special" palm

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Paul snaking some seeds from Licuala lauderbachii

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You're so busted!

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