By Tracy S
The Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society is hosting a one day sale. There are 9 vendors with a wide range of palms and cycads. Many are rare and lots are very cool. Join us for the sale if you can.
Saturday October 12th 9am to 4pm
Mounts Botanical Garden
531 N Military Trail
Weat Palm Beach Florida
An Unflinching Look, a documentary photo series by Benjamin Dimmitt, is set in Florida and focuses its gaze on rising sea levels. Dimmitt has been photographing in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge north of Tampa since 2004, after an initial visit more than 30 years ago. https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2019/10/an-unflinching-look/
Almost 20 years ago I escaped the frozen tundra of Michigan and moved into the sauna of NW Orlando. It's hard to describe the abrupt transition, but I was pretty sure that I moved into an oven. Despite the oppressive heat and humidity in the summer, it was far better than spending September-April indoors and never seeing the sun!
I lucked out when I moved, as I bought very cheap just before a huge price jump in the Orlando housing market. I found a nice house on about 3/4 acre of land with a great looking canopy of about 40 big oaks and a few pines. What I did *not* luck out on is my ignorance of southern oak trees. I didn't know that they were *not* the typical Northern red oaks with strong root systems and 200+ year lifespans. Nope, I had 40+ "Water Oaks" (Quercus Nigra) that have a 30-50 year life span, shallow root systems and really weak limbs. Branches fall on a nearly daily basis, punching holes in my roof, denting my cars and making a continuous mess of the yard. Hurricanes came through and mangled the oaks, taking several down and pushing others over sideways, cracking my driveway in several places. I was annoyed by basically everything in the yard and just ignored it for at least 15 years. I spent all my time training for and racing Ironman Triathlon and various Ultramarathons, racking up over 50,000 miles biking and 10,000+ miles running.
After years of indecision and neglect I finally started to tame the jungle of weeds and ferns, starting with taking down about 15 water oaks and a couple of tall pines in 2015. Below are the "before" pictures, with a full canopy of water oaks and a huge crop of ferns. When I first started my palm obsession I found the PalmTalk build threads incredibly useful. What follows is my journal, documenting building my own tropical paradise in a little corner of NW Orlando.