I know I said the next post would be about the various edible alliums I’m growing under row covers this winter, but we escaped winter for the Florida Keys last week and the pictures from there are much prettier than straw and row covers.
I felt like a total newbie looking at plants down there. What’s that? What’s this? So many things I’d never seen before.
This Key West flowering tree caught my eye. The flowers looked so much like azaleas to me, but then I saw a bean-like seed pod and knew that I was looking in the wrong plant family. Eventually I identified it as Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia blakeana). The common name is misleading because it is in the Fabaceae family, not Orchidaceae.
I remembered the banyan trees from a previous visit. This one grew a natural arch over the driveway.
Lots of palm trees, of course. We walked a nature trail in Windley Key Fossil Reef state park, were I learned to recognize the Florida Thatch Palm.
In this case, I knew the plant (red impatiens, ho-hum), but not the butterfly.
They have one of those butterflies-in-the-conservatory tourist attractions in Key West. You all know I like butterflies, right? I recognized none of these butterflies, either. They wanted us to buy a laminated guide for another $2 (or was it $4?), but we weren’t inclined to give them any more money, so we just marveled in ignorance. I did look up the Blue Morpho later on, just because it was so big and colorful. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a nice clear photo of the pretty side of the wings to show you.
You may be familiar with US Route 1 in the DC area? This is where it starts.
So a chicken walks into a bar…No joke, I actually saw this happen. Feral chickens are everywhere in Key West, but the one that walked into the bar was domesticated – somebody’s pet. I didn’t get a photo of that one, but I did take a picture of the door it walked through.
Vacations have to end, though.