PHOTOS AND REMARKS FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER LIVING IN NORTH FLORIDA...........JUST CLICK ON A PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT...........TO LEAVE A COMMENT JUST CLICK ON "comments" BELOW EACH PICTURE. All pictures Copyright 2001-2015 by James T. Weekes
This is our hickory tree, down by the water in back. The plant with red berries is nankin, or heavenly bamboo. It is not a bamboo, nor is it heavenly anymore, as Florida has it listed as an invasive species. It has lovely leaves that change color in the winter. It is the only one we have and is quite slow growing. I'll probably pull it up in the spring as I don't want to help an invader.
It is only in the winter that we occasionally get crystal clear light, low in the sky, with little or no moisture in the air. The shadows get blacker and the colors glow. It is like ice cream to my eyes.
Tropical plants are amazing. Through very high heat (100f/37.8c) and either drought or days of soaking rain, these elephant ears (colocasia) don't even flinch. They just get bigger and spread underground. But let there be one night of temperatures between 35f/1.7c and 40f/4.4c and they just turn brown and die back to the ground. They'll be back.
Due to the El Nino, we have had a glorious Autumn and early Winter. The garden has just never completely shut down. The last two nights have been about 35f (1.7c) and that should stop new fruit from setting. I have never gone this deep into the year with edible summer veggies. My winter crop of cabbage, kohlrabi and collards is doing fine.
I was given a book for Christmas called The Homemade Vegan Pantry. It is a collection of recipes for vegans to make their own staples, meat and dairy free. I am not a vegan. Both of my daughters and my granddaughter are. I realize the health benefits of vegan eating but have an ingrained love of certain meats and dairy. I have changed many a habit. This is my first try making the baguette recipe from the book. It is very simple and basic. You mix flour (King Arthur bread flour is highly recommended.) salt, yeast and water and then let them sit for 12-24 hours, in a covered bowl. Then you turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a baguette. Let it rise for another hour and then bake it for 30 minutes and this is the result. It was delicious, crusty, chewy and firm. I will make this many times again.