Saturday, May 12, 2018

Wind-Resistant Shade Trees

When the heat and wind meet, they bring the hurricane The local people of South Florida know a lot about hurricanes and the trees to plant that can withstand an onslaught of intense heat and bad weather.

There two trees that will leave residents worry-free when the hurricane season will come. Both Exothea Paniculata (Inkwood) and Guercus Virginiana (Live Oak) provide shade from sun during the summer months, and help save the energy bills.

Inkwood is an excellent accent tree for commercial landscaping. It has dense foliage, and grows to 45 feet in South Florida.

The Live Oak is a large sprawling, picturesque tree that provides large areas of deep shade. Growing to 40 to 60 feet, with a 60 to 100 foot spread, sinuously curved trunks and branches, and a trunk that can grow to more than six feet in diameter, the Live Oak is an impressive sight for any large-scale landscape.

The Australian Pine and Laurel Oak are very beautiful, but not to be able to withstand hurricane-force winds.

Photo and text: Ida Tomshinsky

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Rose Did Caper On Her Cheek

The rose did caper on her cheek,
Her bodice rose and fell,
Her pretty speech, like drunken men,
Did stagger pitiful.

Her fingers fumbled at her work, -
Her needle would not go;
What ailed so smart a little maid
It puzzled me to know,

Till opposite I spied a cheek
That bore another rose;
Just opposite, another speech
That like the drunkard goes;

A vest that, like the bodice, danced
To the immortal tune, -
Till those two troubled little clocks
Ticked softly into one.

by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Where the Birds Came From?

About 160-million years ago, the creature called Archaeopteryx had skeleton characteristics identical to small dinosaurs that lived during that same time. This creature also had toothed jaw and feathers that allowed the Archaeopteryx to move from place to place ‘transporting’ through branches. Some scientists believed that Archaeopteryx is the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and what today we identify as birds. Also, birds’ beaks, legs, and the ability to lay eggs indicates a strong relationship between birds and reptiles. New discoveries are helping to better understand how birds evolved and how they are related to each other, from the tiny hummingbird to the towering ostrich.

In 2005 bones discovered from Antarctica’ fossil gave new and very exciting facts: the skeleton of Vegavis dated to around sixty-seven million years ago bears traits that exist only in a modern-day duck. The new discoveries combined with more advanced methods of genetic tests suggest that the avian family tree got their start just before the asteroid strike. (Jaggard, 2018) An asteroid stroke sixty-six millions years ago. It devastated the dinosaurs, but scientists today have proof and evidence that there were a few survivors that evolved many millions of years of the mass extinction and begot today’s birds.

Friday, April 27, 2018

One Blue Door

To make a poem
listen: crow calls.
Rain paints a door,
blue in the sky.

To make a poem
you need the door
blue and lonely
swinging in the rain.

To make a poem
you need to leap
through that blue door
onto a crow.

To make a poem
you need to glide
on crow's black caw,
skimming the trees.

To make a poem
you need to taste
petals of rain.
Open your mouth.

To make a poem
you need to hear
fountains sprouting
in your hands.

Leap through one blue door
onto crow's black call.
Catch rain's petal-fall.
Music in your hands.

Leap through one blue door.

(Pat Mora, 1998)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nursery Set of Boots and Bonnet

Baby boots

Baby boots are delicate, bright and bold;
pretty and practical in "Red Heart' pink yarn,
signaling the beautiful crochet gift is for the newborn girl.

Associations with nature

The set of nursery boots and bonnet in pink color
decorated with
white and pink flowers and a lady bug button 
 as a reflection on nature's call.

Crochet gifts for the nursery 

Of all the traditional crafts, crochet must be one
of the most versatile.
It could be used to make a wide range
of beautiful items,
including objects for the home,
clothing, jewelry, flowers, toys, and trimmings
for all types of other needlework.

Text, photography, and craft by Ida Tomshinsky
Copyrighted by IT, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Save the Oranges!

In Florida, beyond the beaches, theme parks, and condo districts there are the farms, ranches, and greenhouses. Florida is more famous for tourism, but not everybody knows that we are living in an agricultural state that is rated second in the nation. Florida is the nation’s top producer of oranges, sugar cane, sweet corn, and watermelons – and a major producer of tomatoes and other vegetables, strawberries, peanuts, and various other crops.

People say “an apple a day, keeps the doctors away.” March means getting in best shape and live a letter healthier live, by learning to make better choices with great food and exercises as the BFF. Mothers know best – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Today orange juice is not for breakfast anymore. Young Americans who typically skip breakfast, preferring a carbonated soda, vitamin-enhanced water, and the expresso coffee.

For most of its 500-year history, Florida had been synonymous with the orange. Introduced in 1565 by Spanish settlers, citrus found Florida to provide the ideal environment for production. Not everyone knows that since the 1940s, Florida has ranked first in the United States’ orange and grapefruit production. In 1970s, citrus groves cover one million acres in Florida. Citrus canker disease was first detected in 1984. The infected trees were burned. Florida locals remember – government workers were going house by house and chopped off the beloved orange trees. The 1989 Christmas freeze practically wiped out orange groves along the north of Intersection 4. The beneficiaries of this disaster were Florida real estate developers, and Brazil replaced Florida as the world’s leading orange producer.

In 1995, citrus canker returned. Citrus greening disease is discovered in Homestead orange grove. Scientists are calling the new disease “canker on steroids.” Unfortunately, the citrus greening disease invaded all 32 citrus-producing countries. Sadly, the greening fight affects bees, another vital element associated with the battle to save the Florida orange trees. The citrus greening disease originated in China, in 1911. With the growth of global trade, the disease made its way to Americas. It was detected in Brazil, Florida, and spread to Texas and California. Natural science professionals race to find a cure. Today, scientists modifying orange trees with bacteria-destroying gene from a virus that contains both syntactic gene and strong organic gene from onion, spinach, and - even a pig.

The city’s youth do not know that as usual oranges ripen on the trees. Oranges are picked and shipped from the land to the order – oranges never warehoused. “Small things like drinking an orange juice with pulp or eating an apple is being received like a telephone call to your genes. Every thought, everything you eat, every single little thing can tweak your genes activity towards healing.” (Deepak Chopra)

So, what is happening in the naranja-land? Local scientists are working on replacing orange groves with peach orchards. All they have to learn is to develop the new peach varieties adapted to Florida’s short and warm winters. Blueberries also considered as an alternative crop. Today, Florida’s blueberries harvest topped $62 million, larger than that of Florida tangerines. Surprisingly, some farmers have taken an interest in producing olives.

What else? Almost half of the nation’s tomatoes are grown in Florida. Florida paths only California in strawberry production. Surprisingly, Florida is producing 20 % of sweet corn national market. Peanuts grow well in northern and central parts of the state. Would you believe that Florida is the nation’s number-one producer of watermelons? People often ask, where? In Panhandle, along the Gulf Coast, and in north-central Florida.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ant and Dove: Aesops Fable

To proof the doves and pigeons are kind and carrying, let us turn to Aesop’s fable Ant and Dove. An ant went to a fountain to quench his thirst and, tumbling in, was almost drowned. But a dove that happened to be sitting on a neighboring tree saw the ant's danger and, plucking off a leaf, let it drop into the water before him. The ant mounting upon it, was presently wafted safely ashore. Just at that time, a fowler was spreading his net and was in the act of enmeshing the dove, when the ant, observing his object, bit the man’s heel. This made the man drop his net and the dove, aroused to a sense of it danger, flew safely away. The timeless story has a moral: one good turn deserves another. “One act of kindness, how small is ever wasted.” (Aesop, N.d.)