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Guessing Game

I bet you can't guess what this is...
If not for Eric's instruction this morning, neither would I!  As Matt, Tom and Alissa know, he loves to roam around the garden, yanking leaves, pods, citrus, or in some cases whole plants, off the plant, or from the ground, to show off his garden treasures. Today, I took Cheryl, a new friend, over for the tour. Instead of being busy making Vichyssoie, he was writing a paper for his Anthropology class at UCF when we arrived. Always ready to share, he stopped writing, and we trooped behind. His father was an Engineering professor at UCF, while his mother was a high school teacher, so it seems as if teaching is in his blood. Cheryl bought Lois McNamara's (master gardener who moved to Gainesville) house last year, and while she is interested in gardening, she's most keen on having a neat garden, something which held no interest for Lois, or Eric, for that matter! Although there are wide swaths of grass on their nearly two acre property, much of the rest is a jungle filled with plants, some you've heard of, many more that you have not.

Have I gone on long enough without revealing the answer? Of course I have!! While you're in the jungle mind set, think Amazon. Those cute little pods inside the larger pod become deep red over time, which some Amazonians use the dye to paint their faces!  The things one learns when one leaves the house....don't ask me to tell you the plant name however.

Including, the interesting news that Cheryl and her husband David are running a pseudo bed and breakfast using the website, Airbnb! Have you heard of it? I hadn't either, however, after listening to her description, it sounds like a great idea if you have a large home. Eric is showing Cheryl around the jungle:
Moving here from Chicago, she is only just now learning about growing plants in Florida. Eric is the one to teach a newbie, that's for sure. Nothing says Florida, well aside from palm trees, than an orange tree:
Beautiful color isn't it?

How about this bloom? Some of you may know it, others not:
Talk about gorgeous color! An ornamental ginger is the answer.

Before we leave the subject of red dye, take a look at the little bugs on this green cotton plant.
Yup--those are boll weevils. After I took this photograph, he snatched them off the plant, crushing them  between his fingers. He picked up a stray piece of cotton from the ground to wipe this hand. Picking it up, I thought there was blood on it. Not blood my friends, but red from the weevil's shell which is used for red dye! The world is a wondrous place isn't it?

Thankfully the day was a wee bit cooler, or maybe the humidity was lower; whatever the reason, the weather was not horrible. Cloudy skies which seem to be with us most days lately.
Aren't reflections in water terrific? After we left there, both of us on our bicycles, I took her around a few neighborhoods that she hadn't seen yet in the short time she's lived here. As a native, I was happy to show off some of the lovely routes I've learned.

Yesterday was a busy day for me--the pinacle? Coming in second place in bridge! We definitely got off to a rocky start, as in going down five, which I realize to non-bridge players doesn't mean much, but believe me, it's terrible. I feel very fortunate to have made so many new friends while playing bridge.

Have you gotten this message on your phone yet?
As if pressing OK means anything...

Before going to the Bridge Center, I stopped by the Polasek to check on my inventory which was still plentiful. Darn. While there I took this photo of my favorite sculpture by Mr. Polasek, "The Sower."
His depiction of a full frontal, male nude, created quite the stir in 1916.

Most everyone I know has a love-hate relationship with facebook, including this blogger. That said, our friend Nancy Jo Mannix posted the link to this :St. Jude Recycled Card Program. You know who rounded up all her cards, sending them out in the mail this morning don't you?

January 11th already! Amazing that we're almost two weeks into the new year.  One last little game for you as I close this out. See how many birds you can count, not only in number, but by type as well.
I swear, they must have been shy while our family was visiting because at no time during their stay do  I think there were so many at once! Notice, if you will, those saggy looking hangers on the fence? The squirrels may be keeping off the feeders, however, that does not mean for one minute that they aren't still wreaking havoc around these parts.

Think I'll go pack the car as Mr. Bruce has already informed me he'll be working away tomorrow. Might as well see if there is someone just dying to buy one of my photographs at the Winter Garden market in the morning! Fat chance...
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