A Short Break….

We are going away for a couple of days so I won’t be blogging now till next week.

Jungle Island

We are heading down to the south of Florida and amongst other things, will be stopping by Jungle Island in Miami to meet up with Jeff who is in charge of horticulture there.

Jeff contacted me months ago when I wrote about The Wonderful Sausage Tree and the Perilous Bench and had linked to Tropicaldesigns.com.
They have quite a bit of information about Sausage trees on their site but also the fascinating history of how  the “Jungle Island” site was developed after the old Parrot Jungle and Gardens were devastated by Hurricane Andrew back in 1992.

It’s so encouraging to realise that a major tourist attraction was planned with such care and consideration, from the plants, the subsoil, mulch, compost, choice of trees, irrigation, to the enjoyment of the visitors.

Read more here.

That was all in 2004 so it will interesting to see how it has all survived and what the ongoing issues are. Here I am, in my rather attractive vest thing, on my last visit to see the parrots.
Yes, it’s a few years ago now. I am so looking forward to seeing them again!


and a reminder of the Sausage Tree from another old Miami postcard


images from the wonderful site “Florida Memory” here

While I am there I will be keeping an eye out for my lovely euglossa bees who came to stay with me back in December (see my post Entertaining the Euglossas).

They live near Miami and if the article that Patricia so kindly sent me from the New York Times is true If You Swat, Watch Out: Bees Remember Faces”,  I will be expecting a tap on my shoulder from my little iridescent friends and a fond greeting.

Exhib  progress

Meanwhile, today I have been busy putting together a written proposal for the exhibition and making some tiny thumbnail sketches of the various bees.
If you have the luxury of planning an exhibition, it is as well to think about how it will look, the mix of images and the “story”, if there is one.  Having been a book illustrator I love to plan a narrative, in whatever form, and am used to putting storyboards together which is so useful for seeing the whole picture, as it were.

They won’t mean much to anyone else but it sorts out so much for me in my head, so here they are..


They are tiny but you would be amazed how much time went into them and what a help they will be! The finished things will probably vary quite a bit but it’s a start.  More next week ..

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  1. What an unusual tree! Yes, I could imagine it would be pretty painful to be hit on the head with one of those 'sausages'.
    I didn't realise you used to be a book illustrator – any books I might know?
    Have a great trip!

  2. This should be interesting for you (and for us)! Your bee project will be fun to follow. 🙂

  3. Hi there and thanks for your comments.
    Dan.. probably not as it was some years ago now! Although the odd Dick King Smith book is probably still around.
    SG thank you, you are such a faithful blog reader. I will try not to be too boring! 🙂

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