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New Everglades "Exhibit"

When members of the AJSET went to the Everglades last year, we saw a very disconcerting situation. The vultures were eating vehicles in the Royal Palm parking lot at Anhinga Trail. No joke.

In one case, they were literally tearing out every accessible piece of rubber on a brand new Cadillac Escalade ... around the windows, roof, windshield ... nothing was sacred.

Photo by Ben Liss

The busy birds totally ignored yelling and shouting. (Shotguns were off limits, as the vultures are a Federally protected species and may not be harmed.)

Park Rangers discovered loud noises temporarily chased them away; and periodically walked through the lot banging sticks on the ground. Tarps also helped (if you happened to have one.) Neither of these were real solutions.

The National Wildlife Research Center was called in and came up with the following resolution.

Warning: Some may find the following photograph disturbing. Before you judge, please read the sign which is posted on location below the vulture.

The proposal worked. Although you can still see flocks of them in the area, there are currently no vultures on cars!

More Cold Weather ?

Early on, I stated one of my goals was to share sources. I just found a timely one! I hope you don’t need it this year, however, it's an opportunity to be ready for next year.

The item is called “Frost Blanket”. It’s very lightweight and easy to handle. Available in different weights and sizes, it usually comes in huge commercial rolls.

David VanBuskirk, the owner of D & L Nursery (near Ocala) is selling the commercial grade to the public. This is what Dave said in his newsletter:

“ … a lightweight woven polypropylene that offers frost protection up to 6-8 degrees warmer then the ambient temperature, even when night temperatures drop below 32 degrees F."

Most of this product (like the one I was using), is limited to 2-5 degrees protection.

"The blanket can be left on for the duration of the cold spell for it lets in water and 85% of light. This is something you do not want to do with other coverings such as, sheets, blankets, etc. for they will overheat the plant during the day and not let any light in.

A Frost Blanket is a much better alternative for you and your sub-tropicals, than bringing them in and out of the house each day.”

I totally agree! And the best news is - it’s a bargain! No need to buy more than you need. “The blanket is 15' wide and is sold for $1.00 a running foot.

The 15' width makes it a great cover for some of your larger bonsai and tender landscape specimens too. For about $10. plus shipping, you can have 150 square feet of fabric!

It is easy to cut with household shears. I cut pieces to cover some of my single trees; and then some longer pieces to cover groups of trees about the same size. It takes up very little space to store. Just fold it up and press it into a small carton.

Call David at 352-625-2681

What’s New at ?

I've been really busy on my site, I added several new pages this month.

Buttonwood - One of the two buttonwood bonsai pages includes a photo of a phenomenal old tree in Key West, recently named Native National Champion Conocarpus.

See it here on this new Buttonwood page.

Myths - Another of the new pages is called Bonsai Myths. I know there are many more myths than the ones I named, and that's where you come in.

Please share your favorite Bonsai Myths on this page!

Road Trip

I did take that road trip I mentioned in the last issue.

I was in Central Florida for a week. However, I never got to the bonsai places on my list! A frost warning in Homestead called me back home. As it turned out, it only got very cold, and we didn't have the frost. I'll be going back soon and keep you posted.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Just ‘reply’ to this e-zine and tell me what you think.

See you here next month.