Papaya Tree

I have taken a few pictures in the past several days, but am just getting around to posting them. I have admired these bushes with the multi-colored leaves in front of Dave and Teresa’s trailer for several years, but this is the first time we’ve been here to see them bloom.  Surprise!  They are hibiscus and have beautiful red blooms.

b Red Leafed Hibiscus
Red Leafed Hibiscus

The papaya tree is bigger every day.  Here, my scale model Andy is standing next to it for, well, scale. This is at about six months, from a seed.

b Papaya Tree
Papaya Tree

It is blooming!  And, it’s a girl.

b Papaya Blooms
Papaya Blooms

The blooms of the female papaya come right out of the trunk (or maybe it is a stem).  It makes sense.  Those huge, heavy fruits would break off a branch.

b Papaya Buds and Blooms
Papaya Buds and Blooms

I found some male papaya flowers on line for comparison.

The papaya that my neighbor Curtis pulled out of the ground for seems to be surviving. I hope it is a boy (or both male and female) so I can get some fruit. It is sad to be leaving with all this plant excitement, but it should still be producing when we return in the fall, if the neighbors water it when needed.

More plant excitement today!  We were packing up our outdoor furniture and screen room and then I moved the plants that are still alive from the front of the motorhome so I can drive out in the morning.  I noticed that one of the three coconuts has sprouted! I forgot to take a picture.

Don’t forget to send me an email at dinata@gmail.com if you want to get my updates from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I’ll be writing them off line and sending them out when we go out grocery shopping once a week. It is something new every day in the park.

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Daughter Kathy Came to Visit

We never see the children and grandchildren often or long enough. But, we did have several very nice days when daughter Kathy came to visit for a few days this week.

Our first outing was to Key West where we showed Kathy Zachary Taylor State Park. First, we walked into town for lunch at Blue Heaven. We had not been there in several years and I was thrilled to find the Shrimp and Grits on the menu (as opposed to being a Sunday-only dish in the past). Seating is outdoors under the trees with cats and chickens wandering around.  Here is the entrance.

b Gate to Blue Heaven
Gate to Blue Heaven

I have passed this, or these, trees many times and just noticed them.  Yes, it is the rare “J” Palm.

b J Palm
J Palm

After touring the fort, we took a walk along the beach.  Although there are many tiki huts here in the keys, I had never seen one under construction before.  We stood and watched for a while. Two men on the ground were handing palm fronds to the two men up on the roof, who were nailing them down almost as fast.

b Thatching Tiki 1
Thatching Tiki

It was fun to watch, but we did not stay long enough to see the finished product.

b Thatching Tiki 2
Thatching Tiki

Here is another tree I have seen many times.  This was the first time a got a good picture of it.  It is a sea grape, the largest I’ve ever seen. Can you spot Kathy and Andy posing next to the canon under it?

b Andy and Kathy Under Sea Grape Tree
Sea Grape Tree in Key West, Florida

This was to be a relaxing vacation for Kathy, so we took her on our favorite walks each day.  At Bahia Honda State Park, Kathy opted to walk in the water while Andy and I kept to the dry sand.

b Kathy and Andy on Beach
Kathy and Andy on Beach at Bahia Honda State Park

The tide was very low again so we had plenty of beach to walk on.

b Kathy Walking on Bahia Honda Beach
Kathy Walking on Bahia Honda Beach

I don’t think I have posted a papaya update lately.  It is taller than the car now.

b Papaya Tree
Papaya Tree

Dave Scott was playing at Lulu’s, so we took Kathy. I sang a few songs and Kathy took this picture. I have always like that top, but now I think it makes me look pregnant.

Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu’s

We saw this iguana on the boardwalk at Oceanfront Park.  I zoomed in on the head so you can see all the interesting detail. They look prehistoric.

b Iguana Portrait
Bright Green Iguana

We also took a nice walk on the old Seven Mile Bridge.  I spotted a strange (to me) bird in the Sea Grapes on Pigeon Key. It was busy eating.  A quick Google image search told me that it is a Black-throated Blue Warbler. I didn’t get a good clear, sharp shot; this is the best I could do.

b Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Black-Throated Blue Warbler on Pigeon Key, Florida

Someone has marked the distance on the bridge in quarter mile increments.  The one-mile mark is fun.

b One Mile Mark on Old Seven
One Mile Mark on Old Seven Mile Bridge

We saw a Spotted Eagle Ray, also known as a Leopard Ray.  It is so hard to get a clear picture of them through the moving water.  Again, this was the best I got.

b Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray

I did get a nice, good, clear picture of Andy and Kathy.  She was holding her hair, but the wind was blowing hard.

b Andy and Kathy on Seven Mile Bridge
Andy and Kathy on Old Seven Mile Bridge

I don’t know why I didn’t have the picture of Dave and me. Maybe the computer bugs ate it.

b Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu's
Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu’s

I still think that outfit makes me look pregnant.