Root for the bonsai at Fairchild
nyone can plant a seed in the earth and watch it sprout. But it takes an artist to make bonsai. The people who dedicate themselves to this living art are incredibly patient. Sue Vrana-Brogan, one of the organizers of this weekend's Bonsai at the Garden event, is particularly inspired by the romantic history that gnarled trunks and exposed roots suggest. "The idea of bonsai is to give respect to the character of an older tree, the windswept look that seems like the tree survived storms on the edge of a cliff," she explains. The two-day celebration will feature displays of miniaturized local flora including bougainvillea, ficus, and casuarina trees. Learn from the expert members of the Bonsai Society of Miami. Design your own Japanese garden, try your luck in raffles for trees and other bonsai, and go home with your own cultivated tree. The green-thumb fun begins this morning at 9:30 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. Admission costs $15. Call 305-667-1651, or visit www.bonsaisocietyofmiami.org. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Get in the Van
The temperature is dropping and there's a chance no hurricanes will hit this week, so it's a fine time for that much postponed trip to the Everglades. Of course there remains the latest ecologist's dilemma: One reason to not completely destroy nature is so people can go out and enjoy it, but with the current gas crisis, driving all the way out to the Great Swamp might be wasteful. The simple solution is to pile into the Eco-Tour Van for a trip to Loxahatchee Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge. Besides saving gas, you get a guided adventure through cypress stands and marshes where you'll see a stunning array of birds -- big waders, soaring predators, and the rest -- plus gators and whatever else is left out there. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Greynolds Park Boathouse, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. Cost is $40, $15 if you're under fifteen. Call 305-365-3018. -- Greg Baker
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The Beer Bus
Titanic Restaurant & Brewery (5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables) is stumbling distance from the University of Miami and the brew-tastic establishment is going long for Canes football fans. For $45 you can score a package deal that includes barbecue, beer, and a lower reserved admission ticket to today's big game. The Canes take on Duke this afternoon at 3:30, and the bus will be leaving Titanic at 2:00. Paid reservations are required. Score your ticket by visiting Titanic, or call 305-667-2537 to prepay with plastic. Visit www.titanicbrewery.com for other package deals. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik