Fishing shacks in the sound

Fishing shacks in the sound, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

We’re still traversing Pine Island Sound (I think – I may be a bit turned around) and we are passing these historic fishing shacks. They’ve got a fascinating story, which I’ll have to google when I get home.

EDITED TO ADD: I found a local news story about the history of the fishing shack –
Historic fishing shacks of bygone days |

The saddest sight so far today

The saddest sight so far today, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

Cutting myself off from further adult libations until we get to Cabbage Key. We’re currently chugging by Safety Harbor on North Captiva, and we’ll be passing Cayo Costa in a minute.

The good thing about my empty glass is that it’s Greenware – made from plants, right here in the USA!

Goodnight, Sanibel

Goodnight, Sanibel, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

Alas, not seeing the moon – I guess there’s too much cloud cover.

Well, there’s always next month for the full :)

My legs hate me because I not only made them run a couple of miles today but I also made them squat down on the beach forty or fifty times to check out the miniatures that had washed up.

Time for dinner. Goodnight, Sanibel!

Lighthouse beach transformed

Lighthouse beach transformed, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

What a different beach from last week! I’ve come to catch a glimpse of the full harvest moon when it rises. There must have been some storm that washed this beach clean immediately after the dunes. The blowing wind creates sandy waves and makes y beer bottle sing. I fully expect a tumbleweed to roll by.

Another view from Edison’s porch

The porch wraps ALL the way around the house, and it is seriously wide enough to throw one heck of a party. With the cool breezes blowing and the lovely view, why would the Edisons ever want to leave?

I know I don’t want to go, but it’s now the height of the heat of the day (that’s 3PM here in Southwest Florida) and I need to hydrate and feed myself. It’s been swell – thanks for hanging out with me today :)

Mina Edison’s lily pond

Mina Edison’s lily pond, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

I see tadpoles wiggling around down there, and I ws not fast enough to capture a snake that swam by. That’s a pond apple tree. It has a cousin nearby (behind me) which has littered the ground with ripened fruits whose seeds look remarkably like those of a pumpkin. this pond is right behind Edison’s pool complex.

Parasite part deux

Parasite part deux, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

This is an orchid labeled "cattleya", found growling on a strangler fig (ficos aurea, S. florida and West Indies).

While I was standing her taking the photo, a giant, spent palm frond liberated itself from a nearby tree and plunged (some things just don’t waft!) SPLOOSH into the river. As it bobbed around, a huge beetle crawled frantically all over it, trying to figure out what to do. I hope he escaped, but I wasn’t about to risk a dunk in the river to assist. No, let’s let Darwin have his way with the beetles!

In the shade of the monkey flower tree

This tree is the monkey flower, also called guacamayo. I wonder how that relates to guacamole? Wish I knew some Spanish!

While peering through the branches, twice I spied me a flash of silver "wings" – yes, fish can fly on the Caloosahatchee!

Barnebydendron riedelii, Central and South America

Porch breezes at Ford’s “The Mangos” Estate

Both the Edison House "Seminole Lodge" and the Ford house "The Mangos" enjoy wide porches that catch wonderful breezes as they travel to and from the Caloosahatchee River. Resting in the shade of the porch outside Ford’s house, the breeze lets you know what the wide-open home smells like – wood and furniture polish and a bit of musty mildew, that hallmark of all old wooden houses everywhere. It must be a real chore keeping the mildew at bay in this particular climate, especially in the summer. I reckon the breezes help with that!

(why does "mangos" look wrong – is there supposed to be a e in there before the s? I’m moile ad can’t look it up easily!)

Old-world charm with a modern world backdrop

I ambled down to the Caloosahatchee River from Ford’s caretaker’s-cottage-turned-gift-shop and sat on a bench. Immediately, the wind coaxed a song from the giant stands of bamboo that paint a lacy pattern on the sky.

Feeling for all the world like Forest Gump waitin’ on the bus, I watched with held breath as a feather wafted down from somewhere above and gently deposited itself in the river.

Safe journey, little wafter.

An egret glided in and claimed a spot on one of the pilings of Ford’s old dock. Without his black-beaked profile, he blended with the clouds behind him.

I raised the camera and whispered, "Turn sideways, please".

He turned and I took the shot. He turned again and looked right at me. I grinned at him and whispered again. "Thanks, dude."

Give me one good reason why I should ever rise from this bench!

Something provocative on Edison’s “Friendship Walk”

Do you see what I see?

Leading up to Edison’s front door from the gate at McGregor Blvd, there are a number of stones lining the path that bear the names of friends and benefactors. They generally all bear the year as well.

This one is inscribed with an additional feature that makes me curious as to what sort of "friends" these people might have been.

Do you see it? I will google this when I get home….

Watt’s Appleware in Henry Ford’s pantry

Many years ago, I visited my grandparents in their home in Maspeth, Queens (New York City) and my grandmother gave me her cookie jar. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was part of the Watts Appleware collection. All I knew was that I had fond memories of the treats it had contained over the years and the pleasant sights and smells of my grandmother and her kitchen were somehow infused within the pottery.

Here, we see that the Henry Fords had similar taste to that of my Italian, sainted grandmother, so far away in New York – a far, FAR cry from Fort Myers!

Largest banyan tree in the continental United States

I’m touring the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL today. I bought a Groupon a few months back, which I’d clean forgot about. I decided to use it today, before it expires.

This is the place where Edison continued his research during the winter months. He was looking for a cheap, locally-produced source for making rubber. The estates are therefore populated with all sorts of exotic botanical candidates for rubber production. the sub-tropical climate of Southwest Florida proved ideal for growing many of the plants Edison needed to study.