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
I like the fiery orange variety alittle better but this is still very pretty
It’s September already but these Keitt mangoes (yes, there is an "e" in "mangoes", I’ve discovered) are still ripening. Some of the are so ripe, they split while still in the trees. Others have fallen SPLAT to the walkway, where they feed the bugs and perfume the air.
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.
There must be mangroves nearby, for the river is tinted a rusty red near Edison’s Pier. This was the very first structure built on the estate.
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!
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
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!)
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!
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….
I can barely see it myself, since I’m looking at is via a small cell phone screen in the mid-day sun! let me know if you can see her (him?).
Here’s a tin mug found in the gift shop near the Ford side of the property.
When I was growing up in NYC, our electric power company was called Consolidated Edison, aka "Con Ed". I somehow doubt that ANY of the power they supplied to the city was solar-generated.
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!
An orchid finds itself a host in the lofty fig tree (ficus altissima Moraceae, S.E. asia)
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.