Tag Archives: Today’s Flowers

Royal poinciana on the Lee Island Coast

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_4434-Royal-Poinciana-Cabbage-Key:) One of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen is the royal poinciana. This tree is a native of Madagascar and is widely cultivated in the subtropical climate of south Florida. Generally, they are blooming profusely along about May of each year, but some of them are still blooming long after that, into the summer months. This one was captured in May of 2007, when my friends and I rented a boat and ran it out to Cabbage Key, a small vacation island that is part of the Lee Island Coast. I thought the color was especially striking and could not resist snapping away at it. The royal poinciana blooms in colors ranging from yellow through orange and into red. The green feathery foliage makes it doubly ornamental.

According to Wikipedia, there are lots of nicknames for the royal poinciana. It differs from country to country. But the name I like best is the one that the Vietnamese have given to this tree – the phoenix tail. There are two reasons I like “the phoenix tail” best. I like the concept of infinite opportunities for transformation, and it reminds me of Fawkes, the phoenix who lives with Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter stories. :)

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Sky travel at EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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You can get into EPCOT without ever having to set foot in the park. All you have to do is hop aboard the Walt Disney World monorail. It dips into the park before pulling into the station outside the gates.

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Depending upon where you are in the park at the time, it is possible that the monorail train will go softly whooshing right over your head – photo op!

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I was standing in a rose garden at the time these shots were taken. WHOOSH!

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Horse out of water at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_1459:) As previously mentioned on this blog, there is a good deal of carved statuary scattered about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some is carved from stone, while other pieces more resemble wood – some of it painted, some of it presented in a more natural state. Here’s a wonderful example – the figure of a sea horse, which I belive was found outside the gates of Asia, just across from one of my favorite gift shops. I like the way this one has weathered (or maybe it’s just made to look weathered!). Once again, care has been taken to ensure that he blends in with his surroundings – and as admirable as that sounds, he is, after all, a SEA horse, so why is he out in the jungle? 😆

IMG_1457These statues have plenty of places to congregate and sometimes even hide, for there is no shortage of beautiful, flowering foliage in the Animal Kingdom. Tropical trees, plants and flowers are featured prominently throughout the park. They serve as an exotic and verdant backdrop for both the real animals and the carved ones.

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Bee-auty in bloom at EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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After getting my new camera for Christmas, there was a long stretch of time before I was able to get over to Orlando again to Visit Walt Disney World – but when I did, boy was I glad I now had a camera with 10x optical zoom! I was able to capture this little guy feasting on these blossoms at EPCOT.

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Tales in topiary at Walt Disney World

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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:) Rafiki presents the newly-born Simba to his father’s kingdom. The scene, from Disney’s animated feature The Lion King, has been rendered in topiary as part of the 2009 International Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT.

I have fond memories of taking my two oldest nieces to see the Broadway stage adaptation of The Lion King in New York City, when they were 6 and 8 years old. Now they are 18 and 20. Where does the time go?

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Crepe myrtle, or crape myrtle? blooming at Walt Disney World

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_1803-WDW-EPCOT-geosphere-pink-crepe-myrtle😉 Being a girl from the north, I hadn’t any idea that these trees that were blooming last month in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park were actually crepe myrtle That’s a link to pictures of crepe myrtle on Flickr, which includes some of the most amazing macros. It’s also a search where I spelled it wrong, like I’ve been doing all along; according to Dictionary.com, it’s actually crApe myrtle; that link yields a completely different set of photos on Flickr. Anyhow, I had to take a photo with my cell phone and send it to Twitter and this blog in order to find out what it was. Many thanks to Debbie and Wendy for their responses that day.

The most common type of crape myrtle in the United States arrived here at the end of the 1700s from Asia. I’ve read that it does best here in temperate climates where the risk of fungus is low, such as the drier parts of California and Texas.

I actually found quite a few of them growing and blooming in EPCOT that day. They were all along the front entrance near the geosphere – Spaceship Earth – and sprinkled throughout the World Showcase in various countries, most notably in France. The wind kicked up and blew the small petals to the ground in heaps. Children were playing “snow” with them, throwing handfuls up into the air. The wind trapped some in a corner and whirled them around in circles – check out this video of the crape myrtle dervish.

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Lotus in the pond at EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

:) Same pond at the China pavilion that was featured in yesterday’s post about the dragonfly gymnast :) I had to scour Google Images to figure out that this was a lotus bud, and not just a run of the mill “water lily”. Oddly, the way I finally identified it was not via the bud, but via the seed pod!

I don’t usually go in for pink much because it is not on my color chart – I’m an “autumn” – but I just love this shade. I bet it looked really pretty when it finally did bloom.

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Water lilies at Disney’s EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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Found these blue-lavender water lilies reflected in the pond that sits before the China pavilion at EPCOT. There were some really fat tadpoles swimming around in there, too!

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Jacaranda in bloom at the 2009 Flower and Garden Festival

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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There are several jacaranda trees planted in the courtyard right before you pass underneath Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. May is the perfect time to catch the jacaranda in bloom. The flowers are a lovely shade of lavender and they give off the most subtly sweet scent.

The jacaranda is not a native of Florida, but close enough – it’s found in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and other subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

On the day I took these photos, I stood beneath the jacaranda breathing in the fragrance as blooms shook free in the breeze and rained down softly upon me. It was heaven!

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Flowery scene from Disney’s Flower & Garden Festival

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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Love the pineapple cut-out in this fence. Pineapples are supposed to represent prosperity and abundance. I seem to recall there might be some carved stone pineapples on the pillars near the International Gateway at EPCOT. Will have to investigate next time I’m in Walt Disney World (10 days, w00t!)

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Mickey Welcomes You To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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Mickey Mouse greets guests from on high as they enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park (fka Disney-MGM Studios), while a nearby hanging basket of flowers adds a splash of color against the blue sky. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. February 17th, 2008

If you love flowers and beautiful scenery, visit these wonderful memes –

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Getting ready for the Flower and Garden Festival

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_5861-EPCOT-flowers-landscape-lagoon :) I’M SO EXCITED!

I’ve booked a trip to Walt Disney World in mid-May, where I’ll attend the 16th annual EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. I look forward to this event each year, and I was really bummed one recent year when I could not attend (I had a really good reason – my checkbook and I were occupied at the time with moving here to Florida 😉 ).

The Flower and Garden Festival is held at EPCOT but its influence can be felt throughout Walt Disney World. Expect to see spectacular displays of all manner of trees, shrubs and flowers in decadent full bloom. The whole place is just eye candy; gardeners and flower lovers will think they’ve gone to heaven. Topiary figures of all your favorite Disney characters are encountered everywhere in the park. There’s usually a butterfly garden, demonstrations of new innovations and tried and true gardening techniques, garden sculptures, lectures and lots more.

Yep, I’m excited – so filled with anticipation, I’ve been going through photos of visits past, reminiscing and counting the days. Don’t be surprised if more than a few of these are posted in the next month or so. 😀

If you love flowers and beautiful scenery, visit these wonderful memes –

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Of Mice and Mutts – Disney’s Flower and Garden Festival

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
click any photo to see a larger version in Flickr

IMG_4264-Pirates-Donald-Duck-Pluto-topiarySpring is coming, and you know what that means – soon it will be time for the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT in Walt Disney World! I am positively enamored of the Flower and Garden Festival. I used to be quite the garden geek back in the day, before I moved to a place where I have NO idea what is growing on the side of the road. It’s kind of disconcerting not to be able to identify any of the trees or shrubs or flowers that are in my own front yard! Yet when I go to the Flower and Garden Festival, I can identify stuff, thus re-inflating my sense of self-worth. (Pssst… if by chance I cannot identify it, guess what? They’ve got signs on practically EVERYTHING! 😉 )

IMG_4272_crop-Minnie-Mouse-topiarySomewhere in my travels across the internet, I have heard Disney’s character topiaries referred to as “The Chlorophyll Zoo”. Now, it is true that not all of the topiaries you’ll find at Disney World are animals. Just a few weeks ago, I featured topiaries of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and despite Dopey’s big, floppy ears, none of these can be accused of being a critter. Even today’s topiary critters are suspect; they’ve all got some anthropomorphic qualities. Well, all except for Pluto. While Goofy, who is a dog, walks upright and speaks and has “hands” instead of front paws, Pluto, who is also a dog, was introduced in a cartoon short during the 1930s as Mickey Mouse’s puppy! And typically, you will see pluto on all fours. So technically, only one of today’s subjects is actually a critter through and through. The rest of them are suspect :mrgreen:

IMG_4263-Pirate-Goofy-TopiaryBack to the subject of topiaries – often you will find that Disney topiary supplies are offered for sale in Downtown Disney or at the festival itself. The frames can be rather pricey, but if you keep looking online, you can sometimes find a bargain. I’ve seen smaller versions of the ones you see here; I think most of these are taller than I am, and at 5’7″, I am not short. The smaller ones are about two feet high and I hear tell they take quite a bit of sphagnum moss and fishing line to get them set up. I’ve also seen very small table-top sized versions of a Mickey Mouse topiary for sale at the Flower and Garden Festival. The larger ones are started at least a year, if not more, before the Festival at which they debut. There must be a greenhouse somewhere on property with a dozen or so of each character in various stages of it’s life cycle – some just starting, some halfway there, and some ready to take their place in the landscaping of the parks

IMG_4270-Pirate-Mickey-Mouse-topiary The year these photos were taken, the theme was pirates. Peter Pan, Hook, Smee and the pirate ship all graced the front entrance of EPCOT, with Spaceship Earth making an iconic backdrop for the scene. Meanwhile, in the World Showcase Plaza, Mickey and the gang were posed around a “treasure chest” with ivy and golden blossoms spilling out of it. I had my oldest niece with me; it was her graduation gift to be taken to Disney World.

In the middle of this coming May, my very youngest niece, just 4 years old, will be making her first visit to Walt Disney World. I’m not sure she will be paying attention to the topiaries. She’ll be too busy being excited over the prospect of having a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Auntie Tink *~*~* recently sent her a lovely Cinderella costume that she’ll be wearing for her visit to the castle, complete with dainty slippers, tiara, and earrings that don’t pinch but she’s afraid they will, so she won’t try them on 😉 Bro. No. 2 says she’ll get over it by time she heads up to the Royal Table. She will be beyond adorable with or without them, I’m sure!

*~* More posts about Disney’s EPCOT

*~* My previous Camera Critters posts

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Todays-Flowers-LogoEDITED Sunday 02-22-2009: someone suggested that I use this post to play Today’s Flowers, too. So that’s what I’m doing! I’ve never played before, and I hope this qualifies.

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