Friday, October 31, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

This shot was taken from the same place as last week's SWF image, but that one was looking west over the marsh and this one is looking north, following the narrow road as it bends around the creek, with a palm tree hanging out over the waters.  The clouds in the distance stopped right here - everything to their right was empty, clear blue sky, so the palm tree was conveniently located to provide some interest to that side of the photo.  I like this image because it offers a little bit of everything: sky, clouds, trees, water, marsh grass, reflection of the sky in the water...

Check out the Sky Watch Blog for all the great SWF shots of the week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bulow Plantation and Ruins: Part 1

The picture below is of the main entrance road into Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park.  It should give you an idea of the terrain.  When you turn off of the main road onto this narrow, tree-lined, dirt trail barely big enough for a single vehicle you know you have left modern civilization behind.  For about two miles you drive straight - no curves or turns - through moss covered oak trees, over pumps and potholes in the road, slowly down a very gentle slope.

At the end of that long dirt road you come to a clearing with a park ranger building, a sign telling about the history of the plantation, a wooden fence outlining what would have been the small plantation house - nothing of it remains today but the limestone foundation of the interior walls - and a boat ramp on Bulow Creek.

When this was a plantation back in the early 19th century these marshes would actually have been rice patties - not uncommon in northeast Florida and other parts of the southeastern coast.  Before cotton became "king", rice was a big cash crop on coastal plantations (not farther inland, there was something about the salt air that helped it grow).  So the view below and above would have been a covered by a sea of rice plants instead of marsh grass.

Below is a shot of the undergrowth of the woods that cover most of the park grounds today.  In the 1830's, during the sugar mill's heyday, this all would have been cleared fields planted in sugar cane, which grows fairly tall, but there would have been few trees.  The scene below is more what happens in most of Florida when mother nature is left alone to take over an area - pine trees, palmetto bushes, various other small trees and bushes... and lots of snakes, spiders, opossums, raccoons, armadillos, birds, and if you are lucky, wildcats, bobcats, panthers, etc.

But the main reason for visiting this state park are the fantastic ruins of the Bulow Sugar Mill:

More on that next time...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "O" is for Oak Tree

ABC Wednesday is an easy choice for anyone that lives in the Southern United States - oak trees are everywhere.  Their long, gnarly, twisted branches, often draped in moss or ferns, make for great photo subjects and provide plenty of great shade to escape the hot southern sun.

This particular oak is found in Bulow Plantation State Park near Flagler Beach, Florida.

Visit Mrs Nesbitt or the ABC Wednesday anthology for all the ABC Wednesday fun.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prehistoric Florida

Before we leave the museum behind, a little taste of prehistoric Florida.

First a diorama depicting a scene of coastal Florida with a giant sloth, bison, and other critters - you might be able to pick some of them out if you enlarge the photo.

Full view of a skeleton of a giant sloth - don't worry, they are (were) slow:

Head shot for his portfolio:

Description of the glyptodont - a giant ancestor of the armadillo:

Skeleton of the glyptodont:

Next time we'll see skeletons of a more modern, man-made sort: Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Museum Militaria

A few images from a special exhibit at the MOAS of military items from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Curasse and helmets from curassiers - heavy cavalry of the Napoleonic era that wore heavy metal breastplates and helmets, carried big, heavy swords, and rode only the largest of horses - their massed attacks were said to literally shake the ground.

Decorative hilt from a cavalry sword of the Napoleonic era:

An even more ancient crossbow:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ye Olde Tyme Drugstore

One of the exhibits in the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences is of an old fashioned drug store:

The ubiquitous drug store indians:

Cash register box:

Lost your marbles?  Pick up a few replacements here:

Jars of chemicals and powders on the shelf.  I took this particular one because of the white jar in the middle labeled: Pot.Sod.Tart - I found the name amusing. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All Aboard!

Follow the sage advice offered below and enjoy a brief visit to some historic train cars.

This orange car named "Hiawatha" is from the Del Rapids line in Minnesota, built in 1948.  It ran between Chicago and Minneapolis - 400 miles in 400 minutes with 12 stops.  This particular car has an observation car that includes a lounge in the front behind the windows below.  Six were made in 1948: this one, one destroyed later by fire, three sold to the Mexican government after they were retired, and one that has gone missing, whereabouts unknown.  (Which begs the question, how does a giant train car go missing?)

And lastly, a picture of the happy couple...

As always, no apologies for bad (as in good) puns. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fluffy clouds reflected on the still waters of the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway near High Bridge south of Flagler Beach, Florida, part of Bulow Plantation State Park.

Visit for all the Sky Watch Friday fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I just wanna be your...

Thank ya.  Thank ya very much.

This blog post dedicated to our fellow blogger Bear Naked. :)

All from a teddy bear collection at the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "N" is for Near Death Experience*

* not a real near death experience! :)

The letter N is for Near death experiences at the museum.

First I was viciously attacked by a 6 foot tall Scottish teddy bear.  O the humanity!

Just when we thought it was safe, we rounded the corner and ran headlong into this highly active, fast moving, extremely dead(ly) skeleton of a giant sloth!

As you can see from this exclusive, completely undoctored and in no way edited photo, he was not welcoming to visitors.

Through the use of all of our skill, cunning, and normal walking speeds after reading the description signs, we were able to escape and live another day to bring you the harrowing tale so that you, dear reader, might not make the same mistakes we did.

See what else is lurking at - if you dare! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Daytona Beach

After half-a-day of state-parking and photo-taking we were in need of a good lunch, and so made our way to South Daytona Beach / Port Orange on the recommendation of some kind folk from the Intergoogleweb.

Here is my lovely wench looking out the window from the restaurant.  Why is she suddenly a wench?  Because we were eating at Captain Morgan's Port Royal Restaurant and Oyster Bar, a pirate themed restaurant of sorts at a quasi-pirate themed resort, but the restaurant is open to the public, had good reviews, and had an amazing view.  

Where else can you eat lunch for a moderately reasonable price on the beach with a view like this?

We had Cuban sandwiches with fries followed by caramel apple empanadas with vanilla ice cream.  Not the cheapest lunch, but comparable with anything else along the beach and cheaper than many.  The food was good, the service was ok, and the location was fantastic.  We'd go back if we're in the area.  The entire side of the restaurant is picture windows so you can see the beach, which you just can't get any old place.

Fortified with caribbean cuisine, we were ready to head back north and see more sights.  First stop?  The Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, or MOAS...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flagler Beach

All shots just taken while pulled over on the side of A1A near Flagler Beach on the way south.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park: Part 5

Rounding the corner from the rose garden you are met by a lovely gazebo and pond, surrounded by large ferns, plants, flowers, and trees.

Purple and white flowers hiding behind an iron bench:

A footbridge crossing a narrow portion of the shallow pond:

Other end of the pond features a fountain:

Hanging out underneath the fountain that day was a bright orange Triploid Grass Carp (they had a sign about them):

Close-up of the carp under the fountain - he didn't move the entire time we were there, but the other carp were swimming around the pond.  This guy must have found something tasty on the fountain:

A smaller pond off to one side had an amazing hazy blue color to it:

Interesting yellow flower:

Perhaps even more interesting white flower - looks dangerous:

After an enjoyable walk around the grounds you might want to take a load off and just sit and enjoy the view for a while:

So that's all from Washington Oaks Gardens State Park this go around.  I hope to get back next month and check out the beach side.  Speaking of beaches... next stop?  Flagler Beach.