Bok Tower Gardens

2/1/14 Saturday at Kissimmee, FL (Sherwood Forest RV Resort-Encore)

This morning was fairly warm but still pretty rainy so we spent most of it in the lodge working on computer stuff. After lunch we took off for Bok Tower Gardens.

Bok Tower Gardens

Edward W. Bok built these gardens (landscaped by the famous architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr) and the singing tower, Bok Tower, in 1929. We were fortunate to have learned from Bonnie/Gene that these were open to the public for free today in celebration of their 85th anniversary. Normally it’s $12 or $18/adult. Bok loved coming here in the winter for it’s quiet, relaxing expanse of nature. He especially loved the sunsets. This spot where he built the Bok Tower on Iron Mountain is one of the highest points in peninsular Florida (298 feet), thus the vistas. He was editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal for years. He wanted to heed his grandmother’s words: “Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.” He most surely did.

The Singing Tower (Bok Tower) has 60 bells/carillons that are played in concerts at 1 pm and 3 pm each day. Built from pink marble and coquina, Note the eagles carved at the top. On one side there is a Great Brass Door with 30 panels depicting the biblical story of creation. Mr. Bok’s grave site it just at it’s base. The entire tower is surrounded by a moat.

Bok Tower a Bok Tower aa Bok Tower b Bok Tower c Bok Tower d Bok Tower e Bok Tower f

Views from the Bok Tower lawn

Views a Views b

 

Tribute to Bok  from his Mountain Lake neighbors.

Tribute

 

Pinewood Estate and Gardens (the extra $6 is for this). I was thrilled that they let us take photos so….you get several. It’s a 20 room Mediterranean style home built in the 1930’s. Every door is different.
Pinewood a Pinewood b Pinewood c Pinewood d Pinewood e Pinewood f Pinewood g Pinewood h Pinewood i Pinewood j Pinewood k

Fun creatures we saw there. Can you find the squirrel on the tree that grows out horizontally? He was letting us all know that this was HIS property. You’ll need to click/enlarge the image to see him.

Fun a

Anhinga (long slim neck helps distinguish from Cormorants)

Fun b

Northern Cardinal

Fun c

Blue Jay

Fun d

Thrasher?

fun e Fun f

Flowers; although many were past their prime there were numerous surprises.

Flower b Flower c Flower d Flower e Flower f Flower g Flower h Flower i Flowers a

As you can tell, we had a wonderful time-so much beauty. We even ran into RV friends who are staying in a different campground, Ian and Lily! Such a small world.

We were pretty tired when we got home so after a leftover supper of spaghetti (thanks Betty!) and Rum Chada, a yummy liqueour (thanks Greg/Marcia!), we sat back and enjoyed a DVR tape of the first part of “Bonnie and Clyde”. Wonderful day.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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