|Here I am with friends Rosalie and Jack heading out to do some sightseeing|
One of our favourite outings was the visit to Ft. Myers to see the Edison and Ford Winter Homes and museums. We spent half a day there gleaning a wealth of information we never knew before about these two men, both inventors and researchers, who along with Firestone, set up a research project here in the 1920's to try and find a US source for rubber. Edison and his young wife, many years his junior, supported a vast garden and planted trees such as the Camphor tree(used later for Vick's Vapor Rub, among other things)the magnificent Banyon trees, and the Mysore Fig. Edison spent a good part of every winter here to get away from the cold of Michigan and enjoyed the fruits of his inventive mind, having 1,060+ patents earned over 63 years, lots of which are little parts such as early batteries, the kinetoscope, and other bigger things like the first phonograph, with which he made his millions. We think of him as the inventor of the lightbulb, but actually it was invented by someone else; Thomas Edison merely perfected it.
|Edison's great invention, the phonograph.|
|Ahead of his time|
|This is Edison's comfy study.|
|Edison liked to fish, too. There are many fish tales about him !|
|The enormous Mylore Fig on the grounds of Edison's compound|
My favourite experiences turned out to be the ones in Florida's natural enchanted spots, such as the day we kayaked around the many island-like mangrove-covered hummocks, seeing snowy egrets, great blue herons and even Osprey in their nest.
|Me on the kayak|
|Mangroves growing on the hummocks|
|Following our fearless leaders|
|The intrepid kayakers|
|Heron stalking it's prey|
Another day of natural wonders was when we went to Pine Island,via the cute town of Matlacha, filled with shops and art galleries.
|This art was wonderful---wish I could remember the Artist, a woman, name!|
On the Island we toured a natural preserve there protecting the ancient shell mounds created by the Calusa Indains started over 2000 years ago. On the way we passed through an area once rich with Orange orchards and other fruit trees. We saw the huge shell mounds, and also many "Tourist trees" or "sunburn trees" named for their peeling red bark. Their real name is the Gumbo Limbo tree. If anyone has ever done Limbo dancing, we can see why---the trees twist and turn in beautiful patterns.
|Gary Pointing to the "Sunburn or Tourist Tree"|
|A shell mound on Pine Island|
|A Callusa Indian Mask|
The ultimate in touristic pleasures was the day we went to the Everglades. We had planned on taking a four wheel drive vehicle offered by one of the many tourist spots through the grasslands to spy on wildlife. After our success on foot, walking the Fuckahatchee trail, a wooden boardwalk through a jungle like environment, we decided we had had the Best!
|An Eagle mom watching over her nest...|
|the Eagle's nest|
|From here we watched a Blue Heron stalking|
|Two alligators, one on top of the other|
|A large turtle|
|Ruddy Dagger Winged Butterfly|
|A Roseated Spoonbill|
|Nothing like a cold beer!|
|The guys agreed|
|The Clyde Butcher Photo Gallery|
|Friend Jack and I standing on the Naples Peer|
|Gary and I watching the sunset at the Naples Beach|