Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monet and the lilies

Monet is famous for painting water lilies.
The water lilies at McKee Botanical gardens are one of their most famous features.
Currently, there are displays like this one around the garden.  This is a mock-up of where Monet got his inspiration.  Kind of clever.


 Bananas grow on trees. 
A person might forget that if they don't see it in person every now and then.

The world's largest mahogany table

The largest mahogany table in the world--you were looking for it, right?
I found it.  The over 35 foot long piece of mahogany is in the Hall of Giants at McKee Botanical Gardens.

It was put there in 1941 by Waldo Sexton, after he had a building made for it.  Waldo had first seen it at an exposition in 1903.  It seems he liked to collect things, and this is one piece of all that he acquired.

The table can seat one hundred diners and used to be the gathering place for big parties with lots of food.

At one time it must have been a very large tree.  Now it's a very large table--the largest of its kind.

Mckee Botanical Garden

McKee Botanical Garden is a pretty spot.  At one time it was eighty acres of lush, Florida vegetation.  Now it's only eighteen, but still plenty big enough for a comfortable walk or a few hours of sitting in some quiet, garden serenity.

If you walk around, here area some of the things you might see...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Spanish moss

Something I've always wanted to see is the cobwebby Spanish moss on the trees in the Southern U.S.
I'm sure it's something very "everyday" to those who live there.
But to me, it's very novel.
And rather pretty.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Indian River boat ride

The Indian River is almost the ocean.  It's big and salty and wet.  But really it's a lagoon area on the Atlantic coast of Florida.
Ocean, river, lagoon--whichever you'd like to call it--it's a pretty place to take a boat ride.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Frozen dinosaur

 Here's something you don't see often:  a dinosaur with snow on his back.

He even has icicle lips.

Dinosaurs would have a hard time in Michigan, perhaps.

Cold out there

Stop and look.

From city...

...to farm--it's cold out there.

Friday, November 22, 2013


 From a distance, these look like green beans.

They aren't.
 Up close, they are skinnier than beans and have a radish flavor.
I had no idea what they were and so had to do some research.

Looking up green bean that tastes like radish did little good.  But when I finally had the Hindi name, moongre, I found what I wanted to know:  they are radish seed pods.
What does a person do with radish seed pods?  Well, there aren't a lot of recipes.  The choices seem to be to eat them raw or make moongre alou ki subzi.
Which I did.
Not bad.  But I'll probably pay better attention next time so that the vegetable man brings me beans and not moongre.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mosquito cloud

The chemical cloud is so thick out there that I can't see beyond the balcony.

It's even coming in under the door.

Dengue, malaria, chikungunya--perhaps there are worse dangers out there than the chemicals in a fog.

That's why I can't wait until the Kite Patch is ready, and mosquito borne diseases are eradicated.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunset over Phoenix

If you go to Phoenix, you should also go to the top of a mountain and watch the sunset.
You won't be sorry you did.

Friday, October 18, 2013


 It must be six years since I have seen Michigan's fall colors.
I know they say it's nice in other places, too, but I have a hard time believing these colors can be beat.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

State capital museum

Arizona out grew its capital building after the territory became a state, so when the legislators and governor moved out, part of the building was turned into a museum with all sorts of state trivia.

Winged Victory, a seventeen foot weather vane sits atop the building.
The room where the state congress used to meet looks sort of like a school room.
The Arizona state seal--incorrectly designed--is at the center of the building.
This was an interesting display.
There was a law that to enter town, a man must be wearing pants.  Some of the native tribes didn't have the custom of wearing them.  So there was a pair of jeans which hung on a tree outside the town.  A man could wear the jeans into town and put them back on the tree branch when he went home again.

Arizona state capital

I visited the state capitol building of Arizona.
Inside is a museum, outside is a nice park.

Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is the stretch of park between the Arizona state courthouse and the capitol building museum.
The park holds numerous different war and veteran memorials.

As a plus, Arizona's blue sky makes a fantastic backdrop to it all.