Coral Castle Museum

If you are ever traveling down this way, you have to make time to visit the Coral Castle Museum.

Coral Castle was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.

The castle was originally located in Florida City in the 1920’s but was moved single-handedly to it’s present location by Ed in the 1930’s.

It was a fascinating tour. When you arrive you are greeted by one of the tour guides who will direct you to join one of the on-going tours – don’t worry you won’t miss anything as it’s a circular tour and you can join and re-join as many times as you wish if you missed any part of it.

Ed was only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall but as you wander around you will be amazed at how this sleight man could maneuver large heavy and rough coral slabs to construct a selection of beds, tables, walls, his workshop and sleeping quarters.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Some of the features at the Coral Castle include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of a finger, a Polaris telescope pin-pointing precisely where the north star is located and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

There is also the world’s largest and heaviest Valentine. The table is a perfect heart shape and weighs 5000 pounds!

The 9 ton gate is perfectly balanced and moves extremely easily. It is Ed’s amazing engineering skills that continue to baffle experts and visitors.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Ed accomplished this by drilling an eight foot longitudinal hole that precisely aligns with stone’s centre of gravity for perfect balance. The door fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side. The door is so perfectly balanced that it can be easily pushed open using only a finger. How he did this remains a mystery, as even the most advanced electronic analysis equipment we have today would find it difficult to reproduce it.

find out more

The Rising Tide

Today is a guest post from my friend Marion. She recently visited an open air exhibit with a difference and shared her pictures with me. It would have been something I would have loved to see in person.

However, we are lucky to have technology at our fingertips to make sharing our experiences much easier…so now I’m able to share her pictures with you too.


The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor (London, England)

The first London commission of world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, The Rising Tide, is concealed and revealed by the daily ebb and flow of the tide on the Vauxhall foreshore. These four proud horses and their riders highlight the role of the Thames as the lifeblood of London, shaping the city’s great history as an ever evolving centre for culture, industry and commerce.

Marion stayed to capture the photos from low to high tide (do you know how long that would have taken?) Due to her tenacity and patience we can see how the sculptures are covered by the River Thames over time.

“As it was such a stunning day I watched the incoming tide flow around them until they disappeared…. it was like a meditation .. not just watching the sculptures but the river too.”

The Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament

You can find out more about the artist and the sculptures here


All photographs in this article taken with thanks  © M Sumerfield

Hidden Treasures – Rock Garden Pond

If you take a walk along the bay near Bayfront Park, look out for a well hidden treasure – a rock garden pond complete with mini bridge, water-lillies and lots of trees and plants.

It’s very relaxing and tranquil and if there’s a spare bench why not sit and chill a while.


Location

Address: 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Miami Pixel Art

I had to go to Miami International Airport the other day to meet someone visiting. From time-to-time there are art exhibitions and artwork around the airport.

If you happen to be in Terminal J look out for a big bright and colorful piece of Pixel Art of MIA.

For those of you too far away to see it up close and personal, here’s a photo I’ve taken so you can see how fun it looks 🙂

Miami International Airport eBoy Miami by Mars Design Miami.
This is the artwork currently displayed at Miami International Airport. Oct 2015.

eBoy explain that a Pixorama is a mix between the words : Pixel & Panorama. It is a Digital Art Work that is created pixel by pixel on a computer. It is a new technique of Art creation and its it allows great creativity.

For the first time, Mars Design Miami and eBoy bring their talent to a very specific project by pixelising MIA as a “city” itself.

The eBoyMIA Pixorama landing took place at the Miami International Airport with a presentation of a big print of the Artwork on the walls of the MIA.

For more information about the above artwork please visit eBoy Miami

The Beach and surrounding areas pixel style. Click the photo for more info.
The Beach and surrounding areas pixel style. Click the photo for more info at eboymiami.com

They also depict areas of Miami and Miami Beach in another colorful pixel artwork.

It’s fun to pick out areas that you recognize.

Can you spot the funky Lifeguard Huts on the beach, The Living Room from the Design District, the art deco hotels?…take a look and see what you can find. There’s so much packed into the artwork it may take you a while.


If you liked this, you may also be interested in
Give Your Walls Some Love


 

 

 

Bird of Paradise

We are very lucky to have exotic flowers growing all around us in Miami because of the wonderful weather.

Whilst out walking yesterday I saw a bright orange flash of color and realized there were a number of Bird of Paradise flowers growing nearby.

I just had to snap a picture or two 🙂


 

These flowers earned their name because their shape resembles a bird.
These flowers earned their name because their shape resembles a bird.
The Bird of Paradise flower is an interesting shape and has a very vibrant orange color.
The Bird of Paradise flower is an interesting shape and has a very vibrant orange color.

Strelitzia reginae (Strelitziaceae)

Common Names:
Bird of Paradise Flower
Crane Flower
Crane Lily

Bird of Paradise flowers are associated with liberty, magnificence and good perspective.

Morning Sunrise Clouds

This morning, early on the beach, we were entertained by an amazing collection of clouds that covered the arrival of the sunrise. They were dramatic and each one was different from the next. It would have been rude not to capture them considering Mother Nature was putting on a great show.

Now you can enjoy them too…here are the collection of Morning Sunrise Clouds courtesy of Mother Nature herself.


Morning Sunrise Clouds

Dramatic Cloud formations
Sunrise clouds hide the early morning sun
Amazing Clouds
Do you have a favorite cloud type?
Cotton Wool clouds
Cotton Wool clouds
Morning Sunrise Clouds
The morning sunrise cloud formations put on a wonderful show

It was amazing that so many different variations of cloud were in the sky all at the same time. It looked like an artist’s brush had painted the sky.

They appear depending on the atmospheric conditions which change throughout the day. Each one unique, and even though you will see similar clouds again, they will always be different.

The panoramic view of the early morning clouds is even more dramatic
The panoramic view of the early morning clouds is even more dramatic. The morning sunrise clouds hide the star of the show but they’re doing a great job stealing the limelight.

Do you have a favorite cloud? Can you name any of the clouds featured in these pictures? Let me know below.

 

How To Prepare a Mango

Mango is the “King of Fruits” and definitely brings a taste of the exotic to the table.

It’s not the easiest fruit to prepare, being so juicy it tends to slip and jump out of your hands. There is a better way.

I will show you how to prepare a mango with the minimum of fuss and mess. This method will help you extract the most flesh from your ready to eat ripe mango and keep the juice from escaping all over you and the kitchen!

Follow these easy steps and you’ll look like a professional mango connoisseur.


  • Wash your Mango
  • Leave the skin intact
  • Hold the Mango so the pointed lower part of the mango is facing you and the top pointed upper part is facing away from you
  • With a sharp knife slice the right hand side of the mango.
  • Repeat on the other side. You should now have three separate bits of mango. Set the middle core section aside for now but do not discard.
  • With the same sharp knife, score vertically across the flesh of one segment, but do not cut through the skin.
  • Using the same segment, score horizontally across the flesh. Again, do not cut through the skin.
  • Turn the mango over so the skin is facing you and turn the mango inside out – pushing with all your fingers (see image below)

You should now have something that looks like this

Follow my steps to easily prepare your mango
Follow my steps to easily prepare your mango
  • Using your knife, cut off the raised segments into a bowl. Discard skin.
  • Repeat above on the second half of mango segment

To remove the flesh from the core

  • Using your knife, slice either side of the main core so you have two thin strips. Carefully remove the skin from these strips and chop into chunks.
  • Discard the skin and main core
Minimal mess and lots of sweet mango pieces to enjoy.
No mess and lots of sweet mango pieces to enjoy.

The Farmer

Whilst traveling out and about we popped into The Fresh Approach to have lunch. Outside they have a tractor and a sign reminding us how valuable farmers are to keep a country going and everyone fed.

Thought provoking words
Thought provoking words

I found an article called Lessons of Farm Life Invaluable and wanted to share an excerpt which compliments the plaque I found at The Fresh Approach and is a reminder how hard farmers have to work to keep things ticking.

 

Responsibility: No matter how late you party on Saturday night, the cows have to be milked on schedule, even on Sunday morning.

Perseverance: Even if the tomato rows are endless, and the hay bales heavy, you keep going until the job is done. And even if a hailstorm destroys your tomato crop just as it is ready to harvest, you start again next year.

Crisis management: If the electricity goes out because of an ice storm, and the regular milker can’t come in, you figure out how to get 100 cows milked.

Appreciation: If you enjoy a good hamburger with lettuce and tomato and French fries, you know that they didn’t “just appear” in the restaurant. Somewhere, one farmer grew wheat for the bun; another, corn to feed the beef cattle that another farmer raised.

Patience: A farmer invests thousands of dollars, plus many hours of “sweat equity” in his crops. Then his profit depends largely on things over which he has no control: the weather and the markets. And if a cow needs his attention all night, he will be there.

Resourcefulness: A farmer is many things: Businessman, mechanic, soil scientist, civil engineer, amateur veterinarian, community leader; the list could go on.

You can read the original article here at citizen-times.com

An Oliver Tractor
An Oliver Tractor

Feathered Friend Friday

Sometimes humans are just too interesting to ignore! On a recent trip we were enjoying a nice relaxing sit by a lake. In the distance we could see a few ducks, Ibis and Embden Geese walking purposefully towards us.

It turned out to be a wonderful photo op – they also had a lot to say, and even though we had no food to share, they ended up just sitting and chilling by the lake. Well most of them – one feathered friend, the Embden Goose explained a lot how he was extremely unhappy at the lack of food provided!


Felt a bit like in Jurassic Park - we were being tracked!
Can You Spot them? Felt a bit like being in Jurassic Park – we were being tracked!
All in line now, one, two, three, four...
All in line now, one, two, three, four…
The Ibis Just passing through
The Ibis Just passing through
Ever feel like you're being surrounded...
Ever feel like you’re being surrounded…
Welcome feathered friends - it was getting busy!
Welcome feathered friends – it was getting busy!
Amazing lake to sit and relax - these birds have picked a great spot to live
Amazing lake to sit and relax – these birds have picked a great spot to live
The Embden Geese had a lot to say and were so nosy
The Embden Geese had a lot to say and were so nosy

Somewhere up in the trees were a flock of crows but they kept out of sight even though they too had a lot to say.

The crows were hiding above but we could certainly hear them from time-to-time.
The crows were hiding above but we could certainly hear them from time-to-time.

Labor Day Weekend Sunday Sunrise

A great way to start the day, if you’re up early, is to pop down to the beach and enjoy the free sunrise show. This is exactly what we did this morning.

To make the experience even more comfortable we sat on our beach chairs with tea and coffee in a couple of travel mugs.


 

A great way to get the day started
A great way to get the day started

 

Morning!
Morning!
Morning Sunrise over Miami Beach
Morning Sunrise over Miami Beach
The warm glow that follows
The warm glow that follows and it begins to hot up!

Have a Happy Labor Day Weekend wherever you spend your early mornings!