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.

Read moreCoral Castle Museum

Wisdom Wednesday – No Failures

Wisdom Wednesday – where the posts speak for themselves


 

Look at what you are doing a different way and success will follow
Look at what you are doing a different way and success will follow

Today’s Wisdom Wednesday quote is inspired by a comment I read on a blog I follow.

Why not check out Kathie Gregory’s blog at ataleoftwohorses.com

 

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

Miami Street Names

A Brief Guide to Miami’s Street Names

Collins Avenue
John Collins was a farmer and land developer who built the first wooden bridge from Miami to Miami Beach in 1913

Flagler Street

Miami Beach Celebrated 100 years this year (2015)
Miami Beach Celebrated its 100th Birthday this year (2015)

Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway made connections to Miami a reality. Before 1896 there was no easy way to move goods or people out of Miami. The railroad arrived in April of that year. Henry Flagler is known as the “father” of Miami and his name pops up in many places in South Florida.

Biscayne Blvd
This street takes it name from the Biscayne Bay

No longer connected - a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL
No longer connected – a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL. Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway made connections possible. It’s a shame it has long since disappeared.

Brickell Avenue

William and Mary Brickell owned a trading post on the south side of the Miami River. In the late 1800’s everything south of the river was called Brickell for many years.

Julia Tuttle Causeway
If Henry Flager is considered the “father” of Miami then Julia Tuttle is the “mother” of Miami. She gave Henry Flagler a hard time and persuaded him to extend his rail line 65 miles south from Palm Beach to Miami.

Rickenbacker Causeway

If you're feeling fit you an cycle across and visit Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Florida Park
If you’re feeling fit you can cycle across the Rickenbacker Causeway and visit Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Florida Park

This name comes from the WW1 ace pilot, Eddie Rickenbacker who then became the president of Eastern Airlines which had its base in Miami.

Killian Drive
Dan Killian had a country store south of what is now called Coral Gables and was responsible for the first schools, streetlights and churches in the area

Don Shula Expressway
Don Shula was the Miami Dolphins coach. He retired in 1997 and holds the coaching record for the most wins in the NFL (347). He coached the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in the NFL history to play a perfect 16-0 season and win the Super Bowl.

Ives Dairy Road and Milam Dairy Road

Ives Dairy Road - no longer the home of the dairy!
Ives Dairy Road – no longer the home of the dairy!


Once upon time these roads went to actual Dairy Farms. Now Ives Dairy Road leads to the Sun Life Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play. Milam Dairy Road goes to the city of Miami Lakes. The Milam family chain of grocery stores can still be found in the area.

I think it is a shame that the Dairy Farms are no longer there and have been replaced by a stadium – what do you think?


Do you know any other origins of Miami street names?


 

Dictionary Corner – Cryptozoology

Cryptozoology – The search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti.

In fact did you know there’s a Cryptozoological Museum?

The mission of the museum is to share items cryptozoologically collected, since 1960, by Loren Coleman and gathered from other donators to his collection.

They even have a cryptozoological map of the Monsters in America. Check out the monsters living in your state.

Watch out, watch out...there be monsters about...
Watch out, watch out…there be monsters about…

Loren Coleman, author/co-author/contributor of over 100 books, is someone you’ve seen in Bigfoot and cryptozoology documentaries and reality television programs, since 1969. This museum is his legacy, and was founded in 2003. For more on the history of the Museum, click here.

Here in Florida we have the Skunk Ape. It’s also known as the swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape. It is a hominid cryptid said to inhabit the U.S. states of Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, although reports from Florida are more common.

Let me know if you spot any of these monsters. In the meantime, I’ll keep a lookout for the Skunk Ape…


Did you miss last week’s Dictionary Corner – Hump Day – why not check it out here


 

 

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


 

 

 

Dictionary Corner – Hump Day

There are so many words to learn, understand and discover as well as some interesting new phrases that have cropped up over the years.

Welcome to Dictionary Corner

For example: What on earth does Hump Day mean?

I guess a Camel would be happy to celebrate Hump Day on any day of the week!
I guess a Camel would be happy to celebrate Hump Day on any day of the week!

Does it mean – Grab your camels by the hump? Is Quasimodo in town and which day? What is going on with this hump? I see this phrase on forums and it seems to pop up more and more in general chats!

Hump Day actually refers to the middle of the week, and specifically, Wednesday. It has become a popular phrase, implying that you have to get “over the hump” before you can anticipate the weekend.

So next time it’s the middle of the week, see if you can drop the phrase somewhere in the conversation and see what reaction you get. At least if they look at you with a puzzled face, you can wow them with your new found knowledge or just direct them here to get the lowdown 🙂


To help you get the most of your Hump Day why not check out my regular Wisdom Wednesday articles – the posts that speak for themselves.

 

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