Thursday, April 12, 2012
The "eyes" are not really his eyes. They are there to scare off predators. Their actual eyes are located at the base of his antennae.
Eyed Click Beetles get their name from their habit of fending off danger by turning on their back, then bending their head and pro-thorax backward and snapping open when straightening out. This produces a loud audible click.
Eyed Click Beetles can be found in the Eastern United States as far west as Texas.
Sawgrass Lake Park is located in St Petersburg, Florida. Visitors there can be reasonably sure of seeing American Alligators in the wild.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I made a big mistake while at the Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. I took photos of the inside of a 2-room house that was occupied by a family with 10 children and was so impressed with the inside, I forgot to shoot the outside. So, this one will have to do. There were a few houses like this on the outskirts of the property on the nature trail. These are still left for the Archaeologists to investigate and be restored. This is similar to the outside of the house I photographed.
This piece was outside the entrance to the house. If you remember from an earlier post, I stated the women made all the pottery, dishes, buckets and household items. I'm still trying to figure out what this was used for. I should've asked the woman in the house who showed me around, but she had to leave to watch the chickens. There was a hungry Fox around and they wanted to be sure the chickens were safe.
Maybe one of you readers have an idea what this is. It looks like it is some kind of form. It reminds me of an egg darner that my grandmother used to darn socks, but this is way too big for that. It stands probably 2 1/2 ft tall, and maybe 20 inches at the widest part. I'm really curious about this piece. I don't even know what to call it.
This chair was sitting between the bedroom and living area. It looks too ornate to be made by the Appalachees. My guess is that it was brought here by the Spaniards and given to this family. The carving is beautiful. To see it in detail, just click on the picture and it'll come up in a larger view.
The cradle is definitely made by the father. I was especially impressed with the cross on the headboard above the baby's head. The Appalachee Indians were Christian. The Spaniards brought Christianity to the Mission and the Applachees absorbed it.
Other than this cradle, the only other bed in the home is the parents' bed. I would guess the other children slept on the floor. I was particularly impressed with the canopy. I wouldn't have imagined that canopies were used in that era. However, I liked it and it did provide the parents some privacy, I suppose. It is also impressive that patterns were printed on fabric in the 1600's.
I guess I have a lot to learn about history. I recommend my method; it's a whole lot more interesting and fun than it was in school.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
These are the last of the Council House photos. In the first image, you can see a closeup of the beds that are all around the edge of the outside wall. The Apalachee natives would sleep there before an attack or before going to war. I didn't count them, but the Council House is 120 ft in diameter, so there were quite a few of these beds.
The mats are basically the same woven mats as you've seen on every table and on the benches and floors throughout the village. I believe they were woven by the women from Palm fronds. These mats were laid on a bed made of logs as were the tables and benches.
These two artifacts were found on the grounds during the excavations by the archaeologists. The bucket looks like the ones that can be found at many antique auctions and in antique stores. They're fairly common.
That clay jug is beautifully done. The craftsmanship is amazing. Those holes are purely for decoration. They don't go all the way through (or the liquid would leak out). I like what looks like salad tongs of today on the sides. I'd love to have one of these.
Tomorrow's post will be the interior of one of the houses of an Apalachee family. Be sure to come back and have a look.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Pictured here is one of many clay pots found on the excavation site. It has a piece of leather skin covering it. The rattle (I'm guessing what that is) is made from an animal hoof and some kind of dried gourd.
The other photo shows some woven baskets in the process of being made. The same type of weave was used for the table coverings and for the beds around the inside of the walls of the Council House.
The Council House was used for all kinds of things besides meetings. There were religious and ceremonial activities, including dances, rituals and preparations for war.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
In the foreground is one of the gardens where vegetables are grown. Right now, there's not much growing because it is Winter, but in the Spring and Summer, it is full of seasonal veggies. If you look closely, you can see the Friary in the background. I have more on that to show in a future post. It is still a working Friary today.
This artifact was recovered during the excavations I mentioned in an earlier post. I have no idea what it is used for, but I'm amazed at all the carving the natives did with primitive tools. Those swirls must've taken a long time to carve into that stone. It could be clay and they had some sort of mold; I'm not sure, but it looks like stone to me.
In the photo below, that definitely is a jaw, but if you look closely, there are rows of teeth like a shark. I don't know where they'd find a shark skeleton, since they're about 85 - 100 miles of the shore. It is also skewed and I can't figure out how they did that, or what they planned on doing with it.
These artifacts make me more curious about their culture, how they lived and worked and the technology they had. We only know so little about the Apalachee way back in the day around 300 years ago. Life must've been pretty tough for them.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Not knowing the significance of this home on the grounds of Mission San Luis which was obviously built during a later period makes me curious now. That is the reason I tell my photography students to take pictures of any signs when visiting for the first time. This is the consequence of not following my own advice. If any of you have visited the Mission and know what this house signifies, please let me know in the comments. I certainly would appreciate it. The mission was used until 1967 so this home could be that one of the leaders or maybe it was the home of a prominent citizen.
The second photo was on a table in the Council House. (If any of you didn't see that photo, just look back a couple of days to find it and to learn more about Mission San Luis in Tallahassee.) These look like they could be either eating or cooking utensils. Your guess is as good as mine. I wish the volunteer was able to spend more time with me so I'd know what these were used for.
The final clay pot was used as a smudge pot and was on the same table as the others. There were smudge pots on all the tables and near all the "beds" along the outer walls of the Council House. The smudge pots were for burning corn cobs to keep the mosquitos away.
The Apalachee Indians wasted nothing. There was no such thing as trash in those early days. They were the original "green people". We could learn a lot from them.
Monday, February 20, 2012
The artifacts to the left were found during one of the archaeological digs. The archaeological investigations began in the 1940's by three founding fathers of Archaeology. They were John W Griffin in 1948, Hale G Smith in 1950 and Charles H Fairbanks in 1956 and 1957.
Once Florida bought the site, the archaeology staff continued to conduct systematic excavation in the fort and the village from 1990 to 2002. These are some of their finds.
The skeletal remains were on the tables in the Council House. I have no idea what they came from, but the one on the bottom seems to be from some kind of canine, I think. If anyone of you out there can shed some light on the subject, I'd sure be interested in knowing and very appreciative.
The woman I was speaking with that was explaining everything to me had to go to guard the chickens because the other lady on the grounds saw a Fox. She wasn't quite finished, so I didn't get a chance to ask about these skeletal remains.
This one looks like some kind of canine, but I could be wrong. I'm not a Vet or an Archaeologist.
The second one is anyone's guess. It doesn't look like a skull. I can't imagine what it came from. I can't even tell what body part it is. It's an interesting piece, though. It doesn't look like it could've been used as a tool, so why was it kept? I wish I had the answers. Maybe I'll never know.
I think that's the end of the gross stuff. I promise tomorrow night the stuff will be a little bit easier to look at.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The women were not allowed in the Council House during meetings, but they came in here to do some of their work. The tables contain various artifacts of things in progress, like some unfinished baskets, Hickory nuts, they gathered and several pelts they were drying.
In the center of the room, there is a pile of wood they burned 24/7. The smoke went out the open hole in the top. When I asked the guide what kept the rain out, she told me the heat of the fire and the smoke evaporated the rain immediately so it (the rain) didn't get in and get the place all wet.
Under the tables are little black holes. They're called smug pots. They burned corn cobs in them to keep out the mosquitos. Along the edges of the hut are beds made from woven Palm fronds. Nothing was ever wasted. They'd crack the Hickory nuts and make mush out of them. The meat and inner shell was used to make a tea that had enough caffeine as several pots of coffee. The outer shell was boiled down to make paint and dye for their furniture and clothing.
All the tools were handmade.
I'll be posting detailed shots of some of the artifacts from inside the Council House in later posts.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Mission San Luis was built in 1656. It burned down in 1987 and this community has been recreated by the City of Tallahassee. Everything here is rebuilt with artifacts found around the place and from archeological digs.
In all, there are 60 acres to explore and that includes a nature trail of sort (it's not actually a trail; it's more like a walk in the woods) where you'll find many species of birds, fox, and all types of wildlife.
Pictured here is the Apalachee Indian council house, built by Apalachees. At over 120 feet in diameter, the council house is among the largest Indian structures ever built in the Southeast. It wasn’t uncommon for the council house to hold 1,500 or more people in the 1690s.
There is not enough space to give you all a tour, but I'll be posting more from this community in later posts.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I had planned to go to the Mission San Luis today, but with the rain, it's simply impossible.
Can you just imagine a museum with a wildlife trail? The Tallahassee Museum has it all. I'm not kidding. What a surprise when I discovered this nature trail and the wildlife within it. I'll be posting a few photos from the nature trail.
This White-tailed Deer was one of several I saw on the trail. I shot this from the boardwalk. This guy thought he was pretty well hid amongst the Palms and as he watched me, I was able to get this shot. He was a beauty!
This was another White-tailed Deer I saw out in the open in the Cypress grove. I'm pretty sure he was munching on some bark from that fallen tree. I must've seen 4 or 5 Deer in all.
Besides Deer, I saw Wild Turkey, a River Otter, a Bobcat, a Black Bear and a Gray Fox. Watch for future posts of these magnificent animals as I get them edited and ready for posting.
Judging from the rain we're getting, it looks like I'll be editing pictures all day.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
This top photo is of the Senate building at the Tallahassee Capitol Complex. It sits to the left of the old Capitol Building.
For those of you not from Florida, Tallahassee is the capitol of our state. This is the first time I've been here, so I'm doing the tourist thing, trying to get some sightseeing and shooting on my days off. My last day off, I went to the Tallahassee Museum. You can see a couple photos from that adventure in my last post. I'll probably be posting pix from both places in the next few posts.
This second shot is of the Florida Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and it is on the grounds of the Tallahassee Capitol Complex in front of the Old Capitol Building.
Inscribed on its walls are the names of the veterans from Florida who gave their life to keep us free and of those missing in action. The walls support a 40-foot American Flag.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
There were 10 cabooses in all with each caboose having their own slogan, which was keyed to the last number. According to this plan, this one should be, "Look Around Getting Down".
The Seaboard Air Line Railroad was in operation from 1900 to 1967, when it merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. It then became the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. In the '50's, the route mileage was a little more than 4,000 miles.
According to Wikipedia, Air line, in the days before air travel became a reality, was a common term for the shortest distance between two points: a straight line drawn through the air (or on a map), ignoring natural obstacles. Hence, a number of 19th century railroads used "air line" in their titles to suggest that their routes were shorter than those of competing roads.
Friday, February 10, 2012
This museum is mainly outside. It specializes in Tallahassee's history and it reminds me of Heritage Village in Largo.
There are many historical buildings built and used around the turn of the century in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
This shot is of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. I have no idea why I didn't think to take a shot of the stained glass windows, but I was more interested in the altar and the view from the back of the church.
This second shot is of the Concord Schoolhouse. It served as a one-room school from 1898 until 1968. It was originally built for the children of slaves.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs is a must see if you ever visit this area. The sponge industry is responsible for building a Greek community like no other around. Here, one can see a free movie showing the history of the sponge docks and how it has developed this small Greek village.
As you walk up and down Dodecanese Avenue along the Sponge Docks, you'll see many boats like this laden with sponge. There are many of the best Greek restaurants and bakeries along the Sponge Docks with some of the best authentic Greek food around. You'll also find about 100 little boutiques where souvenirs can be purchased, and beautiful hand made doilies, scarfs, jewelry and soaps are being sold. There are also a few antique stores. The aquarium has a live shark tank that divers feed a couple times daily along with a petting tank. Everything is priced reasonably.
It's a great way to spend a day for very little money and have fun as well.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
When alarmed, they raise the feathers on their head in a display fashion. They can be seen sprinting rapidly through shallow water when they're feeding. They often feed in groups.
They are resident in Florida and can be found in coastal beaches, marshes and inland waterways.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
In keeping with my New Year's Resolution, I missed yesterday, so I'm making up for it by posting 2 photos today. It works out better that way anyway since they're both of the same subject.
This is the Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar on the Manatee Landings Marina in Bradenton, Florida.
It's unique since it takes up the whole marina and it sits on a point out there in the middle of the Manatee River. This bar is a fun place and the food is to die for.
They have plenty of activities, like volleyball on the beach, a Polynesian Luau is planned for the 25th of this month, they have a regular jam night, and live music every night.
They have 600 ft of docking space and a 3,000 sq ft Tiki hut, built by the Seminole Indians. If you're ever in the area check them out; even if you're not in the area, it's worth the trip. (Sorry to sound like a commercial, no one is paying me for this and I do not know the owners.)
Thursday, February 2, 2012
They feed on Grouse, rabbits, beetles, lizards and frogs.
They are the largest of American "earred" owls.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This is beautiful Taylor Lake. It is a 53-acre lake and is just loaded with various aquatic birds. The two birds in silhouette in the foreground are American Coots (Fulica americana). Coots are in the Rail family.
John S Taylor park is 156.5 acres. "Amenities include:
- ball field
- boat ramp
- disc golf
- multi-purpose trail
- picnic area
- playground equipment
- seven picnic shelters & grills
Who was John S. Taylor?
Development of this park began in 1958.This park was named in honor of John S. Taylor. A staunch supporter of Pinellas County’s independence from Hillsborough, Mr. Taylor ironically served as a Hillsborough County State Representative from 1905 until defeated in 1910 for his stand on creating a separate Pinellas. As a lobbyist attending the 1911 session of the legislature, he successfully assisted the effort for Pinellas independence in 1912. Mr. Taylor also served as a State Senator, Mayor of Largo, President of the Florida Citrus Exchange and as a Member of the State Citrus Commission. Not only was he one of the county’s landowners of vast acreage, he owned one of the most successful citrus growing and packing businesses in Florida." -http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/18_taylor.htm
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The architecture is partially Spanish-Moroccan, Gothic tracery, romanesque capitals, Egyptian half-columns, baroque brackets, classic running moldings, renaissance portrait medallions, multifoil arches and fanciful finials. Even with all of these very different styles, one would think it would be hideous. It's just the opposite. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown St Petersburg.
One part of Snell’s creation that no longer has it’s former glory is the arcade itself which was built as a passage from Central Avenue to First Avenue North. I agree with Lowe’s impression from the photographs, “To say that it was lavishly decorated is clearly an understatement” (p. 121). Perched high along the arcade were seven Venuses as well as a large mosaic tile imported from Europe that depicted a Baroque Venetian church. The name of the mosaic is Baldassare Longhena’s Santa Maria della Salute. The tiles were uncovered during a 1983 restoration and Snell himself removed the statues when he sold the building (Lowe, 2006).
Today, there are a few stores on the ground floor in the "arcade" and some offices on the first couple floors. The remainder of the building houses condos--one condo per floor!
Monday, January 30, 2012
The State Theatre has gone though many renovations since its original build in 1924 as the Alexander National Bank. The bank only lasted 2 years when its owner, Jacob Alexander, died in 1926. Since then it became the home of an electric refrigeration company, another bank, then a small office building.
In 1949, it became the State Theatre. It has housed many concerts since that day.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Constructed in 1924, the State Theatre is an outstanding example of Beaux-arts style architecture. At the time of its construction, the State Theatre's 6000 sq. ft. made it one of the largest banks in St. Petersburg. Its original use as the Alexander National Bank lasted only two years until Jacob Alexander died in December 1926.
During part of 1927, the building was occupied by the Gregory Electric Refrigeration Company but by 1928 sat vacant. The Fidelity Bank and Trust Company purchased the building in July 1929. The stock market crash in October of that same year was too much for the local economy and the Fidelity Bank, like most St. Petersburg banks, was forced to close. After Fidelity's liquidation in 1931, the building was used for a succession of small office tenants until 1949 when it was remodeled into the State Theatre.
Neel Reid was the architect who designed the original building and was also responsible locally for the Alexander Hotel. In 1949 another notable architect, Archie Parrish of St. Petersburg, remodeled the building. The facade of the State Theatre is a symmetrical composition of three bays.
The bays are defined by engaged pilasters expressed as a series of quoins above a projected water table base topped by an ionic capital with an attached swag. A projected cornice with a simple entablature tops the facade. Above this is a parapet divided into three corresponding bays again divided by projecting pilasters. Each of the three main bays contains a pair of ionic columns on a block base supporting a banded arch with an engaged keystone with an acanthus motif.
A stylized bas-relief eagle fills the space between the sides of the three arches and the engaged pilasters. The original fenestration was removed at the time of the 1949 remodeling when the openings at the side bays were filled, and a new contemporary projecting marquis was added at the central bay above the theater doors. A later renovation into a concert venue included the installation of glass blocks at the two side arches. -Wikipedia
Today the State Theatre is used for concert venues. It has room for a stage, 3 bars and 400 guests.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
In the background you can see the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel and the Vinoy Condomiums along with the Vinoy marina.
The downtown waterfront in St Petersburg, FL is one of the most beautiful waterfronts I've ever seen--and I've lived on the Eastern Coast all my life. There is no space wasted and no space not beautifully landscaped with it's manicured lawns and beautiful flowers all year 'round.
Friday, January 27, 2012
This fern type of foliage was growing on the side of this rock. I have no idea what it is, but I think it's kind of pretty. If any of you readers can identify it, I'd surely appreciate it. Just leave a comment about it.
The second shot shows a larger image of one of the man made rocks with the foliage growing out of it. This is an interesting concept and a pleasant addition to the overall landscape.
This last photo is a wide shot of the patio and Palm tree lined walkway out to the Marina and to Tampa Bay. It's just nice to walk around on the patio and take in all the beauty we are so lucky to have here, in St Petersburg, FL.
If you're wondering why three photos today, it's because I neglected to post anything the last two days. I'm trying really hard to stick to my New Year's resolution to post a Photo a Day. The first month is nearly over.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
If you look closely at this image, you can see the second floor where the gallery is located. The rest of the spiral continues up to the roof. It's a very modernistic approach, but interesting at best.
Monday, January 23, 2012
I love the lines, curves and angles in this museum. Looking through the window, you can see Tampa Bay. While the old museum was built on the water, it didn't use the water as part of the design.
This is truly state-of-the-art and it reflects the artistry of the great master, Salvatore Dali.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I'm willing to bet if I look good enough at Salvatore Dali's work, I'll find something like the staircase in one of his works. This museum was built to represent his work and his vision.
Check back tomorrow night. I'll be posting more shots of the Dali's interior.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Dali Museum and it is one of a kind. It was built to reflect Dali's art, which was once classically-based and provocatively imaginative. The Dali Museum is iconic and a beacon of the arts scene in downtown St. Petersburg.
The museum houses the largest collection outside Europe of the works of Salvatore Dali.
This is St. Petersburg's second Dali museum. This new one opened January 11, 2011. The old museum opened in 1982 and needed more space and more protection from hurricanes.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The Venusta Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta), can be found from Southern Canada to Panama. they can be seen in woodlands. They build their webs in low shrubs or small trees, close to the ground.