When I saw the Challenge Your Camera topic this week was kitchen I immediately thought of The Palm Cottage kitchen. The Palm Cottage is Naples, Florida’s oldest home, built in 1895, just a block away from the Naples Pier. The pier was the only way people could reach Naples for winter vacations to hunt and fish and how food and other provisions were received. The cottage is now a museum where I learned about life not too long ago when Naples was well beyond the edge of nowhere.
The challenge requests photos be of things in our kitchen (sorry, but this isn’t mine) and be macro shots (sorry, I think that the items in this kitchen are better viewed within the context of the whole). This kitchen is actually an addition to the cottage made later. When this cottage was built the only electricity (produced by a generator) was at the hotel where everyone gathered for meals.
I enjoy visiting the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings in Naples, Florida. The past couple of years we have tried to go but it was so crowded we couldn’t find parking and the street was so full of people we lost interest. Between October and the first of the year when the tourist season begins, the market is in one lane of a parking lot parallel to 3rd Street South. When we arrive at 8:30 there were lots of parking places and we could walk through the market without bumping into anyone.
And I enjoyed the live music – the singer you see in the middle of the photo above and at the other end…
Today there were only two venders selling vegetables and one selling tropical fruits. The rest were local artisans or small business owners selling their goods. I didn’t buy much, just some zuchinni, tangerines, and a quiche to split for our lunch. I think I’ll go back next Saturday without my camera.
As we were leaving I heard a familiar sound before a saw them. The Parrot Man of Naples was taking his parrots for a morning outing and stopped to talk to the man who had been singing.
A third parrot is sitting on his right shoulder.
I’m taking a break from packing and laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator. It is time to make our transition to our other environment. I have nine orchids growing on trees around our condo here in Florida – and I spoke to our son and he said the grass has turned green in southern Michigan. As we drive north we see spring unfolding in reverse; leaving lush green foliage and flowers blooming and arriving in our northern neighborhood in very early spring.
This is not just a weather transition for us. Many of our condo friends here in Florida have left for their northern homes or will be leaving in the weeks after us. It is hard saying goodbye even though we know we will see them again in October or January. We also look forward to seeing northern friends that we haven’t seen since December – and we have a 3 month old great-granddaughter who met us when she was born and I think is missing us.
The main topic of conversation at the pool this past week was packing. So many of us seem to fill our cars twice a year taking things back and forth. We talk about how we can carry less back and forth, how we need to have sufficient clothes at both homes, figure out what we don’t need to take north. I decided to not worry about forgetting something because Michigan has stores and I can buy anything I can’t live without.
What I need to do now is say good-bye to my favorite places and things here in Florida so I can feel excitement about going back to all the things that I love in Michigan. We have been saying good-bye to our favorite restaurants, we went to the beach for a sunset, and I made my last trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. On Sunday we attend the Easter service at the church we fell in love with and consider our home church, and as is tradition every Sunday in Naples we will have breakfast at the counter at Blueberries. Then we will change clothes, shut down the condo, and hit the road.
This was my first Tuesday morning trip to the Naples Botanical Garden this season and I knew there was a glass exhibit. Every tourist season the Garden has sculptures of world renowned artists placed throughout the Garden to enhance the artistic nature of the plantings. Our son and his wife are visiting and they both love glass so I was excited to explore this years’ exhibit with them.
What an exciting surprise when we entered the lushly planted boardwalk that leads to the ticketing windows. There in the center of the small pond on the left, the first place eyes stop when entering, was the Cavorting Clown Fountain. What fun to be visually pulled into the movement, to hear the hint of giggles as clowns scramble up a spiral tube – sometimes losing their balance only to climb back up.
Then we turned around to look where a stream travels into the garden, feeding a wide variety of lush tropical and subtropical plants. And there, scrambling out from under the protective leaves where they spend their nights while performing here, were the Jesters on Branch.
Whenever I take or edit photographs, composition seems to be my first consideration. With these the sculptures themselves create the composition with their sense of artistic movement and placement among the plant life.
The artists is Hans Godo Frabel who is an accomplished glass blower and forms his glass sculptures with heat (up to 3,500 degrees F), blown air and various tools. These opaque sculpture are sand blasted to create tiny indentations that create the illusion that the glass has a whitish tint. That is the technical information – what amazes me is the movement and creative composition of the sculptures.
I have more delightful sculptures to share so don’t wander far from this blog.