Sunday, April 20, 2014



We had a nice journey from Sanibel Island to Naples with the exception of a thunderstorm. We could see the storm approaching but could do nothing about it. Luckily, there were many high buildings around for the lightening to hit, if it wanted to.
We had intended staying near The Rookery Reserve but on the Intracoastal Waterway we came across an Osprey floundering in the water. I thought he may have caught a fish too big for him to carry or release and it was dragging the bird under. The Osprey attempted to do the butterfly strokes with his wings in the water but you could tell he was in trouble.
Johneys to the Rescue
I got poor Gary to launch the dinghy and row as close as possible to the Osprey. I jumped out of the dinghy into 4 feet of water and squishy mud and walked slowly towards the bird talking gently to him. By now, he was in the mangroves and going nowhere. I had brought with me a towel to put around him to prevent him from biting me with his mighty beak. I walked up behind him and put the towel over his wings and grabbed him. He put up a little fight and then settled down as I carried him back to the boat.
Yes, I know I am going grey. I thought if I had a hairstyle that matched the bird, he would not be as afraid!!!!!!
On board the boat I used the radio to ask for help in knowing what to do with this poor Osprey. After several phone calls and transfers it was agreed that we would turn the boat around and head into Naples where a volunteer from the Conservancy Society would pick up the injured bird and take him to the Society for help. The Osprey stayed quietly in my arms for the journey and even allowed me to stroke his head feathers gently. All the while, I am talking to him to keep him calm. We met Ray (volunteer) and he took the bird from us promising to let us know how it progressed. Unfortunately, it died two days later. Ray wrote and told us it had broken its leg and foot a long while ago and because of that it had been unable to catch its food to eat. He said it was in its last days when we rescued it. I felt so bad. I had hoped we had saved its life. I even gave it a name - Oscar!!

Once at Naples we decided to stay several days as the weather forecast had said thunderstorms and strong winds were entering the area. I had looked at things to do in Naples and decided we could find plenty to occupy ourselves.
The first thing we decided to do was to visit Henry Ford's and Thomas Edison's winter homes in Fort Myers - yes, finally some manly thing to do beside gardens and wild life sanctuaries.
We had a lovely day touring both estates and learning about both men who were very goods friends - they had to be as they lived next door to each other. I did not realise that Ford worked for Edison at one time. Not only did we see the houses, labs and grounds but we also got to see a Mustang Car Show. Mustang is celebrating its 50th year and, of course Mustangs are made by Ford.
You can see the Mustangs reflected in the Model T's wind shield.
We visited the labs and office where Edison and Ford tried to find a substitute plant for rubber. WW1 was starting and the price of rubber was escalating. Edison travelled abroad and brought back 17,000 different plants to see if they could produce rubber. He found out that Goldenrod was the best choice.
The Goldenrod can be seen on the right side of the photo. I know they did not have "Miracle Grow" in those days so whatever made the Goldenrod grow so tall should have been patented. Talking of patents, Edison applied for a patent for inventions every year for 65 years of his life.

                                                 Edison's Labs

                                                   Edison's house
                                                     Ford's house
Ford's wife, Mina (pronounced My-na) requested a Moon Garden, a garden that would reflect the full moon.
                    A calculator. Eat your heart out Texas Instruments!!
         Light bulbs dating from the 1880s in an "Electrolier" light fixture.

Movie camera
Edison standing next to the contiguous United State's largest banyan tree. I think the statue looks more like Jimmy Stewart than Edison. The tree was a 4ft x 2 inch cutting when given to Edison in 1925 by Harvey Firestone, the tyre magnet (yet another good friend of Edison's). The tree now measures 1 acre in diameter and has 350 roots.
Today we went to the Naples Botanical Gardens and they were absolutely smashing. Even Gary enjoyed himself.
We saw lovely flowers, ponds, reflections, mosaics, locusts, snakes and Lego Sculptures.
                                                  Orchid display.


I was lucky enough to peek inside a very large bromeliad type plant to see a toad hiding inside the leaves. He did not appear to be too awake.
The next photo is a collection of epiphytes (air plants).

The next photo shows an unusual way of displaying various succulents.
I must have seen at least 3 snakes, all the same variety unless I was seeing the same one over and over.
I know Spring is in the air but if this little fella was in the mood for love, he was going to be very disappointed!!

These locusts were on some kind of palm and boy, where they having a bean feast or should I say a palm feast?

This little bird appears "ruffled" at having his photo taken!!
The following photos are of some of the Lego displays-

Of course, no blog would be complete without flower or bird photos, now would it?

                  These little water lilies were no more than an inch across.
There were a couple of trees that were of interest to me. The first one is where we get "The Old Spice" fragrance from.
I did not notice a lot of women hanging around it!! I, however do like Old Spice (the original flavour). It reminds me of my Dad when I smell it.
These two trees had their own protection. And I thought the Monkey Puzzle Tree was the only tree a monkey could not climb.

Finally, a photo of me, myself and I standing next to a Queen's Vine.

I hope you have enjoyed my Easter Day blog and that everyone had a day as enjoyable as mine.


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