Week 38: Starts With a ‘C’

A Cooper Creek tributary runs through my neighborhood, less than a block from my house. Cooper Creek is a tributary of the Braden River, the largest tributary of the Manatee River, which flows into the  Gulf of Mexico. They say if a hurricane causes a storm surge at high tide, our little Cooper Creek tributary could flood nearby streets. It’s hard to believe this rivulet has that potential. On a normal day it is a peaceful place (although they say it harbors rattlesnakes). Note: Cooper Creek runs south from near Linger Lodge east of I-75, runs under I-75 and continues southwest through the UTC Mall area and stops mid-way west of Benderson Park.

Cooper Creek landscape fb


Week 37: Macro/Close Up

It’s tulip time! Tulips bring so much cheer to a room. I keep them around in the spring when they are a bargain at the grocery store. A simple tulip can go from ordinary to dramatic with a combination of post-processing filters. I like the effect on this one. It reminds me of Old Hollywood glam.

Electric Tulip rotated 90 clockwise fb

Week 36: Missing Piece

When a spring bouquet of tulips starts to lose its leaves, one petal at a time, it’s time to throw them in the trash. My bouquet on the coffee table caught the morning light and I loved the effect, so I let them hang around longer than usual. I started to enjoy the beauty of watching them age, lit by the harsh morning sun. This tulip is not only missing a piece, but several pieces.

Broken Tulip 032517

Week 35: The Wild Side

The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art has the usual galleries filled with world-class art for visitors to ponder and ogle. But its grounds command attention, too. Several ponds are located on the sprawling estate, including the pond by The Muse, the museum’s restaurant. Dining there al fresco is always a pleasure. From the raised patio you view the wild side of Ringling, such as this softshell turtle sunning himself on a beautiful Florida day. He lives with Koi fish and water birds and other aquatic life. I have also seen a garter snake slithering near my table. Yikes!


Week 34: Aged to Perfection

The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen. The four-foot sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside in Copenhagen Harbor. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913.

She is so delicate, small and unassuming, I was quite surprised to learn that in recent decades she has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists. This statue has been damaged and defaced many times since the mid-1960s for various reasons, but has been restored each time.

In 1964, the her head was sawn off and stolen. The head was never recovered and a new head was produced and placed on the statue. In 1984, her right arm was sawn off and returned two days later by two young men. In 1990, an attempt to sever the statue’s head left a  7-inch deep cut in her neck. Good grief!

In 1998, the statue was decapitated again; the culprits were never found, but the head was returned anonymously to a nearby television station, and reattached a month later. In 2003, the statue was knocked off its base with explosives and later found in the harbor’s waters. Holes had been blasted in the mermaid’s wrist and knee.

The following year, the statue was draped in a burqa in a protest against Turkey’s application to join the European Union. In 2007, it was again found draped in Muslim dress and a head scarf. I wondered if she had been donned in a pussy hat Jan. 21, but could find nothing on that.

Paint has been poured on the Little Mermaid several times, including one episode in 1963 and two in March and May 2007. In 2006, a dildo was attached to her hand, green paint was dumped over it, and the date March 8 was written on it. It is suspected that this vandalism was connected with International Women’s Day.

Poor Little Mermaid. She ‘s been through a lot, yet continues to rest on the rock by the harbor in spite of years of tomfoolery.


Week 32: Quaint and Quirky

As we entered the outdoor reception area of the Hotel Borgo Pantano near Syracusa, Sicily, we walked past these three chairs. They helped set the tone for a fun, laid-back stay  at a 19th Century farmhouse in the southern countryside. The chairs reflect the sun-soaked colors of Sicily with the yellows, terracottas and reds of this colorful island.


Week 30: White on White

Meanwhile, still back on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, whose buildings were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, I found a scene that lent itself to the white-on-white concept. It is another perspective of the covered walkway I featured here last week, but the north light removed the yellow of the sun and gave me several shades of “white.”


Week 29: Repeating Patterns

Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s architect, had a highly-recognizable style of structured design and repeating patterns to bolster the design. The late-architect’s works are on full display at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, a campus whose buildings area FLW treasures. And the designs are not limited to the buildings. This unique design belongs to an extensive broad, angular walkway constructed between buildings, intended to shield students and faculty from the relentless Florida sun.