Marble Bathtub at Ringling Mansion

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If you take the special tour at the Ringling Mansion at Ca’ d’ Zan they let you go upstairs to the second and third floor and even up on the roof lookout.  Here in the private bath of John Ringling you can see his bathtub of solid one piece Sienna Marble stone.

While the upstairs was under construction, he had guests staying downstairs and some relatives. He took them up to the bath under construction and pointed out the bathtub and said “I will be the only person in the entire USA that can say he has bathed in a solid Marble tub”.  A teenage boy relative spoke up that it was not true as he had been sneeking upstairs and using the tub for the past few nights, and he was tossed out of the house by Mr. Ringling.

For more on the Ringling Mansion go to the link: Ca’ d’Zan

ISO 50, F/2.2, 4 mm Lens

ISO 50, F/2.2, 4 mm Lens

Mystery at Ringling

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So I left Selby Botanical Gardens finally and while I was in Sarasota, I stopped at the new Ringling Bros Museum.  This place is amazing.  They have completely redone it in the past 3 years and reopened and I highly recommend you make a trip to see it. Not only does it have the great John Ringling Mansion Ca’ D’ Zan (house of John), but it has the circus museum, a huge botanical gardens with exotic trees on the grounds, and the wonderful John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

The Mystery? I was waiting on the main green for my tour of the upper part of the mansion in an hour and noticed something very odd along the main pathway.  Banyan Trees were growing everywhere and sending their spooky roots down to the ground to make new tree trunks.  Here is a photo I took of the strange one.  Tell me if you see anything odd or strange.  If so, guess what you are seeing and what is going on.  I will say that hundreds of people walked by within feet and no one stopped and saw this or commented in any way. I myself have walked by many times and never saw it too until now.

If you want the answer…. scroll way down to the bottom of the page here and I will say.  Try to guess first as it is rather bizarre:

ISO 50, F/2.2, 4 mm Lens

ISO 50, F/2.2, 4 mm Lens

Another view to perhaps help you to discover the truth:

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It kind of reminds me of a Dr Who episode.  Scroll down if you want the answer:

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There are cut stone statues of cherubs all along the road to the Ringling Mansion.  They are in all kinds of poses and occur along the small roadway about every 50-75 feet.  This poor cherub had a Banyan tree grow closer and closer to it and finally send down shoots from above that grew and strangled and trapped the statue into the position it is now.  It makes me claustrophobic to see it.  If you ever are at the Ringling museum, walk along the right hand blacktop road or driveway to the mansion and on the right side you will see it.  The tree and cherub have almost the same color and texture.

Fern Tree Forest

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This is the last series of photos from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.  This was an outside Fern Tree Forest. These “trees” were huge and I at first thought they were palms but they all had fern like leaves even though there was a woody stalk.

Click images for a larger view:

Closeup of the leaf area from underneath

Closeup of the leaf area from underneath

ISO 200, F/7.1, 1/200 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 200, F/7.1, 1/200 sec, 24 mm Lens

 

Hot House Flowers of Selby Gardens

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Besides the great trees, plants and flowers outside at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, there were lots of hothouse flowers that staggered the imagination. Here are just a few for you all to look over if you wish.

Click images for a larger view:

ISO 100, F/4.5, 1/60 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/4.5, 1/60 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 1250, F/4.5, 1/90 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 1250, F/4.5, 1/90 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 64, F/2.2, 1/30 sec, 4 mm Lens

ISO 64, F/2.2, 1/30 sec, 4 mm Lens

ISO 800, F/8, 1/125 sec, 33 mm Lens

ISO 800, F/8, 1/125 sec, 33 mm Lens

ISO 400,F/6.7, 1/90 sec, 30 mm Lens

ISO 400,F/6.7, 1/90 sec, 30 mm Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Silk Cotton Tree in Sarasota

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When I was walking around Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, I came around a corner to view a spectacular tree big tree that had thousands of giant red blossoms.  These blossoms were falling and making a red blanket all around the tree.  This was the Red Silk Cotton Tree or Bombax Ceiba as the sign said. These flowers were as big as my hand and glossy and thick petaled like leather with a light pungent smell.

Click images for a larger view:

ISO 50, F/2.2, 1/320 sec, 4 mm Lens

ISO 50, F/2.2, 1/320 sec, 4 mm Lens

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In case you wanted to see the name. Flowers were everywhere on the ground.

In case you wanted to see the name. Flowers were everywhere on the ground.

Orchids and Other Flowers

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At Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, they are known for their airplants and orchids.  Here are a few of the beautiful and highly unusual flowers there:

Click images for a larger view:

ISO 1250, F/22, 1/125 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 1250, F/22, 1/125 sec, 40 mm Lens

delicate fuzzy orchids

delicate fuzzy orchids

This is the natural color of this flower

This is the natural color of this flower

 

 

Pitcher Plants at Selby Gardens

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Here are some very large and exotic Pitcher plants at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.  These have huge flaps on top and hairy spines down the front. They are about 9-11 inches long and are hanging from the top.

Click image for a larger view:

ISO 1250, F/5.6, 1/90 sec, 38 mm Lens

ISO 1250, F/5.6, 1/90 sec, 38 mm Lens

Cycad Plant at Selby Botanical Gardens

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A few of these fern like Cycad plants were at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.  They appear to be right out of Jurassic time period when dinosaurs roamed.  They look primitive and are.  This one has cone like projections on it.

Click image for a larger view:

ISO 200, F/7.1, 1/30 sec, 40 mm Lens

ISO 200, F/7.1, 1/30 sec, 40 mm Lens

Delicate Fern at Selby Gardens

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Here at Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida there were many exotic and rare palms, ferns and trees, not to mention flowers.  Here is a fern that I liked because the edges were turning a reddish color.

Click image for a larger view:

ISO 1250, F/13, 1/350 sec, 35 mm Lens

ISO 1250, F/13, 1/350 sec, 35 mm Lens

Carving the Wood Sculptures

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They had a demonstration area at the gallery showing how the wood sculptures were made at Selby Botanical Gardens.  The first image shows the original image which was in strong sunlight on one side only and the other side in darkness.  I was disappointed in the result and decided to HDR tonemap it to bring out some detail.  This is the second image below.  Its interesting to see how the artists drew and then cut out and carved the sculptures.

Click images for a larger view.  Be sure to compare the two.  Which shows more detail?

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