Stormy Bok Tower

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In the early hours of wandering around the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, there was a short passing thunder storm.  This shot was taken during that time and it did clear up to normal blue skies Florida weather quickly.  It is very jungle like in this area, but I like the natural palm trees here.

Click images for a larger view:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/50 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/50 sec, 24 mm Lens

Historic Postcards of Bok Tower at night from my collection:

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This postcard was postmarked 1929 so was an extremely early one.

Architectural Details of Bok Tower

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This post is for architecture lovers or possibly art lovers of mosaic and stone.  The Bok Tower was made in a Neo-Gothic and Art Deco style by famous architect Milton Medary.  The ornate stone sculptures were made by Lee Lawrie.  It was finished in about 1928. Much of the beautiful stonework was done in pink and gray Georgia marble.  Much stone architecture of this time had gargoyles and dark carvings, but the Singing Tower instead uses carved Birds such as the Herons at the top and the many pelicans etc depicted.

Here is a view of the top of the tower at the 205′ point:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/800 sec, 96 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/800 sec, 96 mm Lens

Closeup of the beautiful mosiac:

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Adam and Eve Creation scene in fenestrated mosaic stone:

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Many carvings of birds all over.  Made deeply and beautifully:

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Stone Tree Window series:

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I love the Art Deco person pouring liquid out of a vase above.  Below are a flock of Pelicans that appear above this window:

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Below is a postcard of the Bok Tower at night. Now you can see all the holes or fenestrations in the stone carvings with the lights coming through. I would love to stay late and see this, but the park closes at dusk.  They must have special days that it is open late.

Postcard of the Bok Tower at night.

Postcard of the Bok Tower at night.

For more on the inside of the Bok Singing Tower see their website at: BOK TOWER

 

Golden Door at Bok Tower

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It appears the only entrance to the Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida is this beautiful brass door.  Its polished to a bright golden shine.  It has the creation of the world carved onto it in detail.  It leads into the first level of the tower the “sanctuary room”.

Here is the tower base and arched door reflected in the water:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/40 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/40 sec, 24 mm Lens

Closeup of the door using a longer lens as they would not let you go near to that side.  I would LOVE to enter in and go inside and explore around.  And there is the intriguing red door and balcony on the next floor up, (more on that soon).

ISO 100, F/9, 1/40 sec, 105 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/40 sec, 105 mm Lens

Swirly reflection of the door in the reflecting pond.  I think there was a duck nearby causing the ripples:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/30 sec, 75 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/30 sec, 75 mm Lens

Postcard of the Bok Tower bras door showing the scenes of Creation on it.

Postcard of the Bok Tower bras door showing the scenes of Creation on it. These can be purchased at the gift shop or online at  GIFT SHOP.

Azaleas Blooming at Bok Tower Gardens

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On many of the paths in the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, there were colorful Azaleas blooming.  I had come here on coincidence on the last week of February and found the Azaleas in peak bloom.

Click image for a larger view:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/125 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/125 sec, 24 mm Lens

Closeup view of a blossom:

ISO 100, F/5, 1/125 sec, 85 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/5, 1/125 sec, 85 mm Lens

Singing Tower in Lake Wales Florida

The Bok Tower is also called the “Singing Tower” because of the amazing huge Carillon bells that play music in the tower at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.  It is really quite beautiful and can be heard here: SINGING TOWER.

The tower is 205 feet tall and standing on one of the highest points in Florida already.  Its called a neolithic-Art Deco style and is made up of incredible pink and grey-blue marble from Georgia.

Each day I will explore a different aspect of Bok Tower and its architecture.  It has 8 levels and you would enter via the large polished brass door.  It is rare to enter because they do not allow the public in except for founders on special days and only into the first floor of 8.  I would love to explore the entire inside if it were only possible.  The museum at the gardens has a complete history of the making of the tower and pieces of the marble used.

In some angles you can see the tower in its reflecting pool along with the super lush vegetation all around:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/25 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/25 sec, 24 mm Lens

Another historic postcard from my collection from 1944 on the postmark. It says on the back: “Here’s one of the beauty spots we took in Sunday along with Cypress Gardens. Here just in time for the Carillon program which was very lovely. Passed through miles of Citrus groves on the way and hanging heavy with fruit. Thermometer is 74

handcolored postcard from Bok Towers, 1944, Lake Wales Florida

handcolored postcard from Bok Towers, 1944, Lake Wales Florida

I don’t know if there were really flamingos there in 1944 or if that was to just add to the scenery as there were no flamingos there now.

 

Botanical Gardens of Bok Tower

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Let us continue our walk around Bok Tower and its huge gardens.  This is all in Lake Wales Florida in February where I got fortunate and had the Azaleas in peak bloom and also the Orange Blossoms in the surrounding groves in peak bloom.  The fragrance of the Orange Blossoms was almost overpowering but super pleasant.

In 1923, Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect began to transform this sandy hill into a tropical lush garden.  The hill was one of the highest elevations in Central Florida with a great view.  The hill was a towering 250 feet so it was quite the mountain for this flat state.  It was very sandy there, so hundreds of loads of topsoil had to be brought in along with thousands of exotic plants, shrubs and trees.

Please see the link Frederick Law Olmsted Gardens for lots more history and many online images.

Here is an image of a pathway and the lush vegetation in this Bok Tower Garden:

ISO 100, F/9, 1/100 sec, 58 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/100 sec, 58 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/100 sec, 24 mm Lens

ISO 100, F/9, 1/100 sec, 24 mm Lens

There seemed to be miles of pathways and we will go down some of them and see the different parts of the gardens.

Bok Tower, Lake Wales Florida

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Lets take a little tour around the lovely Bok Tower also known as the “Singing Tower”, in Lake Wales Florida.  This is in central Florida quite far from the other attractions, but very worth the trip.  There are very large gardens here and a mansion, museum, gift shop and of course the Singing Tower itself.  It is surrounded by orange orchards and for miles around when you are driving up in the Winter season, you can smell the sweet smell of orange blossoms.  The scent alone was worth the trip.  Here is a far view of the Bok Tower:

F/9, ISO 200, 1/200 sec, 28 mm Lens

F/9, ISO 200, 1/200 sec, 28 mm Lens

The morning was cloudy but soon cleared up to normal blue Florida skies.

Here is a brochure image from the National park with the web address of BOKtowergardens.org

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The historic belltower houses of the the world’s best carillons and is in the center of the Olmsted designed gardens.  There are a surrounding 250 acres of beautiful gardens.  I will discuss more on the tower and gardens as we go along.

Below is one of several postcards I have collected from the early part of the 20th century on Bok Towers:

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Tower Experiment at Bully Hill Winery

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This old steel tower overlooks Keuka Lake at Bully Hill Winery.  I wish it had a ladder to climb as it would be a great view.

This image is an experiment. The images I like the most seem to get no or few likes and images I detest and almost do not upload seem to get huge likes. LOL.  I guess it shows my taste is terrible.  Can you tell what I think of this image?

View from Winery Pond to Keuka Lake

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From above one winery,  you could view down upon a nice pond and in the distance see Keuka Lake. I would like to come back here in the early Fall when the leaves were still on and changing color.

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