Bok Tower Gardens was bursting with color this summer.
I struggled to get a decent shot of the hummingbird. The light was bad but I managed to get the above. It was hot and muggy so it makes it harder to wait to get the hummer in those fleeting seconds of feeding.
It’s hard to ignore the cute cottontail bunnies
The bell tower
After leaving the gardens, I headed to a nearby fish camp to see if I could find any birds. It was quiet the morning I was there but I’m sure on the weekends it’s busy.
I did find two sandhill cranes feeding along the drive in.
Looking out over the lake, it was such a beautiful calm scene. It’s these small hidden places that make Florida special.
More shots from my trip to Bok Tower Gardens in November. I had a weekday off and Brett had never been so he took off and went with me. He was surprised at how big the koi fish were in the moat around the bell tower. You can feed them here so they are huge.
We took some time to just hang out and breathe with the wide open spaces here. It was quiet this morning and the oak trees were great shade.
Color on the path in the children’s garden.
We felt like we were on a farm for a few minutes.
Just outside the gardens in the parking lot, I stopped to look at the plants and noticed several caterpillars. I had already put my camera up so I snapped these with my phone.
After leaving the gardens, we stopped to check out some cows.
We really were just looking to see if the whooping cranes that hang out in a cow pasture were still around.
The cranes were still there but they were napping all the way across the pasture. This was with my 400mm and super cropped. It’s good to see them still there though. It was good to be out of the house and we had a nice day trip. We need to do more of these.
A kildeer couple at the back pond. This is the first time I’ve seen kildeer here.
Mossy turtle drying off.
Tons of bunnies along the running path.
The bell tower in the middle of an office park.
When I got closer to the bell tower, I realized there was an osprey nest on top of it.
Heading over the lake.
Must be looking for dinner.
I stopped by Carillon Park after work for a walk around the lakes (or just really big ponds). Tons of people jogging and dog walking. I don’t get out before dark much anymore after work so this was a treat to get out.
The bell tower building contains 60 bells and was finished in 1929.
Looking straight up, it’s pretty tall.
The details in the openings at the top have different birds. The gardens started out as a bird sanctuary by Edward Bok. The 30 year editor of the Ladies Home Journal magazine would spend his winters in Lake Wales and developed the gardens with the help of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr ( his dad developed Central Park and Prospect Park in New York) and many others.
The door no one enters. To tour the inside of the bell tower, you need to have a high level of membership to go inside on one of the very few tours a year.
The lily pads were amazing.
Beautiful purple buds growing around the lily pads.
I was hoping to see frogs sitting in them but no luck there.
I’ve never seen these blooms before.
Looking down over a citrus grove, the bell tower sits on one of the highest points in central Florida.
The gardens were decorated for Halloween.
When did black and white pumpkins become so popular? Some had the spray paint starting to peel off. I guess I like the traditional orange ones.
The spider was pretty cool, made with pumpkins and branches.
I’ve been saying I want to visit Bok Tower Gardens for the last 5 years. I finally made it there on a rare random Monday off. It’s just under an hour and a half from my house so I need to get there more often. It was a beautiful day and very few people there. I took a ton of pictures so more to come.