photo a day project

Photo A Day #199 Coral Castle, Miami Florida

These road trip photos are becoming few and far between, with so much else going on here, but I promise I haven't forgotten and I'm itching to squeeze them in whenever I can. I have to admit, the main reason I wanted to drive all the way down to Miami was to visit Coral Castle. It looked like such a fascinating place, it was on the must-do list for ages! We had a great time, but far out, it was a stinking hot day, and barely a smidge of shade to be had. But we persevered and explored every nook and cranny of Coral Castle.

Coral Castle was built in the 1920's - single-handedly by Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin using huge coral (actually oolite, a kind of limestone) blocks carved out of the ground where it was built. Ed would not let anyone assist him with the building process, nor would he let anyone observe his practices. He was a small man, he stood at around 5ft and weighed under 120lb, which makes his physical achievements even more staggering. He claimed to know the secrets of the pyramids and managed to build this structure alone, with blocks weighing up to 27 tonnes. Local teenagers claimed to see him levitating the blocks like hydrogen balloons, but nobody is really sure how he managed to build it.

I'm pretty sure this isn't life-sized, I'm not quite 8ft tall!
Poor Ed had been jilted by his 'Sweet Sixteen' back in Latvia and built the castle for her, in the hope that she might one day join him and they could raise their children there. He carved furniture from the oolite and had all kinds of astronomical observation points. There was even a 'naughty corner' for his future children, I'm sitting in it in this picture below :) It was almost like a confessional box so he could discipline his (theoretical) children with a stern talking to if they got out of line.

The most famous feature is the huge revolving stone door (to the right of the photo above), which rotates with the slightest push. Or it did, until engineers pulled it apart to see how it worked and couldn't put it back together properly (I'm rolling my eyes right now) It stopped functioning a few years later and they tried to fix it again. It still rotates, but nowhere near as easily as it used to. I thought I should share a photo with people in it too... You must think we only visit ghost towns, but we always take photos of places and try to avoid the people in our shots. I hate having photos of random tourists in my photos, is that weird?

Some of Ed's belongings. He had all kinds of tools and inventions that he built himself
So did Ed use supernatural powers, the secrets of the pyramids, magnetism or perpetual motion to build Coral Castle? To this day nobody knows. After our visit, I think it was sheer determination and a LOT of hard work, but it is still incredible to imagine the motivating force that created such an awesome structure. Honestly, if someone said, 'yeah, he levitated the stone', that would be easier to accept, because the hard physical labour involved in doing this boggles my mind. Poor Ed never had the family he dreamed of, his sweet sixteen did not appear and he died after a short illness in 1951.

Seeing this enormous monolith, accepting the fact that Ed moved this alone, without modern machinery makes me feel bad that I huffed and puffed trying to shift my organ a couple of inches today!
If you want to find out more about Coral Castle, you should watch this "In Search Of" episode hosted by Leonard Nimoy (!) It was the first thing I saw about Coral Castle and I was hooked! Part one is below, you can find parts two and three through the related video links.

I'm not going to lie, we played the "In Search Of" theme song as we drove into the parking lot! Loudly. With us singing along! Baaa-baa ba daaaa!!

Photo A Day #198 Cat Nurse

So I had my final wisdom tooth wrenched from my head yesterday... Needless to say I'm not quite up to writing a big post today, so I thought I'd just share something from my day... which was spent sleeping a lot! It's O.K. though, I have my nurse on hand should I need anything, Nico has been guarding me like a hawk. Just between you and me, I think she's just pleased to have someone share the day bed with her :)

Yep, I went all instagram filter on that photo. Not my usual style ;) You can find me on the instagram @kittyandbuck if you're so inclined. Did you enter the giveaway yet? You can click on the image below to head on over to the giveaway page :)


Photo A Day #197 Just Another Weekend

Why do the weekends rush by so quickly? I am a firm advocate of doing the old switcheroo on the working week. 5 day weekend, 2 days at work. How does that sound? Back to reality, it is Sunday night and I have not a lot to report on the weekend front. I spent pretty much all day Saturday in bed with a room-spinning, nausea-indicing migraine, which is really boring. I remember waking in a stupor and C asking me if I needed anything. I replied that I had been dreaming of trying to choose an ice-cream flavour to eat, and he rushed back in with a non-dreamland, honest-to-goodness real bowl of ice-cream. What a guy.

Today, I pottered in the garden and photographed a couple of DIYs to share with you, one you'll get to see this week. I'll try to spread them out so you don't get bombarded with awesome projects ;) Tonight C and I enjoyed a lovely dinner date, which is something I am determined to do more often. We got dressed up and had a lovely dinner together in a converted library built around 1908. It was a largely unplanned excursion, but very nice and refreshing. Unfortunately I am a doofus and brought my camera sans battery, oops. Grainy pictures courtesy of iPhone at nighttime. I kind of like them though, after a little going-over with photoshop.

I'm off to see The Red Shoes tomorrow night, I won a competition to attend a special screening! It's the first thing I have ever won, I'm pretty excited. I shall report back, The Red Shoes is one of my favourite films and is one of the most notable early technicolor films. It was made in 1948 and is based on a fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, I'll tell you more tomorrow.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend, please share any highlights/random facts below, I love to see what you've been up to :)


Photo A Day #196 Florida Part 1

Hi! It's time for another road trip update. I might explain these posts again since I have a few lovely new followers and these have been far and few between lately. You can click on the "travel" tag to get all of the posts from our great road trip if you want to read back over a few. (There's an Aussie Great Ocean Road trip and a few other bits filed under 'travel' too)

Last year, C and I embarked on an East Coast adventure, first taking in Montana and then Niagara Falls. We then hired a car and traveled through NY up to Maine and all the way down to Miami, then across to New Orleans. We also visited Tucson, Arizona, so I could finally see where C grew up. It was an amazing trip and I hope you enjoy my travel photos and anecdotes, we met some lovely (and interesting) people and I can't wait for Round 2! (maybe next year?)

We needed to go to Florida for a few reasons.
1. To visit Coral Castle in Miami.
2. Disney World
3. Harry Crews

I'll get to those later. For now, I'm just going to share something I thought was a lie on tourist t-shirts and postcards, the sunsets! We get pretty amazing sunsets in Australia, but in Florida, just wow. They were pretty spectacular. I suppose it's the ONE good thing about Florida being so flat, there's a lot more sky to admire :) We witnessed every beautiful colour from flaming reds and oranges, to undersea turquoise and even peach. It was really lovely driving and gawking at the beauty of nature.

That's me and my hire car. As you can see, I just got out with my GPS in hand. I was SO excited to see this little fellow, her name is Mimi. By this point in the journey, I was having major cat withdrawals and was getting cuddly with any old stray... Mimi was so tiny, I thought she was a kitten, but no, my cats are just enormous. She wasn't a stray either, she lived next door to our B+B. I don't think she minded the extra attention, and I got some cat cuddle quota filled :)

The next Florida post will be at Coral Castle, you're going to love it, I promise!


Photo A Day #195 Sinking into Spring

I recently wrote a post for Blythe Ponytail Parades while Violet was photographing a wedding in Japan, the lucky duck! I have tonnes of photos from my shoot, so I thought I'd share some more with you today.

Since everyone is gushing about pumpkins and fall colour, I decided to lift my spirits by celebrating spring. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney has a Spring Colour exhibition showing, so I wandered down to smell the flowers.

I love going for a walk in nature, even if it is in the middle of the city. There's something revitalising about it. I need to get myself to a park more often, the concrete, steel and glass of the city can really get me down. Thank goodness for these beautiful gardens and their pretty flowers! I'm so happy I live close to nature, one day I hope it's a lovely cabin in the woods where I can while away my days taking photos, playing some music and making silly movies. A girl can dream, right?