Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Flower

I noticed these azaleas blooming next to the parking garage where I work. This type of azalea actually blooms more that once a year. I took this picture on December 22 and it was 38 degrees outside.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Brilliant Disguise

Here is another closer view of the "tree" from yesterday's post. It's actually a disguised cell phone tower.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Funny Tree

Can you tell me what is strange about one of these trees? I will show you the answer tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sign of the Season

I stopped at a local restaurant this week to buy a gift card for my son and noticed they had special parking for customers like me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Here is a view of the loading platform next to the railroad depot I posted a photograph of yesterday. I think it looks kind of lonely and sad.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Train Depot

The Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad Company Freight Depot was built in 1858. It is one of the oldest railroad buildings in Florida. The one-story depot was built when Tallahassee was the center of Florida's cotton trade. The 2 story addition was added around 1885. Cotton was transported by rail to the coast for shipping. A new rail line between Pensacola and Jacksonville provided access to ports and made transporting both freight and passengers easier. It was used continuously until 1971 when, for the first time in 113 years, passenger service ended. Tallahassee was a freight only stop until 1992 when passenger services resumed, with the old freight depot used as the passenger station. Passenger service on this line has been unavailable since August 2005 due to lingering effects from hurricane Katrina to the west.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

One of the local city parks always puts on a wonderful light show. You can drive through it or park your car and walk around. I decided to walk around this year and really enjoyed it. Most of my pictures turned out blurry but I thought this one looked good enough to post. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to my son who turns 27 today!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve!

I took this picture of these Christmas decorations as it was just getting dark one night. You can still see a little light in the sky through the trees and I thought it was a pretty sight. They are hanging from a large oak tree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Live Oak

I will conclude this tour of Goodwood by showing a picture of one of the live oak trees on the property. Like most of the trees in this area it is draped in Spanish moss.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rough House

Rough House supposedly got it's name because this is where Goodwood guests who had enjoyed themselves too much at parties were sent to spend the night. The servants began calling it "Rough House" and the name stuck. It was originally built in 1915 as a pool cabana. It is currently a cafe, serving lunch on weekdays.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Roller Skating Rink

The Goodwood roller skating rink was built in 1911 by Fanny Tiers for her two children. It was also used as a cement tennis court.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The oldest surviving pool in this region was built at Goodwood in 1912. Now used as a reflecting pool, in it's heyday it had heated water, a heated deck, a shower stall, diving board and slide. The heat was probably needed because the estate was used as a winter retreat and we are located just far enough north to have chilly weather in the winter.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rear View

Here is a view which shows you how the outbuildings are arranged behind the main house at Goodwood. The water tower and aviary are on the right and the guest house along with some other buildings are on the left. The kitchen is on the other side of the guest house next to the main house.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Water Tower

The water tower sits next to the aviary behind the main house and was built in 1912 on the site of the old 1840's well when more water pressure was needed for indoor plumbing and the new swimming pool added by Fanny Tiers, who purchased Goodwood in 1911.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Florida State Senator William Hodges purchased the Goodwood estate in 1925 and built this aviary behind the main house for his macaws. In later years, it also housed monkeys and an occasional peacock.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The original kitchen is another one of the oldest buildings on the Goodwood estate. Prior to the Civil War, it was common practice to do the cooking in an outbuilding. It kept bugs, smells and heat from cooking out of the main house. It also lessened the risk of fire to the main house. This building also became a guest house in 1912.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Guest House

This is probably the oldest building on the property and is located behind the main house I showed you yesterday. The Croom family lived here while the main house was being built. It later became a guest house in 1912. This house and the main house are the only buildings on the estate with full basements.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Antebellum Plantation

For the next few days on this blog, I will be taking you on a tour of Goodwood, an elaborate antebellum plantation located within the city of Tallahassee. Here is a picture of the front of the main house. Assembly of this estate was begun by Hardy Croom around 1830, and the main house was later completed by his brother Bryan Croom after Hardy was killed along with his family when their steamship sank on the way to Florida. There have been several owners of this property through the years. In 1912, it was remodelled and used as a quail hunting plantation and winter retreat. The plantation has since been restored to look as it did during the early 20th century. Unfortunately the day I visited, it was too late for me to take a tour of the inside of the house, so I might have to go back for that at a later date.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


For many years, stories have circulated about Elizabeth "Bessie" Budd Graham being a witch. This is apparently because her marker faces west instead of east like most of the inscribed faces of the markers in Old City Cemetery. Her large elaborate monument reflects the type of funerary art that was popular in the late 19th century. It often represented the socio-economic status of the deceased and her family and displayed the affection and esteem held for her by the community. Bessie was born on October 19, 1866 and died on November 24, 1887.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tree Canopy

Miccosukee Road is another of Tallahassee's historic canopy roads on the east side of town. I guess it's pretty obvious why the sign says "Do Not Pass".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court building stands behind the new capitol. This is another building that was surrounded by satellite trucks and reporters for more than a month during the infamous 2000 presidential election.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Florida Seal

This seal is in the lobby of the new capitol. The five smaller seals surrounding it represent the nations whose flag has flown over Florida: France, Spain, Great Britain, Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. I took this picture from the second floor balcony. The reflection of lights you see is a large chandelier hanging over the seal.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The "New" Capitol

I took this picture of the new capitol building while standing next to the old capitol. Everyone calls it the new capitol, but it's not really that new. It was completed in 1978 and is 22 stories tall. The old capitol was built in 1845.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Old Florida Capitol

I took this picture of the back side of Florida's historic old capitol building while standing in front of the new 22 story capitol which sits behind it. There are so many trees in front that it's hard to see the dome on top clearly. The black flag under the Florida flag is a POW flag. The two buildings are so close together I was unable to get far enough back to get the whole building in the shot.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lone Tree

This tree seems to be the only one spared when a new shopping center was built on the east side of town. It sits on its own little hill in the middle of a round about in the road leading to the parking area. It reminds me of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Feed the Birds

This little statue of St. Francis of Assisi sits outside at my church. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and he's also the patron saint of my church.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spreading Out

I love this old live oak because it's branches are so beautiful. The branches on the left are actually touching the ground and the ones on the right are fun to walk under.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


At one time, a series of arcades connected all dormitories and the infirmary to the dining facilities on the FSU campus. These arcades date back to when FSU was a women's college. It was possible to travel from one building to another without having to go outside during inclement weather. This arcade connected the rear wing of Reynolds Hall (the same building I showed you yesterday from the front) to the infirmary, but the rear part of the infirmary has since been torn down so the arcade goes nowhere. I'm glad they left it there because I have always loved these old arcades. My old dorm room is the second set of windows from the arcade on the second floor and I used to sit on my bed and look at it while I was studying. You can see another arcade behind it which connects Reynolds Hall to Jennie Murphree Hall, another old dormitory. Access to the roof of that arcade was from the top floor of the each building and we used to sit out there in the spring in our bathing suits to get an early start on our tans.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Higher Education

Reynolds Hall was built in 1913 and is one of the oldest buildings on the FSU campus. I lived in this dormitory when I was a freshman student. It was recently renovated, but when I lived there, it had no air conditioning and all of our heat came from radiators. It took a while, but you got used to the banging pipes all night long in the winter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just Read

The Florida Department of Education building has a very clear message which can be seen from almost anywhere downtown. You may have to click on the image to enlarge it so you can see the message more clearly. The two other buildings in the picture are also state government office buildings housing the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

College Avenue Again

This view of College Avenue is from the opposite direction of the picture I posted yesterday, looking west from downtown toward the main gate of FSU and the Westcott Building.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

College Avenue

This is the view looking east on College Avenue to downtown Tallahassee from the main gate of Florida State University. The tall building downtown on the right side of the picture is the Florida Capitol.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway

This is a trailhead for the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway which parallels almost 6 miles of another historic canopy road in Tallahassee called Miccosukee Road. This is called the Red Hills Region of northern Florida because of the red clay soil found in the area. Along the trail, hikers may see over 46 species of birds, including ibis, egrets, and herons and many types of plants and wildflowers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brokaw-McDougall House

This antebellum home was built around 1856 by Peres Bonney Brokaw, who ran a successful livery stable downtown and also served in city government, the Florida Legislature, and in the Confederate calvary. His daughter was married to Alexander McDougall and members of these 2 families lived in the house until 1973, when it was sold to the State of Florida. Currently it is managed by the city of Tallahassee and can be rented for events such as weddings. It is open to the public for tours during the week. My favorite part of this house is the cupola on the top which is visible through the trees.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More fall

This little tree always puts on a good show in the fall. I see it everyday on my way to and from work.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rest in Peace Tree

This marker in Lewis Park commemorates the old May Oak that used to stand in this spot.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Trees

Tallahassee loves trees! Lewis Park is one of a string of downtown parks offering shade in the form of beautiful old live oak trees. This shade comes in handy in the summer when the temperature is over 100 degrees in the shade and the humidity is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Caution: Ducks Crossing

This sign sits on the side of the road that goes around Lake Ella, which I posted a picture of yesterday. There are quite a few ducks living at this lake and they can be quite tame because so many people feed them. They will also walk right out in the middle of the road and sometimes they have baby ducks following them.

Friday, November 21, 2008


These two egrets were standing at the edge of Lake Ella on a cool afternoon. The tall one is a great egret and I think the smaller one is a snowy egret. They eat fish, so maybe they were waiting for one to swim by. You can see the Lake Ella gazebo next to the willow tree in the background. The gazebo sits in the middle of the lake on a small man-made peninsula. Lake Ella is located in the middle of town and is a popular place to go for walking or feeding the ducks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Florida's Finest"

This bronze statue sits in the entrance park to the governor's mansion. It is dedicated to the children of Florida and depicts 5 children and a dog playing "follow the leader". The artist is W. Stanley "Sandy" Proctor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Florida Governor's Mansion

This is the residence of Florida's current governor, Charlie Crist. This mansion was completed in 1957 on the same site as the first Governor’s Mansion which was built in 1907. The old mansion was the home of a succession of 11 governors for almost 50 years before being declared structurally unsound and torn down in 1955.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Color

Tallahassee is located far enough north that we do get some fall color. These trees are next to the pond near the bat house I posted a picture of yesterday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bat House

This is a community bat house located near a pond in Tallahassee. Bats like to roost in mature or dead trees or in caves. In urban areas these natural roosting places can be disturbed by development and bats sometimes become pests by roosting in buildings. Bat houses provide an alternative place for them to roost and in return the bats provide natural insect control. One bat can devour up to 3,000 insects in a single night!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Disappearing Waters

Lake Jackson was known to native Americans as "Disappearing Waters" because it has a long history of completely draining into the Florida Aquifer about every 25 years through the 2 large sinkholes lying beneath it. The last time it drained was September 16, 1999. As you can see from the dry dock in the left side of the picture, it has not completely filled back up yet. Like most lakes in this area, it also has alligators living in it which is why you wouldn't catch me wading in it like that fisherman in the picture.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tallahassee's Royalty

In 1825, Prince Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and son of General Jochaim Murat, King of Naples, settled here with his wife, Princess Catherine Willis Murat who was the great grandniece of George Washington. Prince Murat was an attorney, county judge, and director of Tallahassee's Union Bank. The prince and princess owned three plantations: "Belle Vue", "Lipona", and "Econchotti" which were centers of social activity in the area. Here is a picture of their graves in an old downtown cemetery.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Higher Education

This is a picture of the Westcott Administration Building behind the main gate of Florida State University which is located near downtown Tallahassee. FSU was founded in 1851 and has an enrollment of over 41,000 students. Three generations of my family (including me and both of my kids) have graduated from this school.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Commute

Tallahassee is quite proud of its canopy roads. There are 9 of these roads in Leon County and they are officially designated as canopy roads by the county commission. Each road has a tree protection area that includes all land within 100 feet of the center line of the road. This road is called Old Bainbridge Road and it is my favorite because I drive it every day to and from work. I try not to drive it at night though because it can get a little spooky.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spanish Moss

I took this picture last Sunday morning when I arrived at church. The sunlight was shining through the Spanish moss which is draped on the branches of just about every tree in Tallahassee. The trees in the background are pecan trees because this land used to be part of an old pecan plantation. The trees in the foreground are live oaks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Old and the New

Yesterday I posted a picture of Florida's old capitol building. Here is another view taken from my car as I was waiting in traffic on the street leading up the hill to the capitol. This view shows the old capitol building with the new capitol building directly behind it. Tallahassee is not flat like most of the rest of Florida. The capitol sits on top of one of the highest hills in town. During the infamous 2000 presidential election, these buildings were surrounded by reporters and satellite trucks for more than a month.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Florida's Capital City

Tallahassee is the state capital of Florida. Here is a picture of Florida's historic old capitol building which has stood in this location since 1845. In 1978, it was vacated by state employees who moved to the new 20 story capitol building you see standing behind it and the old capitol was then restored to its 1902 appearance. It is now a museum.