All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bok Tower

No baseball for me today. The weather forecast was dreadful - rain and thunder. The Reds were playing the Astros, a two-hour drive away. The Yankees were playing at home, which means they were sold out for sure. If the weather forecast weren't so bad, I might have driven two hours to see the Astros, or taken my chances with a scalper for the Yankees, or hung around Ed Smith to see if the Bats were playing at home. But it wasn't worth it when the games were likely to be rained out.

The good news is that the rest of the week is supposed to be nice. I might stay an extra day. The day I was planning to leave, the Yankees play at Philly during the day, and the Reds play at Toronto at night. The stadiums are close to each other. If I'm not all baseballed out by then, I could go to both games that day.

As it turned out, while the Yankees were rained out today, the Reds did play. They lost a squeaker to the Astros, 6-5. Andy Phillips came in at 1B in the bottom of the 8th, and got one at-bat in the ninth. He hit a single to center. (Too bad I missed it!)

Instead, I went to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. It's a garden and nature preserve, a two-hour drive away from Sarasota. Not one of the better-known Florida attractions, which is nice, because it's not crowded. It's in the middle of a huge orange grove; you drive through acres of orange trees to get there. The scent of orange blossoms fills the air.

I left fairly early this morning, and stopped for breakfast along the way. (Chicken-fried steak, eggs, and grits. Hey, why eat food you can get at home while you're on vacation? ;-)

On the way, I accidentally pulled into the wrong driveway while stopping to get gas. I thought it connected to the gas station next door, but it didn't. Instead, it was an office building that was pretty deserted, since it was Saturday. I pulled around in back to turn around, and found a drainage canal. Hoping to see an alligator, I looked in. No alligators, but there was a flock of peacocks. They were eating garbage out of the dumpster in back of the building.

I got to Bok Tower a little after ten, and it was almost empty. It was beautiful, in a sort of Jurassic Park, tropical way. There's a web of paths through the garden, and most of the time I was all alone. The smell of flowers is everywhere, as is the sound of birds. (That was very Jurassic Park-like, too.) And you can hear the carillon bells, even when you can't see the tower. (In fact, I had a hard time finding the tower at first. My tendency to choose the road less traveled, I think. If you choose the more obvious paths, you get there quickly.)

The sight of the tower looming through the trees is quite impressive.

Spanish moss drips from the trees in this part of Florida. I haven't seen Spanish moss since a childhood trip to coastal North Carolina.

There are a lot of animals in the park. They feed the birds, so there are a lot of those. I saw one lone swan, who kept rushing excitedly toward me, obviously expecting to be fed. Alas, I didn't have any food on me.

There are alligators in the park, but I didn't see any. I did see a green heron, some little lizards, and a lot of squirrels.

The squirrels were tiny things. At first I thought they were babies (it's the right time of year, I guess). But I never saw any "adults" - gray squirrels the size of the ones you see in the northeast everywhere. I think these Florida squirrels might be a different species. Cute little critters.

Tomorrow, the Reds play Tampa at home. I will be there, camera in tow.

posted by BubbaFan, 12:37 AM


try to get a clear shot of "PHILLIPS" from behind. that'd be cool.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 23, 2008 3:23 AM  
LOL. It's actually pretty easy to get pictures of baseball players from behind. You're in the stands, and they're facing in toward the game, just like you are. I've been spending all my time trying to snap photos when they're facing the camera. :-D
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, March 23, 2008 6:39 AM  

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