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Our trip to Naples, Florida

Our first full day in Florida began with a planned trip to Fort Meyers, a few miles to the north of Bonita Springs. We were greeted in the parking lot of the motel by this flock of unidentified birds. As you can see we had some early morning fog, which didn’t seem to hinder the birds with their feeding.

Birds feeding on a foggy morning

We drove north to Fort Meyers for a return visit to the Ford – Edison Winter Home site. We visited here last winter and since the Edison home was under renovation we were given free return trip tickets to visit again. We were disappointed to find that the Edison home (pictured below) was still under renovation and although we could look into the lower floor rooms there wasn’t much to see except workman preparing for painting.

Edison Winter Home - Fort Meyers, FL

Bougainvillea shrub

The shrub, actually a bougainvillea, which is more the size of a tree was in full bloom on the estate. The picture below shows the flower detail.

Bougainvillea flower

We returned south to near Bonita Springs following our visit in Fort Meyers and went to visit an historic building site known as the Koreshan Unity Settlement. This site was established in the early 20th century by Dr. Cyrus R. Teed as a religious based communal living community. He claimed to have a revelation that he called his “illumination” that told him the secrets of the universe and religion. He converted as many as 250 followers that believed that we actually lived on the inside of our globe with a ball of gasses burning in the center. We won’t go into a real deep discussion of this belief since that is not the reason for our visit. But we will mention that he established this community on about 300 acres of land and had plans for a community that would accommodate 10-million. The building you see below is the founders home built around the turn of the century.

Founder's Home

The building below was known as the Planetary Court, a home for 7-women that were very important to managing the Unity Settlement. The settlement, during its height, featured a bakery capable of producing 500 to 600 loaves a day, a generator plant, machine shops, and a store among the other buildings that housed the followers.

Planetary Court

The property at its early beginning was accessed by boat on the Estero River and the picture below was taken from the bamboo landing. This landing was used for musical and dramatic shows that the followers conducted with their audience located in boats on the river.

Estero River

We also learned that the settlement featured a pair of Monkey Puzzle Trees, but a hurricane a few years ago blew one over, leaving this one tree. Another sapling is planted inside the fenced area to the left of this tree to replace the one destroyed in the storm. This mature conifer tree appears to be 70 to 80-fett tall and sheds a long brown leaf structure that doesn’t look like the typical evergreen tree we are used to seeing.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree vegitation

The cabin pictured below is marked as the Membership Cottage and we were unable to find a sign to tell us the significance of this obviously very old structure.

Membership Cottage

We left the Bonita Springs area and arrived in Naples by noon. Following check-in we had lunch on the gulf beach and snapped a picture of this passing boat.

Passing boat during lunch on the gulf

The sunset tonight was not nearly as spectacular as last night, but nonetheless we snapped a picture to close this day’s report.

Sunset on the Gulf

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