Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Last week we went on a Disney cruise with my family to celebrate my Dad's 75th birthday.  Many people did a double take when I told them we were going on a Disney cruise because we don't have children, we aren't into Disney, and we don't like musicals (yes, I have now publicly admitted to it!).  But we had a great trip spending time with family, plus I was able to find some interesting plants to photograph and even got in a little sketching.

The boat we were on was called "Magic" and we left from Port Canaveral and sailed to Disney's private island Castaway Cay.  Below you can see our boat from the island.

I really enjoyed the architecture of the boat and, of course, I appreciated all the repetition of form.

This sketch was from Deck 4 where they hang all the emergency life boats.  I really liked the lines on the yellow boats and especially loved all those propellers in a row.  I didn't really want to sketch this lady but she sat down as I was sketching the deck chairs and I couldn't see what was behind her.  I guess it is good to sometimes include people in my sketches.

These characters greeted us as we walked from the boat to the beach on Castaway Cay.  It was fun to see all the nautical elements they have laying around.

We weren't so lucky with the weather because it was cool and windy.  I forced myself to swim when we were at the beach because I don't often get the chance to swim in the ocean...but it was cold water.  After swimming George and I went for a walk around the bike path on the island and I was super excited to find some very interesting plants to photograph.

I was especially obsessed with these weird banana-looking structures.  I think they were the base of the palm fronds.  I loved the chartreuse color and the bulbous shape... and I thought even the aged stripes added a certain interest.

We also came upon this crazy palm below.  I'm not sure if it was normal or diseased but the leaves of this palm were all crinkled up and formed the most amazing pattern.  You could see that some of them had unfurled but still retained the wrinkles.  I have never seen anything like this so if you know what this is please let me know.

The pine cones were also unlike any I have ever come across.  It is probably some species native to the Bahamas.

I have seen this red flower before in Costa Rica but I don't remember the name.  We kept seeing the bananquits eating from this flower and it was a beautiful sight to see.

I saved the craziest plant for last.  This spiky pod looked like something from the Little Shop of Horrors.  The fruit inside looked like a pair of eyeballs looking out at us.

The last couple hours on the island the clouds finally cleared and we saw the sun light up this island of clear water and curious plants. As I walked towards the boat I felt so incredibly lucky to be there and so happy to have visited this amazing place.  And I thought "Magic" brought me here.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

“I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don't want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.”
― Charles de Lint


Tony said...

Great pics of the vegetation! I was about to go on the hike around the island near the end of the day, but Luke wanted to go back to the boat. Thanks for sharing what I missed!

dinahmow said...

I've just stumbled onto your site(now bookmarked!) and ,since you ask, I think the palm may be a licuala and the red pom-pom flower is probably Albizia. As to the pleated leaves...some grow like this naturally and sometimes (as with some orchids) it can be stress-related or due to some bug messing with a bud stage.

Nessy said...

Thank you for the plant ID's dinahmow!

Amy said...

Great post Vanessa!!! I love your photos and really love the quotes!!!!!