April 28, 2009

Morning On The Estate...

The tour started at ten this morning, so Amy and I arrived at about 9:45 to beat the rush. As it turned out, we had the sole attention of our knowledgeable Sarasota County tour guide, Priscilla.

We were at the Edson Keith Estate, located on 60 acres of prime Sarasota property nestled on the banks of Phillipi Creek. The main estate house is 9,000 square feet of hardwood floors, spacious rooms and beautiful blue ceilings. Painted to emulate the Florida skies, the purpose of the blue paint on all the outside eaves was to fool wasps and hornets into thinking that they were seeing sky - instead of protected places to build their nests. Clever, indeed.

All the interior paint colors, floors and interior fixtures are original to the house, with the exception of the elegant, Italianate chandelier hanging from the ceiling of the dining room (a donation from a local resident). Priscilla even shared the secret to cleaning it with us. (and I don't mean "Have the servants do it"!)

After our tour of the house, we thanked her and walked outside to survey the grounds. Amy and I headed to the path that would take us to the beautiful oak hammocks that lead right down to Phillipi Creek and the Intercoastal Waterway. There is a canoe launch site on the grounds, as well as gazebos for weddings and family picnics. We were also told of the Indian "midden" beneath the lawn to the west of the house and rock formations located to the east of the house.

Middens are thought to be prehistoric landfills used by the tribal members to dispose of broken tools, animal bones and other artifacts from life in their villages. When their landfills reached capacity, the tribe simply moved to a new location. Great care is taken when these sites are located, as much of the prehistoric debri is, in many cases, within inches of being exposed. This particular location has not been opened and explored, however a midden located south of here in Osprey, Florida at Spanish Point, has been extensively researched and is open for viewing by the public. (We'll have to make that one of our next outings.)

After leaving the estate, we went to a local nursery and chose the plants that are going to go into my beautiful blue pot next to the entry to our home. I can't wait to show you what it looks like with our choices! I'll save that for another day.

We had lunch at the Madfish Grill and chose much more intelligent meals...and there were no cameras (except mine) this time. Wish all of you could have joined me today. It was truly a perfect day for a morning on the estate.

Click on the title of this post to go to my Flickr album with more photographs of our day at the Edson Keith Estate.

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