Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Koreshan State Historic Site

Monday February 2 & Tuesday February 3, 2015
Koreshan State Historic Site Campground
Estero, Florida



MONDAY February 2nd



Today is mid winter!  Yea!!  We are halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. 

For those with a nature based spirituality this holiday is known as Imbolc.   It is the precursor first to the Catholic Church celebration of Candlemas, and then to the secular Ground Hog Day.   But in all cases it is still the time we begin seriously looking forward to spring regardless of what Phil says

It’s a time to celebrate the days getting ever so slightly longer.  More light.  Bonfires, candles.  Warmth for mid winter.  It’s time to celebrate the circle of life.  New beginnings.  Plant seeds both literal and figurative.  Plan your garden, your spring and summer travels.   An honoring of what is not yet present but we know is to come.  Anticipation.  Expectation. 






Imbolc is moving day for us.  Definitely the start of something new.  We have moved to Koreshan State Historic Site. 

We are parked under one of nature’s oddities, an “Ear Tree”, Enterolobium contortisiliquum.  It is nicknamed for the shape of its pods.   It has naturalized to Florida from its native places Brazil, Bolivia, N. Argentina, Paraguay, and N.Uruguay.   But here it is possible that it is one of the descendants of some of the exotic plants brought in by the Koreshans for their “paradise”. 

In any case the trees are large fast growing sprawling trees with big pods dropping all over the ground and on Winnona’s roof with quite a noise.   I think I’ll have to retract my recommendation of this site to Bill Mills.  <grin>. 

You can see the branches of the deciduous tree leaning out over Winnona from the right side.  I think the site on the other side of the tree also has its share of the pods.










Other than our luck with the ear pods, we like the campground very much.  The sites all face vegetation and have nice buffers between them. 

The bath houses are clean and though not new, very adequate.  They are almost homey with their wooden stall doors.   There are two washers and two driers at the bath house. $1.75 to wash.  

There are trails from the campground to the boat dock and to the main Koreshan Settlement which is now right on Rt 41 so the traffic noise is a bit invasive for such a potentially contemplative spot as it must have been in the 1890’s when it was founded.  But more about that later.

In honor of Imbolc, I spent the day making plans, or at least as much as we can make not knowing the real state of David’s condition yet.  We “hope” to go to the Great Smoky Mountains National park on our way back to Virginia where Carrie’s Matron of Honor will host a shower in her honor at the farm.  And then of course the wedding in May before we head up to New England for the summer.   We’d really like to go into Nova Scotia, particularly the Cabot Trail and then into Newfoundland but the medical considerations of using Medicare in Canada should something happen and getting David’s drugs up there may be problems for us.   More research to do.







Today is blood draw day for David so he goes off to the Florida Cancer Specialists office in Bonita Springs.  Although this is only a blood draw, it will take hours as he will also stop at the pharmacy, the auto parts store,  the ABC store for beer and the grocery store.  Each place will take a long time as he walks up and down the aisles looking at everything they have,  just in case.    He got the shopping gene, not I.  LOL

We were here for a week in 2012, and really enjoyed it which is why we have returned.  While David is gone, I spend my afternoon walking around the campground, the trails and the Koreshan Unity Settlement grounds refamiliarizing myself with this place.. 

I don’t remember exactly whether the trails go from the campground to the settlement so I walk over on the road.  Later when I explore the trails I find out they do go there.

The Koreshans were a very interesting historical communal group but today is a day for walking not for taking tours of the buildings although I do go into the original settlement house and view the film to remind myself about Dr. Teed and this industrious group of his followers.   More on this in a later post when we spend a day touring the settlement and all its buildings.



But here are some previews.    The Art Hall was the main building for all of their cultural activities and continues to have plays and musical presentations.  Every Saturday and Sunday, at least during the winter there are performances at 1:00 in the hall.  Since the week ends are days to hang around for us we will attend.  They are free with a paid park admission.  $6 per car up to 8 people.

This Saturday will be a drumming circle.  It will be interesting to hear if the sounds rattle the walls.  On Sunday Debbie Carlson will present piano and vocals.  Next week-end will be two different Blue Grass groups.   If you are anywhere near, come on over and join us.


On Sunday there is also a Farmer’s Market right here on the grounds.   Pretty sweet for us.  I guess others have to pay to get in.  I’ll let you know on Sunday.


Here is the map of the settlement so you can see there is a lot to look at.  I see everything from the outside.  David and I will return and look more closely at it all.   # 1 is the Art Building, #3 is the Settlement House.



This is the original settlement house where the film is shown and there are lots of artifacts and pictures.




Originally everyone who came to the settlement came by river.  This is the original entry from the river.   I’d like to put in at the park’s boat launch and kayak by the original river front of the community.   I know that as soon as I leave the community riverfront the banks are lined with houses, businesses, private docks and nothing like the serenity the Koreshans maintained in the over 60 years they owned the property.  Still I’d like to take a paddle on the Estero River.






The grounds are really lovely especially the bridges.






The only real drawback in this beautiful place is that years after the creation of the community, Route 41 was built right outside the grounds.  Great for them to have a commercial enterprise I suppose but now days not so great for the contemplation they desired.   You can look down the grand avenue and see the the endless traffic.  The noise is constant.    Thank goodness the campground is away from the road and is very quiet.





I discover a couple of short cuts on my way back to Winnona but it isn’t until later when I go down to the end of our loop and take the “nature trail” that I discover it is a loop that goes to and through the settlement.   The campground map shows the loop but not that it goes to the settlement.  It starts at the campground amphitheater and is a really lovely trail along the river most of the way.



A little way down the trail is the map I wish I’d had this morning.  Maybe when we first arrived,  I neglected to ask for hiking maps..



Signs of spring.  Pretty sure these flowers are lambs ear.  And don’t little bunnies always make you think of spring?  





This bunny and I spent a while just being together. He hopped out in front of me on the trail and I immediately froze with my camera in my hand. He froze too and sat wiggling his nose. He moved a little further onto the path. I stood still. He stood. We stood.
Finally he turned and when he saw me straight on, I was still not moving a muscle but he took off like a shot.

That’s my wildlife sighting for the day here in this oasis between busy Fort Myers and Busy Naples Florida.







Last time we were here I made a note of thinking how neat it would be to go over to the settlement under a full moon.  Tonight is the full moon and all afternoon I think about going over after dinner and whether I should bike or walk the paths in the moonlight. 

But then David comes home, we discuss his blood results some of which show big drops.  This doesn’t look good to us but it also looks like an anomaly based on other results and he still feels fine.

We get dinner.  I begin working on the blog.   Walking in the moonlight slips out of my mind.   I only remember when I go out around bedtime and see the gorgeous moon with the colored  halo around it.   By then I’m too tired for the mile or so walk over and back.   Maybe tomorrow night.  The moon won’t be perfectly full then but it looks full to our eyes for two days before and two days after the actual full moon.




  1. How lovely to find your Imbolc post as we're heading out for our first run in the new rig! Those pods are pretty weird looking - like gnomes all lost their ears from some evil curse :-( This is another interesting spot I've never heard of, just the tease of their history is fascinating. How sweet to find another drumming near your campsite! My lambs ear never bloomed here, their little flowers are so pretty. Your bunny was adorable - I like his message better than Phil's :-)

  2. Love the ear pods! But I can imagine the sound they must make on the roof at any time of day!

  3. It looks like a very nice park. Great photos as always.

  4. Beautiful site and great pictures. Does a drop in Davids blood mean he is improving?

  5. Looks like another beautiful site but I can imagine how loud those ears are when they hit the roof. I hear pine cones in the summer. Look forward to your historic tour and some more hiking of course. Yea, we're on our way to spring!

  6. I'm kind of surprised you're not having any issues with mosquitoes in the places you've been lately.

  7. what a beautiful place. . .I know you are going to enjoy your time there!

  8. It looks like a beautiful state park. If site 8 has been de-recommended, we would like to have a new recommendation:o)) It does seem a bit creepy to read that ears are falling on Winnona!!

  9. That is the first I've heard of Koreshans or ear trees.

    To quote Elmer: Wascally wabbit!

  10. Love the "ears"! We are going to be near Sanible next month, may have to check out Koreshan.

  11. When you said the bridges were lovely you really were right! They are so pretty.

    I can't understand how David can feel so fine (and eat so much) and not be doing well. I hope it is just an anomaly.

  12. I remember seeing those pods when we were in Florida. I thought they looked a little familiar :) Apparently I don't have that shopping gene either. I detest window shopping! George loves to stroll around stores also :)

  13. I'll bet David found a nice place for a big lunch as well!

  14. I like this park!! Too bad about the "ears" dropping on your roof, but they are cute things:) Looks like you have lots of places to explore:)

  15. Do not camp under an ear tree in the season when they drop! They are 2-3" and heavy enough to wake the dead when they hit the roof in the middle of the night as they did during one gust of wind about 4 AM our first night here. Great notes on Imbolc too, something too few of us attend to, but certainly a point in time to observe, honor and ponder.

  16. We've thought about staying at Koreshan SP -- it has always intrigued me. So I'm very happy that you're going to be telling us all about it! It looks lovely from first impressions and all of the upcoming activities sound like fun.

  17. Pretty place. Interesting ears! Sounds like a good day for you...better than taking forever with Dad! ;)

  18. Looking forward to checking this out tomorrow!


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