Woke up to rain today, drumming on my roof. A welcome sound, as we’re still in a drought, but it didn’t work well with my plans for the day. Even though the rain stopped, there are somethings that just don’t look good when they are soggy. So I changed my plans and headed down to Boulware Springs, another city park that I’ve never been to before. I say city park, but since it’s connected to the Hawthorne trail, it’s also kind of part of the state park system, I think.
Boulware Springs is touted as the place where Gainesville started, and used to supply all the water to city residents. I read “springs” and I read “trail” and that was enough for me. What I found is not at all what I expected (which a little more research would have corrected). The “springs” are not the meandering waters that you’ll find in other parks around Gainesville, and were pretty small and very green (that’s it in the image above). There is something covering the water right now, perhaps duckweed? The trail is paved, unless you are on the equine trail, which is unpaved. I don’t think pedestrians are supposed to use that one, but I’m not sure if that’s a rule or if I just made that up. Paved trails are wonderful, and great for people like my husband who can’t really walk the unpaved ones, but I was looking for something more rugged today.
And of course, since the whole point of this blog is to find stuff I like where I am, I did find some pretty interesting things. The pumphouse is a pretty building, all white brick and green shutters. I love that they made it up to look like a house rather than just making an industrial place that would work just as well functionally. It was built in 1901, a date which I had to look up, and restored in 1990 when it was apparently also declared historic, a fact which is posted on the exterior wall right next to the entrance. I hope I missed a sign somewhere.
Florida is full of bathrooms with beautiful lighting like this, and for good reason. It makes sense to do it this way, putting windows in the bathrooms or the bathrooms next to the windows in older buildings, especially in a park that is only open during daylight hours. Rather than having lights burning all day, the window provides enough light for the occasional visitor on most days. Since many of these windows are hung low, the glass must be frosted for privacy. This makes for beautiful soft lighting in some of the unlikeliest places. With Florida’s very strong sunlight, there are very few days that electricity would be needed for lighting at all. The angle of that corner? It’s not a trick of the camera, the corner really is that sharp.
Of course, this same principal could be applied to many rooms, but in most rooms, people expect window glass to be unfrosted and offer a view, which can also cause problems with glare. It can be a very tricky process to balance lighting needs against other energy needs, especially cooling. When a building has too many windows, they can have the unwanted effect of increasing thermal energy from the sun, thereby increasing the need for air conditioning and eliminating any savings that could be had by daylight lighting. That’s why the nicest lighting is often found in the bathrooms.
Cherry trees again! How can there be so many of them around that I had never noticed? But what I find most amazing is the seasonal confusion here. One tree is heading into spring, while this other tree just a few yards away still hasn’t finished fall!