This page is filled with items which have no relationship to one another and don't seems to properly fit in a named category, so here they are. All having to do with elephants in some way or other.

Wayne Hepburn, Author

My Florida Tags

Florida has a great many specialty license plate designs available. Each one carries an annual extra fee which supports the program named on the plate. All the state's universities have custom plates as well as many other institutions and organizations.

A lot of the designs are limited to five characters narrowing my choices to the designs which support the seven letters needed to spell ELEFUNT.

I began in 1995 with my first plate "State of the Arts" shown at top and on my car in the garage. The plate expired in 1996 and so I changed designs and have done so each year since until 2008 when I bought a two-year plate of the standard state oranges design. Here are all I've collected:

1995-1996   State of the Arts

1996-1997   Florida

1997-1998   Agriculture

1998-1999   Invest in Children

1999-2000   Protect the Panther

2000-2001   Save the Manatee

2001-2002   State Wildflower

2002-2003   Protect Sea Turtles

2003-2004   Support Education

2004-2005   United We Stand

2005-2006   Family First

2006-2007   Aquaculture

2007-2008   Family Values

2008-2010   Florida Citrus

You can view all Florida's designs at

Ca d'Zan Christmas

The John & Mable Ringling Museum & Galleries in Sarasota contains, among many other things, the original Ringling Mansion built in the 1920s.
During the Christmas Season the house is decorated with many of the objects the Ringlings owned when they lived there. One of them is this elaborate elephant figure taller than a human.

Ca d'Zan means John's House in some obscure Italian or Venetian dialect. John Ringling was extremely fond of baroque art and collected it to the tune of twenty million dollars back in the 1920's. His collection is today housed in a large museum in Sarasota.

Lowe's Hotel 1990

The fabulous atrium lobby of Lowe's Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas held two of these enormous figures.

Each one is over eight feet tall and each is carved from a single piece of wood, or tree. There are no seams anyplace on the figures; just age cracks as the wood dries.

Seated on the base of one of them is your host Wayne Hepburn.

Walt Disney World® Topiary 1978

Shot from a moving vehicle on a visit to Walt Disney World in 1978 we caught these elephant hedges on film. In the dusk, when colors are washed out, they really look like a small elephant family tailed up and moving across the meadow.

Universal Studios 1991

Not as complex as the group at Disney, Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida displayed this beautiful large African elephant topiary.

Lightner Museum 1995

The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida is an eclectic collection of artifacts from the last two centuries. Among their holdings is this extraordinary golden elephant bearing the world on its back. The photo was through the glass case housing it.

Operation Dumbo Drop 1995

Disney's 1995 motion picture "Operation Dumbo Drop" featured an elephant who traveled by cargo plane. Some of the scenes were patently impossible with a live elephant. The answer is here in a photo of the fake elephant taken on a back lot tour of Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando.

Photo © Sheri Chadwick used by permission.

Herzberg Circus Museum 1990

The Herzberg Museum in downtown San Antonio is devoted exclusively to circus issues and exhibits. It houses the self proclaimed largest archive of circus publications ever assembled. Outside the building stand two large concrete elephant sculptures.

(Your site host, always eager to ride any elephant, is shown sitting on one of them. The museum is no longer in operation.)

Photo © Kathleen Hepburn used by permission.

Amazing Wilhelmina
Mechanical Elephant

Wilhelmina is for sale by John Hornby-Smith, England [or was in 2000].

He provides the following details:
Wilhelmina the mechanical elephant is nearly 50 years old and getting ready to celebrate the millennium. Built by Frank Stuart Engineering of Thaxted, Essex in the early 50's, she served her time giving children rides on the promenades of famous north country seaside towns and later in the Belle Vue zoo Manchester (England). Recently restored, now sparkling with gold decoration, she is ready for more and FOR SALE.

Extract of details:
4 children can ride on the howdah. Wilhelmina is propelled by a J.A.P. 4 cycle petrol engine (shown below) with centrifugal clutch. She is steered by an adult walking along beside her. Her head nods as she moves. She is constructed of papier mache and canvas over tubular steel frame.

[If Wilhelmina is still available you might find her via search engine.]

Elephant's Head Lousewort

Surfing the web for elephant links one day in February 1999 I came across this splendid photo. The site credited Rocky Mountain Digital Peeks for the photo but I no longer can find them.

Today [2008 12 23] I went in search of the flower and found the middle image at the US Fish & Wildlife Service web site []. It shows how the flowers cluster.

Then I located the great view at bottom on [
@N04/2887657915] that someone shot on a camping trip in Idaho. You can clearly see how the stalks grow.

Elephant Corn Maze
Found on the web in 2000 but not able to locate again to give you the source. I find it pretty impressive that anyone could cut such a figure on the ground which shows itself so well done in this aerial view. It is possibly a digital hoax based on the shifting shades of green in the image. Whatever it is, it is interesting to see.

Elephant Head Rock

Just north of the town of North Conway in eastern New Hampshire, along scenic highway U.S. 302 and State 16, there is a marvelous natural rock formation which looks like an elephant's head. The excellent photo shown here was taken and sent to us by James Sanborn. Many thanks to James.

Stereo Photo

Old photo postcard with for stereo viewer showing elephants and mahouts in river. If you are younger than 100 years you may not remember the 3D viewers so popular from late 1800s into the early 20th century. Shown at right is one of the viewers with dual lenses which resolved the dual image into one three dimensional view when focused properly. It could be used on its stand or hand held and passed around the parlor for sharing with all. Now I've shared this one with you.

Oliver Elephant

I first found this online in 1999 at Total Rebound and they are still there in 2008 at Total Rebound where they show and describe Oliver as follows: "Oliver is a big, beautiful, friendly inflatable elephant with it's own personality! As the children enter through Oliver's side, Ollie's ears flap up and down waving at them. The kids go into an enormous world of swirling colored balloons that bump and tickle the children to their giggling delight. To exit, participants climb up a ramp and slide down inside Oliver's trunk. 250 children per hour can play. Dimensions (in ft.): 25 x 25 x 12h

Saw this van in a shopping center parking lot and could not resist a photo opp like this one.

You're never too old to ride an elephant at a church playground.

Too big? Maybe.

Too old? Never !

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