Friday, May 19, 2017

5-18-17  Flamingo Gardens:

When we were trying to decide what to do today, I mentioned Flamingo Gardens.  It's another reciprocal garden with our Missouri Botanical Gardens.  I didn't realize Ken had never been there!  When he said he hadn't, that was it---I decided he needed to go.  So after brunch at Moonlite Diner, we were off to Davie, Florida, to the gardens.
 It was another cloudy day.  In fact, we went through some rain on our way there.  Plus it was really wet around Davie.  But it happened to not rain anymore while we were at the garden.
I've been here many times---many of those with Angie.  But we never really looked around the gift shop.  They have a lot of really neat stuff here!  Too bad we don't still live in Florida, I might have bought some of it.

Through the gift shop and into the garden.
This use to be the weekend home of the Wrays who came to Florida in 1925 and were intrigued with the horticultural possibilities of the subtropical location. Their historic Wray Home was built in 1933. It is the oldest residence in Broward County west of University Drive. They purchased 320 acres of land which they named Flamingo Groves.  Eventually it became one of the first botanical gardens and tourist  attractions in South Florida.
Victorian Gazebo  --- great for a romantic ceremony.
This is one of the many peacocks wondering around the property.  I love its blue and white body!  
Swiss cheese plant
don't know what this is but thought it was really unique.
We took the 25 minute narrated tram ride through the back 46 acres which consist of a mitigated tropical rain forest, wetlands area, and a native hammock including some of the last natural jungle growth in South Florida.  This is part of the wetlands area.
More of the wetlands.  They will let you off here, but with the weather being iffy, we stayed on the tram.
They use to have a citrus orchard here, but hurricanes destroyed it.  12 types of mango trees were planted in its place.
continuing on the tram ride.
a butterfly garden, but the butterflies were hiding.
more of the butterfly garden.

Life-size dinosaurs are invading Flamingo Gardens this summer!  They had them in place, just no signage yet.  It doesn't officially open until May 27th, so we got a preview.  I thought it was funny that these same dinosaurs were at Harry P Lou gardens in Orlando when we were there in Feb.  Must have been quite a migration for them to travel all the way to South Florida!
There is also an Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary.  Injured or imprinted animals are given a home here, at least until they can be on their own again.  They have 3 Florida panthers, a bobcat, alligators, river otters, a bear, and lots of birds.  They even had some baby hawks that hatched there about a month ago.  Once they can fend for themselves, they'll be released.
Here's one of the baby hawks.
There are several kinds of owls, too.  Don't remember what kind this guy is.
These are screech owls---like the little guy at Green Cay.
Fulvous whistling ducks.
some of the pretty folliage.
There's a big aviary of larger birds, too.  Love being able to walk around with them and get up close to them.  This guy is a snowy egret.
a wood duck
Never saw these guys in the wild!  Will have to look them up in my bird book someday.
---laughing gulls (they seemed more like they were yelling then laughing)
Roseate spoonbill.
wide angle of the aviary.
They also have wildlife encounter shows.  Live presentations featuring several of Florida’s native wildlife, such as birds of prey, small mammals, and reptiles, with interesting facts about the species.  This gal was a very good presenter.
back to the gardens.  Candy corn heliconia.
Had to visit the Flamingo area.  Although all the birds are suppose to be free to leave, these guys have their wings clipped.  I guess they don't want them to leave.
The bobcat.
a wetland near the bobcat sanctuary.
Last time I was here the river otter area was pretty sad.  This is their new space.  I bet they like it a lot better.
The lazy bear.
There are a lot of ibises here.  They know they'll be fed at 4 if they're around, so they don't roam too far away.
a flamingo head.
a current dinosaur.
on the tram again.  I love the ride.  And it's free with admission.
more of the flowers along the way.
back to the dinosaur area. (note the tiny lizard on the tree by the dinosaurs neck---interesting juxtaposition)

The grounds here really seemed appropriate for dinosaurs.

1 of the over 3000 tropical and sub-topical plants and trees.
would hate to run into one of these guys in real life!
or even this guy---although I think this one is a herbivore. 
lots of areas to the garden.
more interesting leaves.
lots of quiet seating areas, too.
We even became flamingos for awhile.  I even became a twin!
Sign on the way out.
By the time we got out of there and back to Coral Springs, it was time for dinner.  So we went to one of  our favorite places---Dyan's----for dinner.  So nice visiting with our waiters there again.  After dinner, we headed to the Loxahatchee south park where we use to go for sunset a lot.  Also got to go over the new road.  We watched them work on it for the whole time we lived there.  We had to bypass the area and add about 5 miles to our way to the park.  Would have been so nice if it was open when we lived there.
At Loxahatchee waiting for sunset.  And a view of our rental car---a full size---Nissan Ultima.
While waiting i took a little walk.  Saw this guy along the way.
Clouds were still heavy to the west, but it was breaking up to the south. 

Wasn't looking too hopeful. for a great sunset.
But the clouds really did disperse a lot. 

zoomed in to the colored sky.
But once the sun set, the color was gone.  We're not having much luck with sunsets this trip.  But it was a beautiful night weatherwise to sit outside and enjoy the air.  Better luck tomorrow.

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