Beyond the Aviary

As much fun as I was having in the huge aviary I knew there was much more to see so I packed up my gear and bid good-by to the squawking, flapping crowd.

As I followed the path away from the aviary I approached a huge tree.

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It was so large it reminded me of the banyan trees I’d seen in Hawaii. But it’s no banyan, it’s a cluster fig tree.

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Trees like this always make my mouth drop open in awe. I can only imagine how I will react when I finally see a giant sequoia! This was one time I wished I had a person to stand next to the tree to show the perspective.

Not too far away was the Flamingo Cafe. It was easy to see why it was named that way. On one side was the Flamingo exhibit and on the other was the butterfly garden. On the back side was a Hummingbird Garden. No matter where you choose to sit there’s something to look at. Food offerings were limited to things like hotdogs and chips and like all places of this nature the cost was top dollar. Still if one is hungry you pay the price. As it turned out the hot dogs were giant ones so I can’t complain about the amount of food for the money.

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It was a slow day for humming birds and butterflies so I sat watching the flamingos.

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I have seen them in all the various shades of pink but these were really a deep, rich color. More of a coral than a pink.

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Nearby was a tram ride so after lunch I hopped on board for the tour of the rest of the grounds. This part seemed really familiar. It made me wonder if I had been here before. If so it must have been 10 years ago. Not much had changed. The little tram takes you through some fruit orchards and past the founder’s Historic Wray Home.

The tram driver tells a little of the history and points out some of the exhibits. It’s a nice little ride.

Back at the tram station I meandered over to the Florida Panthers exhibit but they were not around. They are diurnal so it was a bit early for them to be active. Same with the bobcats in the bobcat exhibit. I had better luck at the Geese, Swans and Cranes. I especially liked the pair of sand hill cranes in this exhibit.

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The otters were very active and there was a little bridge to stand on to watch them.

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And of course…Alligators. After all we are in Florida so what would a pond of water be without the alligator?

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