Sunday, March 5, 2017

flamingo road

Back in December, I was so excited to see flamingoes in the wild in Torres del Paine. And the Europeans were very nonchalant: We have flamingoes in Spain. And then someone mentioned flamingoes in Florida, which led me to Flamingo Gardens. So let's get the flamingoes out of the way.
No one I know in Miami had heard of Flamingo Gardens, but it's just half an hour west of Hollywood, in Davie, a town known for cowboys. 90 years ago, the Wrays built a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Then they planted some trees.
The trees are incredible. Cacao and bananas and mangoes and Meyer lemons. And lots of really cool fig trees.
Orchids and air plants like Spanish moss were plentiful.

Flamingo Gardens is a non-profit sanctuary. There's an aviary, full of local birds, most of them injured. 
 Pelicans and ibises.

Oystercatchers and herons.

The owls were sleeping. Bald eagles strode around their enclosure.
 This pretty blue-eyed bird seemed to only have one leg.
 Roseate spoonbills are not flamingoes.

Even the ducks were adorable.

Moral of the story is maybe you don't have to leave the country to find exotic birds and plants. Sometimes they're hiding in plain sight. Just past the familiar boundary where you grew up.

All in all, a fine day. Then we headed to an early bird dinner for stone crabs and roast leg of lamb. A real Golden Girls adventure.
How about those Florida panthers?