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.
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.
Oystercatchers and herons.
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?