Florida: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Yamato-kan

Yamato-kan

Woodruff Memorial Bridge

Woodruff Memorial Bridge

Walk through Shinden Garden

Walk through Shinden Garden

South Gate and Stone Lantern

South Gate and Stone Lantern

Morikami Falls

Morikami Falls

Karesansui Late Rock Garden

Karesansui Late Rock Garden

Hotei, God of Happiness

Hotei, God of Happiness

Chenille Plant (also Caterpillar Plant and Kitten’s Tail)

Chenille Plant (also Caterpillar Plant and Kitten’s Tail)

Recently we visited the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida (http://morikami.org/).  The gardens, named “Roji-en: Garden of the Drops of Dew”, are meant to complement the museum.  It is a beautiful place to visit!

Florida: Beautiful Butterfly World

Butterflies of the World Display in Insect Museum

Butterflies of the World Display in Insect Museum

Piano Key Butterfly

Piano Key Butterfly

Malachite Butterfly

Malachite Butterfly

Birdwing Butterfly

Birdwing Butterfly

Giant Owl Butterfly

Giant Owl Butterfly

Jaboticaba Fruit Tree

Jaboticaba Fruit Tree

Tropical Rhododendron

Tropical Rhododendron

Passion Flower:  Passiflora Royale

Passion Flower: Passiflora Royale

Monkey's Brush Tree

Monkey’s Brush Tree

Queen's Wreath Flower

Queen’s Wreath Flower

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

Lady Gouldian Finch (male)

Lady Gouldian Finch (male)

Yellow-Legged Honeycreeper

Yellow-Legged Honeycreeper

Esmerelda Clear-Winged Butterfly in Insect Museum

Esmerelda Clear-Winged Butterfly in Insect Museum

Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in the world!  This attraction is located in Coconut Creek, Florida (north of Miami).  The park contains 10 acres of botanical gardens, aviaries, and research facilities.  A minimum of 3,000 butterflies (of at least 50 different species) fly year-round inside the botanical gardens, and most of them were raised on-site.  The park also contains the country’s largest free-flight hummingbird aviary, and one of the largest collections of passion flower vines in the world.  Top missions are conservation and education.  This place is a true delight!  More info is at:  http://www.butterflyworld.com/

Snooty – World’s Oldest Manatee!

Snooty and Coconut

Snooty and Coconut

Snooty Sign at Museum


Snooty Sign at Museum

Snooty is the world’s oldest manatee – he is 64 years old! Snooty was born on July 21, 1948, and lives at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Snooty is doing very well, and “corresponds” with children across the country. We enjoyed seeing Snooty play with a coconut.
More info is at: http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/TheAquarium/SnootyFacts.aspx
Snooty’s live cam is at: http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/TheAquarium/SnootyCam.aspx

Florida: Naples Botanical Garden

Naples Botanical Garden Entrance

Florida Garden Pathway

Water Garden Waterlilies

Brazilian Garden: Lobster Claw Flower

Brazilian Garden: Waterfall and Pond

Brazilian Garden: Waterfall and Ceramic Mural

Brazilian Garden: Thorny “Dancing Tree”

Caribbean Garden: “Bunny Ears” Cactus

Asian Garden: Screwpine and Palm

Asian Garden: Screwpine Fruit

Asian Garden: Wooden Pavilion

Nature Preserve Boardwalk

The Naples Botanical Garden in southwest Florida is a beautiful place to visit.  The garden underwent a $33 million renovation that was completed in November 2010.  Visitors can now walk along miles of trails through 170 acres of tropical gardens and native habitat.  More info is at:  http://www.naplesgarden.org/gardens.shtml

Florida: Blind Pass Beach

Blind Pass Beach: Colorful Umbrellas

Blind Pass Beach: Shoreline

Blind Pass Beach: Shells Along Tideline

Blind Pass Beach: Our Recently Collected Shells

Blind Pass Beach: Snowy Egret

Blind Pass Beach: Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Blind Pass Beach is a quiet peaceful beach in Sarasota County (north of Sanibel/Fort Myers). It is an absolutely beautiful place for a walk on the Gulf Coast – the color of the water is incredible! Once you leave the entrance area, you practically have the beach to yourself. We found lots of pretty shells, and saw some great birds too!

Beautiful Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owl at Sunset

Burrowing Owl Pair at Sunset

Burrowing Owl Babies

Dancing Burrowing Owl

Cape Coral is home to the largest population of burrowing owls in Florida.  The birds can easily be seen around town or near the library (nesting maps at:  http://www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org/nestlocations.html).  Since Florida has loose sandy soil, burrowing owls can either dig their own burrows, or use an old armadillo or gopher tortoise hole.  Nesting season runs March-June. These friendly owls were popularized in the children’s movie “Hoot”.  More information and a live cam are at:  http://capecoralburrowingowls.com/

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