Posted in Travel

Butterfly World

You know how when you go on a trip, you plan to go see all the sites and you rarely visit the attractions in your hometown?

Butterfly World has been a place where I have always wanted to go to but kept putting off. It’s 30 miles away, not incredibly far, but far enough that I kept putting it off.

 

But on this particular day, I was attending an event even further away and Butterfly World was actually on my way home, so I decided to go. Because I decided to go spontaneously, I didn’t have my fancy DSLR camera, but I did at least have my selfie stick (purchased for just such outings) in my trunk.

 

It’s a little pricy at $30 for adult admission, but your funds are going toward a good cause to fund research and protect the wildlife. You can get an annual pass for double that, which I was tempted to purchase, but it had taken me years and years to get there in the first place, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back soon.

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Your self-guided tour begins indoors where you can see specimens of butterfly development and seeing the scientists doing their thing. Then you reach the Butterfly Garden. There is a walkway among the plants and all kinds butterflies flutter dreamily around you as you explore the habitat.

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You meander around and admire the colors, see then feeding on bananas, and feel the mist of the tropical waterfall. Peaceful classical music plays softly in the background and there are benches where you can sit and maybe a butterfly will land on you.

 

I took lots of pictures and videos. But the photos don’t do it justice. The videos capture the beauty of the butterflies. My favorite is the slow-motion video (the first video below).  It makes me feel like I’m underwater watching fish swim around me. It’s so relaxing I didn’t want to leave.

Butterfly World isn’t incredibly big, but it’s delightful to experience the kaleidoscopes of butterflies floating around you. For $1 you can buy a booklet that shows all the butterfly species, but they’re so mesmerizing to watch, you’re not going to want to be sticking your nose in the book.

 

When you’re ready to move on, the attendant checks you to to make sure you’re not carrying any “hitchhikers”  and you can check out the other wildlife residing at Butterfly World. There are areas for parakeets, parrots, and other birds. There are also beautiful flowers and plants. And of course, a gift shop.

Sometimes when I experience an attraction, I enjoy it but don’t think I will have a desire to do that again. This is something I would definitely do again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Musings

When Doves Cry

img_6108-e1560116530755.jpgLast month I discovered an injured ringneck dove in my yard. It was Thursday night. I’ve been feeding the wild birds for six years and have doves, sparrows, blue jays, and cardinals as regulars so it was normal to see a dove. I had let my dog out and normally they flight into the tree but this one was not able to take flight.

His left wing hung awkwardly. We caught him (my mother and I. Not my dog and I) and placed him in a shoe box. At my mother’s suggestion, treated the bare spot underneath about the size of a chicken McNugget with iodine soaked cotton ball because she believes in using iodine for all wounds. I googled bird wounds and found something at the pet store, but my mother believes so firmly in iodine she convinced me that was enough.

The first night I kept him in a covered milk crate. He was a little spooked and cowered down whenever I went near him, but as time went on he perked up confidently. The crate didn’t have much room for him to move but at least he could see through the grates. The next day put him outside in the crate so he could be near the wild birds.

Feeling bad that he didn’t have much room, on Saturday morning, I let him roam around on the porch. At first, he remained on the broomstick perch but then when we left him alone he roamed about the room.

We decided to let it out in the yard to experience a taste of freedom and socialize with his dove friends, he explored the yard a bit, perching on a palm branch and then made a break for the fence and tried to escape through the chain-linked fence. He was still fairly subdued and was easy to catch but he had to return to the crate after that.

Fortunately for him, I had a bright idea and he was blessed with a room upgrade. I set him up in a personal shopping cart.  I laid newspaper on the bottom and placed a file box lid on top and voila it was a birdcage on wheels! I could even stick a branch through it and he had a perch.

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By Saturday night we decided his wing was still hanging awkwardly and time alone wouldn’t heal it. When I first encountered him I was concerned with the wound, I thought if that healed he would be able to hold his wing normal but now I became concerned that the wing needed to be set a particular way to heal. I googled what to do for an injured bird wing and saw a clever post using a sock. It said to cut out the toe and cut a place for the bird’s legs in the sock and slide it over the bird to hold the wing in place. I can see how this probably would have been more comforting (though constricting) for the bird. I’m still didn’t think I was qualified to be providing medical treatment. So I decided I would take him to the South Florida Wildlife Center the next day.

I knew about the center because I found an injured a black bird in my yard a few years ago. That time I didn’t have notions of rehabilitating it myself. I immediately searched online for where to take an injured bird and found the South Florida Wildlife Center and took him there. I didn’t even know what the other bird was until I received a letter from the rescue calling it a grackle.

Coming back to the current patient, when it came time to take him to the wildlife center, I placed him in the carrier (the milk crate). I said my goodbyes, genuinely feeling a little sad not to have him around anymore, but knowing he was going to be in better hands. I put him into the crate and secured him in the car.

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I arrived at the South Florida Wildlife Center and there was a tall blonde man carrying a creature in a giant Rubbermaid bin (big enough to fit a 50-pound dog). The wildlife attendant manning the desk had just identified the creature as a European something (bird) and the guy was amused cause he was going to Europe tomorrow. I peeked into the bin and it was a tiny bird, he was much smaller than my poor dove in his red milk crate.

When it was my turn, I filled out a short form providing my personal information and explaining what care or medication I provided to the dove. I glanced at the whiteboard as I waited for my turn and saw that the wildlife center received 55 animals yesterday! The place survives purely on donations and I couldn’t imagine how they sustain it. I had only heard about it because I searched for a place to take an injured bird in the past. My mom made a small donation into their box and I promised to give more next month.

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The attendant came to me and placed the dove in a clear Rubbermaid shoebox container with breathing holes and transported him to the care area. In a moment my little friend was gone.

There are shelters for domestic animals, but it’s nice to know there is a place looking out for the wild animals as well. I found the dove in my yard, but the man with the little European bird found him on a public median and took the time to bring him in. I thought that was admirable.

I offered to pick the dove up when he got better. The attendant said he would make a note in the file but they usually just let the birds go if they get better. I haven’t heard from them, but I’m hoping the dove found his way back and he’s still coming by for meals.