I have been to Tree Tops Park many times over the past 15 years and just recently started to walk the nature trails. I did so on the suggestion of the Audubon Society and so far, it has been a pleasant surprise. During the week of April 21-25 I was at the park 4 times and took several photographs of butterflies, dragonflies and birds. Here are some of the better images from that week.
I visited an office near U.S. 1 and State Road 84, stopped by Wendy’s on S.R. 84 for a Cod Fillet sandwich and decided to spend part of my lunch time at Secret Woods Park.
This park is on S.R. 84 just west of I-95. It opened in September 1978 and is Broward County’s first nature center. It covers 57 acres on which you will find laurel oak trees, sabal palms and other varieties of palms, white mangroves, wild coffee, leather ferns, strangler figs, cocoplum, white stopper and pond apple trees.
After leaving the parking lot and walking a few feet towards the park office, I turned right (south) to the butterfly area. I saw 4 types of butterflies, dragonfly and land crabs. I saw a blue land crab possibly a fiddler crab and waited patiently to get a good photograph. Here are some of the images taken at the park on Wednesday April 16th:
My first trip to Miami MetroZoo was about a year before Hurricane Andrew struck south Florida in August 1992. The hurricane devastated the zoo and left it closed for months. One of its main attractions “Wings of Asia”was torn apart but miraculously most of its exotic birds were captured. According to an article in the LA Times
“Of 300 birds, including hornbills, Asian pheasants, fairy bluebirds and other rare specimens, zookeepers managed to capture 200 using rudimentary mesh cages with trap doors.”
Today the zoo renamed ZooMiami, is bigger and better that it was before “Andrew.” I have been there about 4 times since and enjoyed every minute except blistering nineties temperatures one July. Since then I have decided I will only visit during winter. (My last visit was on January 1 2014.)
Here are some of the better pictures I took while at ZooMiami.
A family of giant elands
A gorilla resting
African Elephant distinguished from Asian Elephant by larger ears and tusks
I saw burrowing owls for the first time at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City about 4 years ago. I also saw some at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill in August 2012. A few weeks ago I saw one at Vista View Park in Davie.
The first picture was taken at Central Broward Park and the second at Vista View Park.
FACTS ABOUT BURROWING OWL
Burrowing Owl is about 7 1/2 – 10 inches tall with a wingspan of 21 – 24 inches, and weighs 4 1/2 – 9 ounces. Unlike most owls, the male bird is slightly heavier and has a longer wingspan than the females.”
“This owl is found in dry, open areas with low vegetation where fossorial mammals (i.e. ground squirrels) congregate such as grasslands, deserts, farmlands, rangelands, golf courses, and vacant lots in urban areas. It was once distributed broadly throughout western North America, but has found itself declining in numbers throughout all historic ranges in the last 30 years. The burrowing owl also occurs in Florida, Central America, and most of South America.” READ MORE
The sculpture above is called Niños, and it is located outside the daycare center at MDC North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Avenue, Miami. It was designed by Spanish artist Eladio de Mora aka dEmo.
This symbol is part of a multi-media project named Route to Human Rights which is the brainchild of International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR). It was unveiled at MDC-North on Saturday December 10, 2011.
The mission of Route to Human Rights is to place art created by local and international artists at 30 locations in Florida. Each sculpture/symbol represents a different article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Niños sculpture is the second placement in the project and represents Article 2: “The right to freedom from discrimination.”
I have visited Tree Tops Park many times over the past 15 years and have never gone on the nature trail until Monday March 31. My first nature tour was rewarded with a sighting of a green heron, turtles and a wading bird. I even met a couple from New Jersey who was out bird watching.
I saw a green heron that sat patiently as I took about 20 pictures. Interestingly I returned to the park 4 days later and found a green heron close to where I spotted the first one. Was it the same bird? Is that its home base?
The first image was taken Monday March 31st and the second was taken Friday April 4th.
Vista View Park is a little “gem” tucked away in the western part of Broward County. This park located in Davie Florida near Griffin Road and I-75, sits on 272 acres.
Vista View is popular with fitness-conscious residents. The park offers trails for jogging, cycling and horseback riding. There are 2 fishing piers at the park, an area for model planes and a track for remote-controlled (RC) cars. The following are some pictures taken at the park today and within the past few weeks.
Excerpt from FortLauderdale.gov:
“Through our Citywide Vision and Strategic Plan, Fort Lauderdale is building a strong, resilient and sustainable community.
Today, our vision is taking shape at Mills Pond Park (2201 NW 9 Avenue), home to the City’s first wind turbines and electric
vehicle charging stations! This exciting green initiative will save energy, conserve natural resources, and protect and preserve
our environment. The $221,000 project is being funded by a federal energy efficiency and conservation block grant.” More info
A few months ago I saw a crew setting up what looked like a bike rental stall/station near the Performing Arts Centre in Fort Laudeerdale. Some time later I found out that Broward’ County has embraced a bike-sharing program that has been in place in many cities across America.
On Wednesday December 2011 Broward County and the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Dania Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Hallandale launched a bike sharing program A company called B-cycle supplied 200 bikes initially.
Here are some interesting facts about Broward.Bcycle.com
“In our first year of operation, B-cycle helped you burn 3.4 MILLION calories and kept 87,804 lbs of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere.”
- “Our B-team is working 7 days a week to make sure you always have a tuned & ready B-cycle. We service 275 bicycles at 27 stations in 6 cities in Broward County, FL – and growing. More than 26,000 people have explored these cities by B-cycle!”