Monday, February 11, 2019

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and the Porsches of Sunset Place

Photo  taken February 10 2019 at 10:33

I picked up a hitchiker: a common morpho butterfly. As we were leaving the butterfly house , you pass through two airlocks, the door warden spotted a second hitchiker on my rear.

--February 10 2019 at 10:33. Coral Gables, FL, United States

We decide to visit Fairchild Tropical BotanicalGarden. Named in honor of David Fairchild who was a noted plant explorer who worked for the US Agriculture Department. The garden has numerous tropical plants including many types of palms, cycads, and orchids. It has a somewhat pricy admission of $25 but since we have an American Horticultural Society membership we got in for free. You do not visit this garden to achieve a sense of contemplativeness as you might manage in Morikami. Perhaps there are places where you can manage that feat but the paved walking paths do not really lend themselves to that. But you can enjoy strolling the paths and see and learn quite a bit. We found ourselves wondering how the palms manage to survive hurricanes. Palms have very shallow and small root systems but that seemingly tennuous hold in the ground is often adequate to keep them upright.

Photo  taken February 10 2019 at 11:16

The garden is home to much more than native and exotic butterflies. We saw many iguana but this was probably the largest one.

--February 10 2019 at 11:16. Coral Gables, FL, United States

I do not think we have been to any place where we saw so many iguanas often just basking in the sun with little care about the people moving about nearby. Birds, ubiquitous and ruckus gulls , soaring hawk and no doubt much more were seen and heard. But the pinnacle of the flora have to be the exotic butterflies that have their own dedicated butterfly house. This house is entered via two airlock-like chambers. They don’t actually prevent butterflies from entering; I wonder if an air curtain would do the trick.
But door minders are on guard to capture intruders and put them back in the house. I am sure we saw a variety of species of butterflies but the common morpho was certainly easy to spot especially when one would open its wings and display its vibrant blue patterns.

Photo  taken February 10 2019 at 10:31

Fairchild Gardens spreads across over 80 acres of land including 14 lakes and a butterfly house that is home to exotic butterflies. The common morpho is shown here and they seemed quite numerous in this house.

--February 10 2019 at 10:31. Coral Gables, FL, United States

Photo  taken February 10 2019 at 10:33

When the common morpho opens its wings you are treated to apattern of vivid blue that is just glimpsed here.

--February 10 2019 at 10:33. Coral Gables, FL, United States

  • You certainly can spend a couple hours wandering the paths and the garden has signs and literature that can help you learn. I suspect they have classes and programs if you want to learn more. They certainly have volunteer programs: we spoke with 4 highschool students who had information to share about palm trees and more.

  • We learned that the Shops at Sunset Place might be a good place for lunch so went there. We passed through a nice nieghborhood of homes and schools before reaching the “downtown” where the shops are at. Besides finding lunch at a small falafel place we found easily a hundred porsche cars. Apparently this weekend someone put on an exposition dedicated to Porsche. I think other weekends other car brands have been featured. These cars sure are pretty to look at from the wheel hubs to the shiny paint job and sleek lines of the car itself. I can understand why people love their cars.

Photo  taken February 10, 2019 at 13:10

The Shops at Sunset Place are hosting this exposition of Porsche cars. I am pretty sure there are over a hundred cars here, and other kinds of vehicles are featured on other weekends.

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