Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brookgreen Gardens Zoo 7/7/14

     Welcome to Brookgreen Gardens, a large tract of land a few miles north of Georgetown devoted to allowing people to enjoy the best American sculptor's work and the flora and fauna of coastal South Carolina.

     There are numerous dimensions to this place, and in terms of a gardens we have visited it is only rivaled by the romantic gardens of Magnolia Plantation in Charleston SC.

    Today we are going to visit just one small section of this place - the zoo.  In one corner of the gardens, ample black-topped paths lead through low-country hardwood forests to various well designed and maintained exhibits containing animals that are indigenous to this area.  The first place you arrive is a large net enclosed area that houses many species of wading birds.

 Night Heron

Snowy Egret

 Don Finger

     After 28 years in the Air Force, Don Finger started volunteering here at the gardens.  He brings in bucket fulls of small fish, and quite the riot ensues.  Smaller birds hang back and try snatch their share from the edge of the fray - it is really fun to watch.

     There are two otter displays - one indoors and one outdoors.  River otter are intelligent, inquisitive and fun to watch.

     Many of the animal exhibits have corresponding sculptures displayed. The otter sculpture is a bronze done by Carter Jones in 1973, and the alligator bronze was done by David Turner in 1990.

     There are too many displays to adequately represent here, but I will touch on a few.  There is an enclosure with several red fox. . . 

. . and numerous birds of prey, including owls and vultures.

    Another sculpture that I liked is this of the wolfhound and wolf squaring off.  They are bronze and were done by Zenos Frudakis in 1988.

     Ponds are graced by swan, and along with the many wildlife displays there is a collection of the species of farm animals brought here by the original settlers.

Phil Baker

Retiree Phil Baker has volunteered here over 10 years, and takes care of a butterfly display.  Tucked away beyond a field of wildflowers is a large tent containing hundreds of specimens representing 19 separate species of butterfly.

 Atala Hairstreak

 Common Buckeye

 Orange Longwing

 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

 Zebra Heliconian

     The zoo is a great visit.  The exhibits are all separated by trails through the woods that allow you to feel like you are discovering each spot yourself.  And with space only for thirty photos, I can only touch on a small percentage of all that is here.

     Today's parting shot(s) are from the outdoor otter exhibits.  This fellow found him a frog to play with - but the frogs ability to play wore out long before the otter's curiosity faded.

Make it an awesome day!!

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