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A fun day at Gatorland!

We had a fun day at Gatorland seeing the gators and birds.   They were having a Florida resident special so it only cost $14.99 for me and $9.99 for my daughter which I thought was really reasonable. The park is located in South Orlando off of Orange Blossom Trail.    The website is https://www.gatorland.com/.

I don’t know the square footage of the park but Gatorland didn’t appear to be nearly as large as the Disney or Universal parks. Gatorland doesn’t have the exciting rides either, but what they do have is lots and lots of alligators and birds!   The gators were separated by size and age, I believe to keep the larger gators from eating the smaller ones.  There are several different shows you can watch and some you can even participant in for a fee.   We saw the Gator Jumparoo Show and I found it amazing how high they can jump.  When you look at an alligator you don’t really expect it to be able to move so fast or jump so high.   You can also feed smaller gators with meat by dangling it with fishing poles.

 Of course I took a ton of pictures!  My daughter took this picture of me.   She tries hard to be patient when I busy clicking away.  

 

 

 

The first picture here is a map of the park.  I think it is outdated because it some of the attractions are not listed.  There are also photos of the alligators swimming in the big ponds, the Jumparoo Show, feeding the smaller ones with fishing poles and baby gator nursery.

 

There is a show called Adventure Hour where you can feed the alligators from pretty close.   We paid for the show at the entrance and it sounded exciting.  Later when I look at the pictures I could not believe I let me daughter participate in this – she is too close to the gators.  She had a lot of fun but we might not do this show next time we go.

 

My favorite part of the park is probably the Breeding Marsh.  You can walk on the boardwalk and see all the alligators and birds.  The birds are everywhere and some have chicks in their nests  – I plan on visiting next Spring, it is supposed to be a great placed to get photos.  The Breeding Marsh has over 100 female alligators and 30 males.  

 

Gatorland also has a Train, Swamp Buggy Ride, Zip Line and playground with a splash pad.  Next time we go I want to take the Swamp Buggy ride.   My daughter loves the splash pad.

 

The park also has more than just alligators and birds.  There are crocodiles but I did’t get any pictures, something for next time.   They also has have turtles, panthers, bobcats, raccoons, emus, rabbits, parrots, cockatoos and more!

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OWP birds

I have taken a lot photos of birds at Orlando Wetland Park .  OWP (Orlando Wetlands Park) is a great place to go birding, there are supposed to be over 150 different types of birds.  I haven’t seen nearly that many but I have seen quite a few.  

 

 

This is a anhinga (I believe)  and he is eating a fish.  It looks like a small catfish but plenty big for the anhinga. 

 

In these pictures , a roseate spoonbill is goofing off with this other bird.  If you know the name of it, leave me a comment and I’ll add it.   It looked like there were showing off  for us or maybe having a I grooming contest, I am not sure but they were fun to watch.   I thought the pictures were great and I wanted to share. 

 

The Orlando Wetlands Park is located in Christmas, Florida off of Wheeler Road.  For more information on the park you can see my other blog post at https://lilsusieq.com/orlando-wetlands-park/  or the Orlando Wetlands website at http://www.cityoforlando.net/wetlands/.    

Remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints

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Baby alligators at OWP

On my last visit to the  Orlando Wetlands Park (OWP) I finally got to see baby alligators!    OWP is located in Christmas, Florida off of Wheeler Road.  For more information on the park you can see my other blog post at https://lilsusieq.com/orlando-wetlands-park/  or the Orlando Wetlands website at http://www.cityoforlando.net/wetlands/.    I had been to OWP prior to getting my new camera in January but this was the first time I had enough zoom to get a decent picture.   I had seen pictures others had posted on Facebook and I was dying to see them myself. 

On this trip to OWP we had taken the free tram with the tour guides and they knew just were to look to see the mama and baby alligators.  They hanging out in a small little shaded pond off of Hawk Hwy near the Education Center.  She had a couple sitting on her and more in the water.   Despite what it looks like in the picture, I didn’t get to close, I was on the bank on the other side of the water.   Mother alligators can be very protective.   A limpkin was hanging out in the pond too, I guess he wasn’t worried about getting eaten.

 

And remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints!

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Orlando Wetlands Park

The Orlando Wetlands Park is approximately 1,220 acres  man made water treatment system.   It removes nitrogen and phosphorus from reclaimed water and which then flows in the St. Johns River.   For more information about the Wetlands, its purpose and how the water management works check out the website at http://www.cityoforlando.net/wetlands/.   The park is located off of Wheeler Road in Christmas, Florida.  The address is 25155 Wheeler Road, Christmas, FL 32709.    The Orlando Wetlands Park is a great place to go birds watching or just enjoy see all the wildlife and enjoy beautiful scenery.     At the entrance you will find plenty of parking, an education center, clean bathrooms and a picnic table.    And it is FREE which is something else I love about the park!!

This first set of photographs are some of the pictures I took at the entrance.   We signed in to the Guestbook and made a donation.

 

I have been out there 4 or 5 times now and each time I see something new.  I have gone both walking and hiking but I still haven’t gone down all the paths, it is a pretty big park.  The trails are wide and made of packed sand which are great for biking.    They have free guided tour tram rides but I think the hours / days vary.  You need to see the website for current information.    The guides are very knowledgeable and friendly and this is a great way to see the park. 

The next set of photographs includes a map of the park and the first cell you’ll see on the Birding Loop.   I also have some photos of the tram.

 

The parks has alligators, lots and lots of alligators!  I know some photographers don’t like taking pictures of alligators, they complain the gators don’t do anything.  I enjoy seeing them whether they are sunning,swimming or whatever!  These next pictures are just are my best photos of these amazing reptiles.

 

In addition to the alligators I have seen variety of birds, butterflies and flowers.   The Orlando Wetlands Park Bird checklist says you can see over 150 different types of birds, I have only seen a small portion of them. 

This next set of photos shows some of the different birds I have shot.  Unfortunately I haven’t learned all the names of the birds yet but I am working on it.

 

Lastly, photos of some lovely flowers I have seen at the park.

 

And remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints!

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Harry P. Leu Gardens

In February 2018 we went to see Harry P. Leu Gardens to see the Art with LEGO Bricks by Sean Kenney.

There were over 13 displays made with over 450,000 LEGO Bricks.  Here is a picture of the map showing were all the display were located.  I have been to LEGOLAND and Disney Springs and  seen the LEGO sculptures at both places.  I had an idea of what can be made with LEGOs, with that said, I was still very impressed with the exhibit at Leu Gardens.   The details and colors were just awesome and I was surprised at how large the displays were.

 

 

 

 

We visited each display and I took a photo of them all.   My favorites are the Peacock and Gardening Grandfather and Granddaughter but all of them were fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  Bonsai Tree,  2. Peacock,  3.  Buck, Doe, and Fawn (two pictures),  4. Giant Corn Spider,  5. Giant Pansy,  6. Galapagos Tortoise and Darwin Finch,  7. Ant Mosaic,  8. Gardening Grandfather and Granddaughter,  9. Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed,  10. Wheelbarrow,  11. Hummingbird and Trumpet Flower,  12. Birdbath,  13. Roseate Simmer Dragonfly

 

This was out first time to see the gardens and it was really worth it.   You can bring lunch and sit outside the Welcome Center (first two pictures below)  to eat.   I took pictures of the Leu House Museum (last picture below)  but the inside was not open to the public.  It is still being repaired from Hurricane damage.  I think it was damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017.   We spent about 3 hours at the gardens and didn’t get to see it all, it is a pretty big place.  It had started to rain so we rain so we cut are visit short, however plan on going back for another visit in the Spring.  

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Christmas Tree Trail

We went to Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida to see the Christmas Tree Trail in December 2017.   In addition to the trees, there were lots of Christmas lights and decorations all over Disney Springs.  We went on the weekend so it was VERY crowded.  Fortunately, Disney Springs has two large parking garages so you usually can find parking. We had a wonderful time, definitely worth a visit.  

There approximately 25 character themed trees.  I went thru the trail twice to make sure I got a picture of every tree. The first tree, one with tags as ornaments.  It has logos for all the different stores here at Disney Springs.  The second tree but  first character themed tree.  Mickey & Minnie Mouse, it is really cute!  It is decorated with red and white polka dots on bows and other bows and some mickey ornaments.   All the trees had ornaments and decorations relating to the character – for example Cinderella has pumpkins, carriages and swans. Dumbo is my favorite character. The tree is very colorful and has ornaments for things you might see at a circus.

 

In addition to all the beautiful trees you can also see Santa at Santa’s Chalet.   As you can see from the sign, there was quite a wait to see Santa.

 There were also different entertainers located throughout Disney Springs, you could stop and watch while walking and browsing.  

 

 

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