I figured this was the most relevant forum to post this. A mod may feel free to move it to somewhere else if they choose.
My partner's mother is visiting from Pennsylvania, so we have been doing "things" all week. I've never been to Cypress Gardens (not to be confused with the Cypress Gardens Themepark), even though I've lived here all my life, so I figured it'd be a good trip.
I was impressed by the amount of things to do here, but rather than all the typing, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking.
We arrived at Cypress Gardens, and after paying our entry fee of $10 per person (which includes unlimited access to everything including boats) we headed right over to the Butterfly House
The Butterfly House was essentially a large greenhouse with butterflies flittering all over the place! There were hundreds everywhere. I snapped a few shots inside.
The first "butterfly": http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/8...oodducknn2.jpg . He was quite friendly.
This beehive is only accessible by bees from outside. This way, you can watch them all day and never been in danger:
We found the queen!:
I wish I had documented the names of these butterflies:
This container was used to house chrysalids while they were waiting. We watched this monarch emerge for over 20 minutes!:
We arrived just in time to see the new batch of chrysalids:
The green chrysalids with gold flecks were Monarch, so said the nice man inside:
Moving along to the other animals we found a buffet outside:
After visiting some more birds, gators, crocs, and the aquarium we moved along to what I was waiting for the most, the boatride in the swamp!
Here she is!:
To the boats!:
http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/6...sssignsoc0.jpg (see the signs? We got lost more than once even with those, not to mention all the poor shrubs and trees we bumped)
http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/3...sbridgemm3.jpg (even though I was warned I STILL bumped by head on this bridge)
After we docked the boats we can across something very strange. Ever seen one of those before?
Man was he fast. I got a really close look, about 5 feet away, it's not albino. It had black eyes, and some soft black stripes along its back, but in all my years in this state I've only ever seen gray squirrels. This was a treat.
After this, we decided to check out a few trails when something on the map caught my eye:
What's that next to the Bat House. Does that say PITCHER PLANTS!? I literally ran down the trail in the direction of the bat hotel, even slid in some mud and scraped my knee.
Finally, I come upon a sign and before me I see....
Noooo! They burned everything back. I figured it was a bit early to see anything regrow, but as I was walking away something caught my eye. What's this?
Are those buds what I think they are? And that light brown vegetation that's dead, it looks familiar!
We had a wonderful time at Cypress Gardens. We will be revisiting in about 45 days or so, mid April, where everything should really be in full swing.
Finally, my favorite shot I took:
Thanks for allowing me to share, sorry that I typed so much. Enjoy!