Over the weekend, mom and I went on a mother-daughter trip to Flamingo Gardens with one of her coworkers (and her daughter). Unfortunately, I got super sick as we were leaving and I'm trying to blog this while hopped up on cough syrup. Please politely correct any typos, grammatical fails, or sentences that make absolutely NO sense in the comments.
Mom and I arrived early so while we were waiting for her coworker, I wandered around the front area, visiting the beautiful birds and reading about how the site is a county historical landmark.
We hadn't even gotten into the gardens proper before I saw the first peacock and I was in love.
We ended up wandering towards the birds of prey and the Wildlife Encounters show.
I love, love, love owls too.
From there, we proceeded into the aviary. It was so awesome to see some of these birds up close, especially the roseate spoonbill.
Then we wandered back into another section of birds of prey.
I was so focused on capturing this hawk's expression that I didn't even notice the flare until I got home.
The little girl we were with was as obsessed with spider webs and peacocks as I am. It was amazing to be shooting side by side with her (me with my DSLR, her with her cell phone). I would find the perfect angle and light and then have her stand right where I was.
This is one of the most amazing accidental photos I ever captured. I had the composition all set and then the couple (who I had counted on having continue walking) stopped.
Mom's coworker was super excited about the flamingo pond, so we spent a lot of time there.
One of the things I love the most about Flamingo Gardens is their commitment to preservation. I got to see otters, alligators, bobcats, and would have seen a panther if it wasn't in the back of its enclosure (out of eyesight).
I also got to see some of my favorite water birds, including night herons and wood storks.
At one point, there was a peacock following me, trying to figure out my camera.
I even got to see a sandhill crane.
As we were leaving, we saw a family of raccoons. I was feeling like death but I managed to get one good shot before I got too sick to hold my camera.