Mayans

Mayans

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Cleveland Botanical Gardens - Part One - The Glass House

Today I went with some friends to visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are located in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood.  This neighborhood boasts one of the highest concentrations of cultural and educational institutions of any city in the country.  All within walking distance are Case-Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Natural History Museum, the Western Reserve Historical Society and Severance Hall (the home of the Cleveland Orchestra).

We began our tour of the Botanical Gardens with the Glass House, which was built in 2003 and has recreations of two very different environments.

The spiny desert of Madagascar exhibit contains a wide variety of bizarre plants from the island off the coast of Africa.



My friends Cliff, Jeramie and Frank pose in front of a baobab tree.


I overheard some children wondering if the tree were real.   The trunk looks as if it were cast from concrete, but it is indeed a real, living tree.

This thorny tree was blossoming with beautiful flowers.



The garden is home to three radiated tortoises from Madagascar.



From there we continued to the recreation of Costa Rica's cloud forest.



A large variety of tropical butterflies are fluttering everywhere.  Unfortunately the most beautiful, large, blue butterflies seemed to be in constant flight, and never paused for a photo.  However, I did get a couple good pictures of these two which posed for my camera.




You can watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalis in this glass case.



Perhaps it was the lotion on my head, but these two butterflies were attracted to my bald pate.

(photo taken by Jeramie)


These beautiful birds gathered at the feeder.  The birds nest, lay eggs, and raise their young here in the Glass House.



This dead tree trunk was covered with leaf-cutter ants.



It wasn't until later, when I looked at my pictures, that I realized that I had also captured a butterfly (or is it a moth?) at rest on the trunk.

Some close-ups of the tropical blossoms and foliage...

Orchids



Bromeliads



I believe that this is a Bird of Paradise flower.










From the Glass House, we continued to the outdoor gardens, but that will be the topic of another post.




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