Thursday, April 27, 2006

plants and creatures

We went to Parc Phoenix at the weekend for the first time.

Its a huge park cum botanic gardens covering 7 hectares close to Nice Airport.

Occasionally planes taking off and landing can be heard but its surprisingly well laid out to keep noise to a minimum and much quieter than expected. In fact its very easy to forget the airport is so close.

There are several enromous greenhouses which are rainforest and other habitats -with birds , terrapins, iguanas and fish living in relative freedom.

The main green house was a lush and humid rainforest, with lots of tropical birds flying around or singing from hidden perches. A 'ruined' temple' and waterfall added to the atmosphere.

This is a photo from behind the waterfall - some other visitors are just visible through the curtain of water.

A banana plant- with lots of green bananas and a dark red flower.

Another greenhouse was full of treeferns which seemed somewhat prehistoric . Here are some of the tightly furled ferns

The caimans ,South and Central American reptiles added to the prehistoric atmosphere. They were sectioned off behind plexiglass-presumably to stop idiots feeding them their children.

I am always amazed by how crazy people can be around animals- whether pets or livestock or actual predators. I suppose it might be something to do with Disneyfication /anthropomorhising and the idea that animals are fluffy and nice and won't actually bite. Sadly this sometimes leads to tragic consequences , if people attract bears by covering their child's hand with honey or in the case i saw at the weekend , someone pushes their baby's hand through a fence to try and get an emu-like bird to bite. Luckily the baby was ok, if a bit scared.

Outside the greenhouses, were some cactus and succulent gardens.

A bamboo maze was interesting- made me think of pandas -here is some bamboo against the sky. Bamboo is a kind of grass and grows incredibly quickly.

Bamboo textiles are starting to become available - apparently it has anti-bacterial and wicking properties and since bamboo is very 'green' in terms of being sustainable, fast growing, and non polluting [no fertiliser or pesticides needed] it looks like being something that will be used more and more in the future. It also has no impact on giant pandas as the commercially grown bamboo is not the species eaten by pandas or even grown close to panda habitats.

There were quite a few small reptiles and big hairy spiders and bugs to see .
I was pleased with this chameleon photo.
A giant stick insect

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Jill said...

Wow! Really good pictures! I love nature! It's always amazing.

frank h said...

what a wonderful images
thanks for to share with us Alison