Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Gardens of Aruba: A Look Beyond Part III-Flora and Fauna

The 33 kilometer long (20 mile) desert island of Aruba is located in the Dutch Caribbean approximately 1600 kilometers (900 miles) west of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea and 27 kilometers (17 miles) off the coast of Venezuela.   It is the home to numerous species of cacti, tropical blooms and wildlife.  Coined as "One Happy Island". Aruba has much to offer for the garden enthusiast.  Come take a look beyond at some of the tropical flora and fauna the island has to offer.
Aruba Iguana
Iguanas are native to the Island ranging in a multitude of colors and sizes. They actually don't mind being photographed as long as you keep an adequate distance.


Tropical Azalea
Aruba is the home to many tropical blooms including tropical Azalea, Allamanda and Ixora (Jungle Geranium). Many of these flowering plants are evergreen and bloom continuously with the constant year-round 80 to 90 degree temperatures.
Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' (Dwarf Allamanda )
 Ixora coccinea Yellow(Jungle Geranium)
 Ixora coccinea Pink (Jungle Geranium)
Also, beautiful Bird of Paradise can be found at some of the resorts on the Island.

Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)


Island Dove
The doves are so accustomed to visitors at the resorts and will walk right up to you. It is  difficult photographing birds at home so this was a pleasure to be able to get some close-ups.

Agave
Agave can be seen throughout the island in an assortment of colors and sizes and can make quite a statement with its wonderful foliage and large four foot tall stature.


Island Berry


Tropical Bloom


 Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium)


Mother Dove and Baby

I especially enjoyed photographing this mother Dove and her baby and was even able to get a glimpse of her feeding her young.

Palm with Croton


Hummingbird Host Tree Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) 

This trip provided a rare treat.  I have been wanting to get up close and personal with hummingbirds for years and have tried to lure them with bright red blooms and a hummingbird feeder at my home on Long Island. When a friend and photographer brought me to this hummingbird location on the island I was thrilled to not only see several varieties of these creatures but also to photograph them.  While photography of these rapidly moving birds is almost impossible I was able to capture a few shots.


Brown Hummingbird


Hummingbird Ruby-topaz (Chrysolampis mosquitus) and Hummingbird Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

After research I was able to identify some of the varieties of hummingbird (hopefully) and believe the tree they were being drawn to is Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) which is hardy in zones 10 to 11.


Queen Emma lily (Crinum pedunculatum)

Coconut Palm

   Island Dove
Barrel Cactus and Aloe Vera

I hope you enjoyed Aruba's tropical blooms and fauna. For more gardens of Aruba visit Gardens of Aruba and Gardens of Aruba Part II. Now back to the gardens of Long Island!


 As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

8 comments:

  1. What a great selection of tropical plants. I especially like the Pink Jungle Geranium. I love your photos of the island doves and hummingbirds too, they're just lovely!

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting Paula. It was a wonderful adventure enjoying all the tropical blooms and wildlife and being able to photograph them! The hummingbirds were definitely a treat!

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  2. Wow! What a place to visit, a paradise for a plant lover and photographer! Even birds that lets you photograph them! My first impression from your photos is how colourful all the flowers are, but of course, this is Caribbean, so no wonder – the light is completely different too, so makes everything look even more colourful. Loved the hummingbird photos, I have never seen one for real, sadly they don’t exist here.

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    1. It was fun photographing all the plants and wildlife Helene and the walks in the early morning were enjoyable while it was still cool enough. The hummingbirds were amazing and I was so glad to be able to get some pictures. This was the first time I had been so close to them myself.

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  3. You had a wonderful trip to a very beautiful place. I really like your hummingbirds, especially those in flight. I know how hard it is to get those shots with your camera. I am going to Hawaii in January and am planning to take the P510 not my big camera with the heavy lens. Like in St. Lucia, I really liked using the little camera and took it everywhere. The Iguana is a pretty cool cat!

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    1. Thank you Donna. The Iguanas are easy to photograph but the hummingbirds were very difficult to capture in flight and it was also my first time ever photographing these amazing speedy creatures! I also use my smaller Canon Power Shot SX260 for traveling instead of bringing the heavy equipment. You should get some nice photographs in Hawaii with your P510 which I will look forward to seeing. :)

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  4. What lovely photographs, Lee!
    I have been to Aruba twice, and I would go back again and again.
    It is such a wonderful place to be, and the people were so friendly.

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    1. Thank you so much Lisa. That means a lot coming from you! I have become very passionate about photography and enjoy capturing all the beautiful tropical blooms and wildlife in Aruba. The weather is always wonderful and the people there are amazing! The hummingbirds were amazing too! :)

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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