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.
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.
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.
|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 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.
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.
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)
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!