The many colors of Guadaloupe.

Yesterday Brenda and I decided to visit a local botanical garden in Deshaies that was highly recommended by a number of cruisers that we have met, the Jardin Botanique de Deshaies gardens.   Brenda and I have been to quite a few botanical gardens over the years but never a “real” tropical one.  It was wonderful.  I took plenty of photos and frankly don’t know which are the best.  Having said that, here you go.

As you enter the gardens this is the view that greets you, a beautiful reflecting pool. The pond is teeming with koi, all looking for a hand out.   “Feed me, feed me”.They have a lovely cafe on top of a waterfall.   We had lunch there with another cruising couple, Dale and Cori of Hi Flite, who we met when Cori offered to take our photo. They have lived aboard for 14 years.  We enjoyed getting to know them a little bit.
This is the shot that got us together.   We thought that a photo of us in front of a poinsetta would prove that we haven’t forgotten that it’s winter somewhere. I have absolutely no idea what this flower is but it’s the size of a grapefruit and grew on a very tall stalk that looked a lot like bamboo, but wasn’t.Of course, we have seen these before but never in such profusion.   Actually, I have always seen them as part of an arrangement in a hotel lobby.  They are about 3′ tall.  The plant itself, 20′.Bananna flower stalk.  You can see the baby banannas lower down the stalk.
Everywhere you looked there was a riot of colors and textures.  Very well laid out to be viewed as grand spaces…As well as intimate corners.   A lovely “fallen” tree, repleat with bromiliads overhanging a pond. With all the lush vegitation, birds of all kinds.
Brenda and I used to have a greenhouse and have a soft spot in our hearts for orchids, especially phalanopsis.  Stag horn ferns are also a favorite of ours. There was an aviary we could walk inside of.  Many parrots flying all around. This arbor, a sort of rainforest tunnel, sprayed a fine mist every few minutes.  It was covered by a tangle of vines.
Crazy flowers hanging inside and the very oddest color.  They looked like they were dyed this odd color of blue.  Very fleshy and each cluster was about 18″ long.  Here and there, cozy sitting areas to sit and enjoy the scenery. Of course, what botanical garden is complete without flamingos?  Unfortunately, these were not the bright pink one associates with these as that color comes from a diet heavy with brine shrimp.  The birds are healthy but not that impossibly pink color that they are in nature as they don’t get live shrimp all the time. Plenty of bring colors though, to make up for the rather drab flamingos including this Macaw parrott. Or this impossibly red passion flower, named after the stations of the cross. Of course, what post is complete without a shot of me standing in front of a tree? Earlier in the day I watched as a local fishing boat slowly motored around the harbor while one of the crew tossed bits of grass onto the water.  I can only imagine that the “flotsum” was put out with the hope of enticing schools of small fish to rise to the surface.   After a while the crew became very animated and began putting a long net over the side, encircling a school of fish. They drew the ends of the net together and began to pull it into a smaller and smaller circle. Eventually, they drew the net completely closed and pulled it aboard, a teeming mass of silvery little fish.  I don’t know what kind of fish they are but they appear on menus at the local restraunts.  Sardines perhaps?  I guess we will find out tonight when we eat out. This is such an interesting place and to see fisherman practicing an age old process of catching fish for the market was wonderful to watch.  In it’s own way, it was as colorful as the flowers and birds of The Jardin Botanique de Deshaies.

We expect to stay here for perhaps another day and then may head a bit further south before we turn north again to head back to Antigua.

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