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Posts Tagged ‘Jungle Gardens and Bird City’

Tabasco Factory

This is the island Tabasco built.  It’s not really an island, it’s a salt dome.  The same salt that played an important part in the Civil War, for curing food that could go bad, and in the recipe for Tabasco sauce, made from the HOT peppers that grow here.  You can tour the factory and burn/please your mouth sampling at their General Store. Nearby Jungle Gardens and Bird City, developed by the son of the founder of the factory, gives us a chance to hang out with alligators and walk some beautiful paths along the bayou and ponds.  There’s a driving tour through the gardens, but the real fun is getting out and walking – and there are plenty of places to pull off the road and we do that.   Past alligators we don’t take pictures of because they’re too close and we just want to get by them quickly!

Jungle Gardens, Avery Island

Buddha at Jungle Gardens

Bird City

But the best part of the island experience is Bird City. Egrets were being hunted into extinction, think beautiful plumage on ladies hats;  the Tabasco family built a refuge here and saved them.  There’s a gigantic colony here now – with some man-made help, long pier-like structures, where the egrets build nests, and supplies of nest-building materials, when those run scarce.  Plenty of egrets and other herons still nest in nearby trees, so the real estate has a lot of variety.

It’s an amazing scene, full of constant activity as parents soar in and out, tending to the baby egrets, or nesting on the next generation. You can hear the place before you come upon it. The water surrounding the structures is green, almost like a meadow, but it’s definitely water and we hear that several large alligators patrol there, so predators don’t have much of a chance of making it to the breeding grounds.  Good luck with falling into the water, though…

Bird City

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