What Makes Ardastra Special?

 

OwlOr, for that matter, what makes anything (or anybody) special? Ancient Statue Is it something old; Albino Peacock something new, A Thing of Beauty something borrowed, Iris  something blue?Bougainvillea. Red Is that why I like Ardastra Zoo? Butterfly and Pink Bougainvillea “Ardastra” means “striving for the stars.” Mandevilla. Purple It began as a tropical garden Water way back in 1937 Butterfly. 11.14.14 Bahamas…a little paradisal sanctuary in the Bahamas. Peacock and Flamingo  In the 1950’s flamingos were introduced and bred at Ardastra Garden Flamingo Pond  with the hopes of nurturing their diminishing population. Flamingoes in Grass Their efforts have been a great success! Flamingo Crossing. Ardastra Park The flamingos wander about everywhere as freely as the tourists, Ardastra Zoo Flamingoes and I think the unique experience of being able to feed and interact with them Flamingo Crossing is the single most appealing feature of the park. Ardastra Garden and Zoo MapIt’s their hallmark and claim to fame…what put them on the map so to speak. Asclepias copyThen, in 1982 the gardens were bought by a Bahamian named Norman Solomon, Philadendron in tropicswho had a vision for making Ardastra even more special.Wild orchids In addition to the rainbow potpourri of exotic plants in Ardastra, Serval Solomon expanded the gardens by establishing Bahamas’s first zoo.Peacock preeningBeyond the visually beautiful flamingos and peacocks that grace the grounds, Talking to parrotArdastra has a host of colorful P.R. parrots you can engage in conversation. Ring-tailed LemurAlthough it’s not a big zoo, they do have 300 different types of animals, Ring-taled lemur signeach with a captivating poster of fun facts that attract you to learn more. Iguana Also, not all the animals snub you when you want to get to know them better. Goat looking for attentionThere’s a petting zoo with lots of friendly faces reaching out to meet you.  Wolle petting GoatMy brother Wolle is definitely a soft touch! Ardastra GardensSo, what makes Ardastra (or anything) special?  Bright red flower   Being beautiful (inside counts as well as outside). Fruitful palm tree Being fruitful.Exotic bird Being unique. Exotic bird. WildBeing unexpected (like this guy, who just popped out from the bushes).Turtle pondBeing soothing. Lizard on AloeBeing notable even in small details. Wolle taking picturesBeing approachable and interested in connecting. DovesBeing busy and engaged in life. SpidersBeing quiet and  reflective at times, Mandevilla. YellowBeing natural and full of light. Wood duck under palm treeBeing so fascinating that you’re worth pursuing.Blue flowers So, I don’t know if being old or new, borrowed or blue makes much difference, Peacock on branchbut I’m quite sure that Ardastra has what it takes to be special!Bougainvillea in Bahamas You know, I don’t feel very “special,” do you? I’m not divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good (as Anne of Green Gables would say).  But, here’s the really good news! All it takes to be special to God is to love and trust him with our lives. Now, how special is that?!?Butterflies“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

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