Birds and Butterflies
We're in an unplanned stop-over on the way to the Sole Family Reunion, which got moved from its original location at the last minute. When you consider that we only stopped in Charlotte because it was midway between Orlando and Altoona, it's surprising that we were able to find a dozen places we wanted to see with less than an hour's research.
CKL's first choice was the Carolina Raptor Center, so we spent several sweaty hours there today. It got so hot by 2pm that the flight show was canceled to keep the birds from overheating. CKL and I were quite drippy by the time we had walked by every one of the bird enclosures. Most of the birds we saw had permanently damaged wings or eyes, or both. Mostly caused by cars or guns. Damaged wing and blind in one eye or not, a bald eagle is still amazing. I got to stand just a few feet away and listen to it call. I was inspired to help, and "adopted" two of the smaller raptors, which means that I paid for 2-3 mice a day for each bird for a month.
My own first choice was the Butterfly Pavilion at the Charlotte Nature Museum, where, as CKL noted, we were singled out for special attention and got to see many bonus animals. My favorites were the American mink and the five-lined skinks roaming the butterfly enclosure, as well as a captive . The mink was as cute and playful as a kitten (even when gnawing on its frozen mice). While we were looking at the butterflies, we also watched a pair of lizards run around. Later, we saw the same lizard in captivity. He was labeled for handy identification, so we learned the name of some wild lizards. It was very educational.
Hmmm... When we each get to pick a place, we go for ones with animals. I wonder if CKL and I are taking this opportunity to relive our childhoods?