I first visited the Nature Sanctuary, which until this year was called Kuzhitura Farm, in 2014. It is located south of the Amritapuri ashram. That was before I had a blog, so I don’t have photos from that year. The photos below are from my 2015 visit.
(Click on any of the galleries to enlarge the photos.)
The gardens have changed so much over the years. The volunteers have overcome so many obstacles. Their persistence was well worth it; entering the property yesterday was like walking into a magical wonderland.
When I turned onto the path that leads to the sanctuary, I noticed that there were plants lining the borders of the path. Many of them were potted roses. I don’t know what the other plants were.
When I reached the entrance, I saw two new signs.
I walked into the lush wonderland.
There were so many beautiful flowers.
Plants grow so fast in the tropics. There were some rudraksha trees in this garden that were planted a year ago. They have grown 4-6 feet since that time. I’ve been excited that some of our Seattle Greenbelt trees grew 6 inches this year.
There are numerous turtles on the property. When I visited these gardens in January of 2018, the volunteers were installing some tubs for baby turtles to live in. The babies would move or be moved to bigger ponds when they got older. This is what the tubs looked like 8 months ago:
I was amazed at how different the tub area looked on this visit. It was so dense with vegetation. I could barely see the blue tubs.
The ponds were not easy to spot either. The photo below shows one of them:
A volunteer asked if I wanted to see some of the turtles that are living in the bigger ponds. Of course, I said yes. Once there, he told me that we could feed them treats; if we called to them, they would come. When he called, a turtle that was about the size of my palm responded right away. It would not take the food from his hand though. He said that the turtle might respond more readily to my voice. He was right. The turtle came to me right away and took the pellet from my hand. Once he ate it, I offered him another one, and he took that one too!
I learned that there are turtle eggs all over the property. When the eggs hatch, the babies find their way to water. So no one carries them to the little tubs, they find them on their own.
Later, I learned that the nature sanctuary does not have any problem with mosquitoes because there are tadpoles that eat the mosquitoes when they are in larva stage.
I saw butterflies that day and in the past and I’ve seen bees and dragonflies in these gardens. If there are tadpoles then there must be frogs! I wonder what other kinds of wildlife are in the sanctuary.
I could have stayed there all day and not have seen everything that there was to see. I look forward to my next visit.
To read the previous posts in this series click here.