Tuesday, November 6, 2012


My husband and I are staying in Argentina for 6 weeks while he teaches a course at the Agricultural Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires (FAUBA). We've enjoyed our time so far in this huge, vibrant city. The people are friendly, the food is wonderful, and the city is so interesting.
Downtown Buenos Aires

Things here are similar and yet so different from our life in Florida. I've been especially interested in the flora and fauna (no surprise) and stop at every chance to see the butterflies, flowering trees and backyard birds of Buenos Aires. In fact, I was planning on writing my next entry about urban wildlife. And then I found the Botanical Garden! A student in the lab of the professor who invited my husband to teach shares my interest in insects and he told me about a lovely garden on the UBA campus. I decided to scope it out today and was overjoyed to find this wonderful little sanctuary in the midst of the big city. For all its interesting and wonderful points, Buenos Aires is a big and dirty city, not at all unlike New York. The noises of cars and trains and the general dirtiness can be a bit taxing. But if you've got a quiet green spot to turn to for a break from the grit, it's also very bearable. This Botanical Garden proved as much for me today, and I have a feeling that I will be a frequent visitor over the next few weeks.

To enter the garden, I first walked several blocks along a busy, sunny street.
Outside of the Campus

But then I turned on to the campus and found a pretty wrought iron gate, with a handle.

The Secret Garden
 I turned the handle and walked in to a breath of fresh air, with flowering Angel's Trumpets and Pomegranates, chirping and fluttering birds and the occasional stray cat.
Stray Cat Drinking at Pond

 I walked past the young lovers embracing on the grass and went down along the bamboo lined path. Among the rows of beautiful flowers, I saw tropical butterflies and even found a toad.

Yellow Lazy (Actinote carycina)

Butterfly on Heliotrope
In the trees and on the grass, Chalk Browed Mockingbirds, thrushes that resemble American Robins and Rufous Hornero birds, the National Bird of Argentina, ran around looking for bugs.

Robin-Like Thrush
 I could hear the Kiskadees and Loros (green parakeets) squawking from the trees.
Great Kiskadee sitting on a Sculpture in the Pond

When I return I also hope to find hummingbirds. I saw several amazing birds with long tails and head tufts. I don't know what they are yet, but will figure it out. (NOTE: I later learned that this is a Guira Cuckoo!)
Mystery Bird (Guira Cuckoo)
I spoke to a gardener in my poor Spanish and his poor English and he told me what they were called, but I didn't understand. He seemed to tell me that they were pests but still beautiful. I think he also told me that there were plants from all parts of Argentina, from the mountains to the great plains, and that it was a wonderful place, but that it was spoiled by the sounds from the road. I felt just the opposite--the city was made beautiful by the lovely little garden.


  1. It must be very exciting being in such a different place with all new toys to look at and photograph! Thank you for your delightful posts! Your photography is getting better by the day!

    1. It really has been a great adventure. I hope to post more when I have better access to the computer. I appreciate your comments!