Okinawa's Southeast Botanical Gardens is an interesting little attraction located just behind our neighboring Air Force Base. On a beautiful summer Sunday, which also happened to be the first weekend after the rainy season, this place was curiously dead. Sure, it was nearing 90 degrees and yeah, the humidity made us sweat through all of our clothing in a matter of minutes, but this is Okinawa... Isn't the weather always a bit unbearable?? I can't complain though, having the park to ourselves was a dream. It was unbelievably quiet and peaceful which made for a perfect intimate Sunday outing.
Although the lush vegetation and massive lily ponds were lovely, our favorite area of the gardens was the animal park. There were guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, tortoises, wild pigs and monkeys, however, the real stars of the show were the capybaras. A capybara is a semi-aquatic giant rodent with razor sharp teeth and webbed feet. They are social creatures that thrive in packs, but they suffer from dependency issues and will get separation anxiety if you leave them for too long. Luckily, they are legal to own in Pennsylvania! Needless to say, our plans to build a capybara farm when we move back to the states is currently in the works.
The only issue Ben and I had with the Botanical Gardens was that it was pretty much infested with Banana Spiders. For those of you who do not know what a Banana Spider is, Google it if you're feeling brave. There's nothing quite like the absolute TERROR we experienced when we were deep in the jungle on a trail and realized that there were enormous webs of these creepy critters mere inches above Ben's head. I've experienced these nightmares once before in Florida, but never had I ever seen a Banana Spider as large as the one's that were living here. Guess that's the price you have to pay for living in a sub tropical climate...
P.S. As I write this I'm currently sitting in the middle of my floor because now I can't help but picture Banana Spiders hiding on my furniture!
We're Kara, Ben and baby Zoe also known as the Lesniaks. We’re a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Yorktown, Virginia after a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together!
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