If you’re from somewhere outside of Texas, and possibly for a good number of folks IN Texas, you may not have heard of Moody Gardens. Imagine someone building a living Natural History museum and marketing it as an amusement park, and you’d have the basic idea.
The three pyramids in the picture are the Rainforest Pyramid, the Aquarium Pyramid, and the Discovery Pyramid. A full day will give you enough time to get through all three, with a boat ride, though if you want to do some of the special events it may make sense to give yourself an extra day. These photos come from our summer trip through there.
First stop was breakfast at the Moody Gardens hotel. We were staying across the lake, but had heard this was a good deal. Not too expensive for a buffet, and the picture above gives you a sense of the decor.
There were quite a few of these around the main dining room, but I didn’t want to spend all day just in the restaurant.
A quick step outside and I had to first remove the fog from my lens and glasses. In typical Galveston/Houston form, the humidity was quite noticeable. Fortunately it wasn’t TOO long a walk to the Aquarium Pyramid.
In the Aquarium Pyramid are actually a number of aquariums and other water exhibits. This gives them a bit of variety for displaying different flora and fauna of an aquatic nature.
Tropical seas being one of the first.
Of course something of a more arctic nature appealed to the seal exhibit.
While other tanks had varying combinations of fish and other sea life.
Of course I really enjoyed the tanks with coral and flashy fish :-)
But the smaller tanks with Seahorses and other small ocean life were also fun to look at.
Then again there’s something to be said for a collection of various fishes.
And of course you have to have a few penguins to liven things up!
Stepping outside, there’s a bridge to the rest of the complex where the other two pyramids are.
Letting me get a quick shot of each as we walked across.
There is a rock garden and pool here.
As well as a decent view of the lake where the boat tours run.
Then it was inside to the Rainforest pyramid. We started at the top.
Where the trail takes you among the tree tops and lets you look over the rest of the exhibit.
Of course that also makes for a great place to see birds and flowers that prefer the higher locations.
A bit of plant “fireworks” here.
Though it was also fun to get a birds-eye view of the parrot area below.
Toward the bend in the trail, you’re right under the tip of the pyramid — but I can’t say I felt any cosmic energy there.
This sign suggested all the butterflies and moths you might see here, but unfortunately I didn’t see any of these. But maybe you’ll see some and post your own pictures?
Another set of beautiful blooms.
The Rainforest also has some free ranging mammals of the non-human kind. The guide at this part of the walk suggested we not try to get too close as he might get startled and respond with a “love” bite. I heeded her suggestion.
We made our way downstairs, where I spotted this colorful amphibian.
While this one I suspect was not trying hard enough to keep me from seeing him.
The pond areas here included this fish swimming right above a turtle. Hopefully they were on friendly terms.
The floor was marked off into several areas, with signs to suggest that each one had a somewhat different set of plants. I’m not sure I could tell that much difference, but that’s on me.
Certainly the flowers here were beautiful enough regardless.
A little raft area had some ducks, though most of them were keeping out of sight.
Another lovely example of nature’s finery.
As well as these white and gold blooms.
As well as these purple flowers.
Onto the next section.
And while there were plenty of flowers here too…
The main attraction in this area seemed to be all the birds.
Including the parrot I had seen from the higher trail before.
Now trying to get a better look and see if I might have a snack to offer.
This pair was particularly animated, and were interacting with some of the kids nearby.
Of course some of the birds preferred to keep a lower profile.
I was a bit worried to notice this one right above me. But he didn’t seem to be in any hurry to move from his spot.
A better view of some of the turtles.
And a nice bloom close enough to the trail for me to get a good shot.
The trail led you behind one of the waterfalls.
And then onto the next area. A little hard to read, but moving the leaf seemed like a bad idea.
Particularly with these guys keeping a close eye on things.
As well as this fellow getting a ground level view.
One more bird and then…
back outside again. At this point we checked the itinerary, and saw that the Discovery Pyramid had a special exhibit that we weren’t all that interested in (with an additional admission ticket to boot).
So we walked back around the rock garden, and made our way to the boat.
Another view of the pyramids from the boat as it’s getting ready to embark.
A sailboat out for a short cruise is just off the side of our route.
While a little further out you get this angle on the pyramids. The first picture from this article also came from our boat ride.
As we were pulling back into shore, we got buzzed by this fellow doing some training runs.
And finally one last shot of some of the vegetation in the gardens on our way back to our car.
This should give you a sense of some of the things you can enjoy if you make your way to Moody Gardens this year!