Today is Mother’s Day, and I told my family that I wanted to visit Avery Island. I hadn’t been since the 8th grade on our Louisiana History Tour. Avery Island is in Iberia Parish and home to Jungle Gardens and the Tabasco Factory. It’s a great tourist stop for anyone visiting Southern Louisiana. I also knew that I could add a few birds to my 2021 list, which was exciting!
The Jungle Gardens can be a driving or walking tour. It is easy to drive and stop at different sights along the way. We saw lots of the nature of Louisiana, including mossy oak trees, egrets, and lots of alligators!
My daughter got me binoculars for Mother’s Day, allowing me to up my bird watching game.
Avery Island was developed by E.A. McIlhenny, who also started the Tabasco company. He received this 900 year old Buddha statue as a gift.
Bird City is an awesome roosting spot for egrets. I saw Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, and Anhingas.
Next, we went to the Tabasco factory, where the famous hot sauce is made. It consists of a self-guided tour showing different parts of the process. We also had lunch at the on-site restaurant.
Avery Island is actually a salt dome. The topography is very unique in southern Louisiana, including hills and is well above sea level.
After leaving Avery Island, we had a brief stop at another salt dome, Jefferson Island. We did not visit all of Rip Van Winkle Gardens, but did stop to see the peacocks and peahens.
Our last stop was at Rips Rookery, where I risked my life by walking along the water with large alligators swimming in order to try and get pictures of the roseate spoonbills that I could see in the distance. My phone couldn’t zoom very well to get good pictures, but my husband’s was a bit better.