Flores na Jardim Botânico

If you visit the Jardim Botânico in Brazil, you’ll likely stumble upon a mini-waterfall, friends with many legs, and exotic botanical life.

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Located at the foot of the Corcovado Mountain (the mountain where the Christ statue stands in the Tijuca Forest), it has over 6500 species of flowers, including some endangered flowers found only in the Amazon rain forest.

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The Jardim Botânico came into being in the early 1800s because the Portugese royal family wanted to escape an invasion by French troops led by Napoleon. In their move to Rio, a royal garden was created to house exotic spices and herbs from the East Indies. When Brazil became a republic, they dropped the “royal” tag.

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It has been open to the public since 1822 and frequented by researchers, tourists, students, families and a few familiar names – Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Queen of England.

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DSC_6752Not all of the flowers were in plain sight. Many of them were hidden in thorny bushes or on the backside of trees. But searching is part of the adventure, no?

All of the historical context was picked up by watching a 5 minute clip at the information center right before the park’s entrance. (Recommended for all information-junkies.)

If these photos don’t convince you, there is a quiet café inside where you can read and step away from the crowded beaches or hectic streets. Romantic and zen.

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For the photogs: I used a Nikon D3100 with the built-in flash and kit lens (18-55mm). The flash was set to 1/16 or 1/32 of the full light intensity. Apertures ranged from 22-29 and shutter speeds were 60-125.

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