Mixon Farms

We visited Mixon Farms today, a local fruit farm factor where they grow lemons, persimmons, grapefruits and lots and lots of oranges. We took the "Orange Blossom Tram" tour, which goes through a couple of fields near the gift shop. In this section they keep some of the older equipment, like the smudge pots that were used to keep trees warm in freezing weather. These aren't used anymore; back in Vista they make cool yard fire-holders.
The best part of the tour was the Wildlife Rescue part. Wildlife Rescue accepts wounded wild animals which, if possible, they return to the wild. They also accept exotic pets that have been turned in, and try to find responsible homes for them. The animals that can't be released or re-homed stay here, and the Wildlife Rescue folks work hard to give them a good life. Damen, the guy who talked to our group, is very comfortable with the critters. All the animals he showed us today live here permanently and Damen obviously likes them. He patted one of the Nile crocodiles on the nose before feeding him a chicken leg. 
They also have a big pig who ate apple slices we passed to him through the fence. And an unusual blond skunk named Honey, who was bred that color for the pet trade.  
The bobcat is a little shy around crowds, but with Damen she's just a big kitty.
A dozen big turtles call this home, too. They were all pets until they grew to the size of a dinner plate, at which point their owners didn't want them anymore. 

And there are alligators here, of course. Since most folks (including me!) want to touch one, Damen brought out a little guy with a bit of electrician's tape around his mouth. He's very muscular, especially his tail. And his skin is surprisingly soft. 
After everyone held him, Damen took the tape off, and Gator was happy to show us his tiny, sharp teeth!
Next Damen brought out an umpteen-foot albino boa constrictor named Butter. She's big and heavy, so Damen carried her out draped over his shoulders and around his neck. Butter also feels amazingly soft.

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