Tuesday, February 22, 2011
"God created fish, man created aquariums."
(I took liberties with the Jacques Deval quote: "God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.)
Normally, I'm not a fan of containing animals of any kind. However, two weeks ago we went to Atlanta and spent a Saturday at the Georgia Aquarium, purported to be the world's largest aquarium. The GA features more animals than any other aquarium in more than 8 million gallons of water in more than 60 exhibits. Each exhibit is "designed to inspire, entertain and educate." The GA is striving to be the leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research. There is a state-of-the-art animal health facility--the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health--designed by veterinarian professionals and conservation organizations. It is the only integration of an aquarium and a veterinarian teaching hospital. I have to admit, George and I had the most wonderful time. It really is an impressive facility and we came away having seen fish and mammals we otherwise would never have had the opportunity to see. The Aquarium docents were able to give us an enormous amount of information and were able to answer all of our questions. Despite my misgivings, it was an amazing day.
Here are just a few pictures. I hate to admit it, but my camera ran out of juice pretty early in our visit. I had to resort to my phone camera and I haven't downloaded them yet. I don't have a lot of hope that they will be good pictures (I have a rather basic phone.) But if they I, I'll share the with you.
Whale Shark (largest animal in the water--approx. 40+ feet long)
Surrounded by fish
Dum, dum, dum, dum,...
Whale Shark (can you tell I was fascinated by this fish)
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Whale Shark reflected
Monday, February 21, 2011
I've been watching this pair of birds for about a week now and they never stay still long enough to either identify them or photograph them. Finally, the other day, they perched for a minute or two allowing me to snap a few pictures before they went swooping around the yard again. Armed with my Audubon and Selby field guides, I finally ID'd them as a pair of loggerhead shrikes. A first for me, so I was pretty excited.
While all of this frenetic swooping and flying and playing was going on, my faithful Dakota watched with an expression of pure boredom. After I took her picture, she looked at me with pity, sighed and flopped over on her side for a nap in the sun, perhaps to dream of a less pathetic caretaker.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Did some downloading from my camera and found this lovely December sunset. I love finding reminders of moments I have forgotten. I remember this evening now and recall how I shared it's beauty with my soul mate. It was a silent exchange of the gift of a magical moment.