Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Aquarium

...at Boston. What fun!

First, the sculptures. Outside the Aquarium, which Sue and James got us to before the long lines, was this sculpture of parent and child.

Just inside was this one of a couple and their egg.

A few years ago, my in-laws took us all to see"The March of the Penguin."

Days later: I go to check out the link... and lo and behold, I have linked a French spoof of the movie!! Okay, so I have a bit more work to be good at linking. Here, now, maybe, is the real link.

It was an amazing movie, a movie put out by National Geographic. Have you seen it?
You should.

Just inside the actual exhibits we found this little guy perched on a bench, sitting much like I was by the end of the visit---picture me about 8th period and you'll have the right look.

The penguins were the center attraction to the Aquarium. There were three types and all had center space. Again, we were lucky enough to walk into a talk. Do you know the four attributes that put penguins in with birds? Feathers, wings, beaks and webbed feet. All I really know about them is that they are beautiful creatures who care for their young.

Even though they share all the space, they do have territory rights and most do divide by types. In the picture below do you see the yellow hairs off his face, like whiskers almost?

Above the penguins and going up-- the format for the Aquarium is outer side exhibits with the center being three stories high of fish swimming--incredible. Do you see the shark I took as I was listening to the penguin talk?

Rori tells me this is a stingray. Seeing them swim by was quite a sight.

I really am not doing justice to the sea horses. They were truly wonderful. One had tubings all over it and others were colored. I so enjoyed watching them float about.

This was an electric eel. when it swam into view, inches away from our faces, I was always shocked. No pun intended!

I tried to take a picture of their volt meter that was at their own exhibit. It would show how much voltage happened when they went for food.

Here's another picture of the shark. We stood at each window on our way down and just watched as a panorama of fish swam by.

The jellyfish had their own exhibit downstairs. An interesting quote to start the exhibit was something like "Our treatment of the ocean: bad for the fish, good for the jellyfish."

Do you know why that is? Ask a scientist and find out why. I had to ask Sue to be sure I was understanding the quote because I thought they were beautiful.

At one spot in the Aquarium, above our heads was a skeleton of a whale.

Luckily they had a panel of information about it.

A turtle,

touching lagoon for starfish,

and a basic shot of an aquarium round out the day.

I can certainly see why James loves going there. I sure did!


...to the Syracuse Zoo. Do you see the connection?

Yup, penguins.

My youngest and four of her friends and an exchange student, who was over from France, went in my trusty Volvo to the Zoo way back in July. For some reason, I never uploaded the pictures, and now I have the perfect segue to them, the penguins!

There were the elephants

a yak?

mountain goats

a snow leopard

a bear


a turtle
and the lions.

Can you tell that I enjoy them?

There were sea horses also, but not as amazing as the ones in Boston.

When I was young (Yes, many, many years ago!), I ordered sea monkeys from the back of comics and had them for a while. I think they were called something else, something incredible, but now I realize that that was what they were.

It was a good day of walking, talking, laughing and learning.

And, now? How does that quote go? "In the midst of winter, I found in me....summer."


...to Boston.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who we visit whenever we can, opened their home to us once again. They live in Concord, a town rich with history. (I'm able to walk Benny to the spot where 'the shot heard round the world' happened.)

We went over the 26th, and I didn't do much of anything except drink coffee (Are you surprised?) and go to a wonderful dinner at my other sister-in-law's house. We also went to Cabot's, an incredible ice cream place just down the street from her beautiful home. (Thanks, Shelly, for a terrific night!)

The next day we went into Boston because I love to go in and walk the city - such a country bumpkin I am. Sue and James were the guides.We took the train into the city. How many of you can decipher a map like this? Rori did pretty well by the end of it all. I almost was getting the hang of it too, but I was content to let our guides show us the way.

The first treat we saw once we reached Quincy Market was a street performance of a gentleman who had himself put in a straightjacket, tied up, chained and then put upside down

....only to extricate himself in front of our eyes.

He did all this with help from the audience and a running dialogue of humor with the crowd.

We then went to the harbor and enjoyed the boats.

When my husband is near boats, you can be assured that he will be surveying and coveting them.

As we walked away, there were informational boards showing how much Boston has changed.

It is amazing!! Most of Boston as we know it has been built on land made by man. Do you see the white lines? That is all land that has been developed and what is now Boston today. Incredible!

We then took a quick peek at the Aquarium and saw the seal exhibit that was outside its doors.

The Boston Aquarium uses filtered water from the harbor for its creatures. The building did not impress my husband, but the seals were great and we got there just in time for a talk and feeding. Much like most of the shows that occur at these kinds of places, they use this time to check, work with and learn about their charges.
It was informative and fun to watch. More on the Aquarium in the next postings (which, now that I think of it, you'll have already seen by now!)