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Friday, October 16, 2009

Aquarium Clowns

My favorite part of the Aquarium was the outdoor otter exhibit. The Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) seemed to enjoy entertaining us. I got a number of photos of otter tails and the backs of otter heads as they swam past...I think they did it on purpose. Note the wicked canine teeth - all otters are ferocious carnivores of the mustelidae family which includes weasels, mink, and wolverines!

The River Otters (Lontra canadensis) spent more time under the water, and released streams of air bubbles from their fur! It helps kssp them warm in cold water. They appeared to be about half the size of their sea-going cousins. Otters always look like they are having fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birds at the Seattle Aquarium

I believe that this is a Long-Billed Curlew (Numenius americanus), who was fun to watch as it poked it's long beak into the a tracker, I should know that the resulting holes -behind the bird, at the edge of the greenery - was feeding sign, but I would not immediately think of this bird. Many birds feed this way. Trackers have to be aware of the local species when looking at sign (and tracks).

This is a Golden Plover- Pacific, I believe (Pluvailis fulva). It was a quiet bird, hardly moving from this spot. I liked the bright yellow and black markings.
I took better photos of this Black Oystercatcher (Haemotopus bochmani), but this is the only one that shows his bright orange beak and his pink feet. What a mismatched bird! I'd love to have seen the tracks it would leave, but it seemed to favor the rocks. Those toes look like they would leave some awesome tracks!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Alien Life Forms

The best way to describe the amazing creatures at the Seattle Aquarium is to simply say that my Missouri eyes were overwhelmed by color, form and variety! I felt as if I'd landed on a distant planet, surrounded by the unusual, the beautiful, the downright odd...often as I admired something pretty, I'd suddenly become aware that it was moving! The pile of sticks above is actually a sea star!
These creatures, whose identity I do not know, had florescent coloring that truly glowed...I really need to do some Kamana journaling on sea life!
These beauties are one of the many types of anemones that I got to touch in the tidepool exhibit! Kids of all ages are allowed to gently touch the critters...I was surprised to find many of them were soft and squishy! The starfish has a sandpapery feel.
Cyndi and I enjoyed the day so much! It was great fun to take a day off work and be a Seattle tourist! In order to share more pictures of our day, I will post another message tomorrow with bird pics!

My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"