Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh, Magical Sea Life

My trip to the aquarium on my birthday far surpassed what I had expected it to be. Having always been an avid lover of and devotee to the sea, the creatures that live within its waters have always fascinated me. Any chance I get to visit a reputable aquarium, particularly ones that do rescue and recovery, I go.



The aquarium in neighboring Georgia is said to be one of, if not the, largest in the world. It is home to many species of animal I've not had the chance to encounter before, including whale sharks and beluga whales. For those who don't know, I have been obsessed (I am not exaggerating) with sharks for as long as I can remember. When I first had access to the local and school libraries I would take out stuffy science books about them while other kids picked up "Clifford the Big Red Dog" (mind you, I liked him an awful lot too!) and Shark Week was an event in our house. An event meaning, if it was Shark Week we had better be watching shark programs. So, knowing full well that it was an achievable goal, I stuck "see a Whale Shark" at the top of my 30 by 30 list.



I'm not sure what I was expecting to feel when I first saw one. Perhaps a giddiness akin to Christmas morning? Maybe a sense of awe at how impressive they are? Whatever the feelings stirring inside of me may have been, they moved me to tears and I sat in the big viewing room at the aquarium, surrounded by children and strangers and cried a little. It was indescribably moving for me; the sharks were unimaginably beautiful. That isn't to say the others that we saw weren't, but for me seeing these magnificent animals was like the fulfilling of a childhood wish. The only thing that may have moved me more would be seeing real life dinosaurs, but we've all seen Jurassic Park and know how that would end.




So without further rambling, here are a few more photos of my magical aquarium trip:


Penguin


Beluga Whales

Pacific Jellyfish

Manta Ray

A rare Danni-fish.


There are a bunch more photos if anyone is feeling nosey or wants to see these ones larger. Just go to the Flickr set here.

13 comments:

  1. I love the fact that you love sharks, Danni even though they scare the bejeezus out of me. I just went to an aqauarim in Albuquerque and saw a shark exhibit for my very firs time and they still spooked me even though they have a savage beauty. So glad you had a great b-day and got to see the sharks. Love the photos, just beautiful!

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  2. Looks like a wonderful place...would like to enjoy it personally...

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  3. That last pic of you rocks! You looked totally enraptured by the whole wonder of the place!

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  4. My favorite is the Danni-fish.

    You sound like my son as a child. All the other kids are checking out kiddo books and he's bringing home books about the solar system (written for adults) and all things scientific. I can't wait to see where this takes him.

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  5. You and Shelley have that picsean thang going on. She too as a child would bring home all manner of books on oceans and the life therein. Now she and her kids make a trip to our aquarium here at least once every six weeks just to commune with the fishes, and not in that gumba "sorta" way. Shelley's BD is next week and it would be fabulous if I could send she and the children of the corn to a larger aquarium but....someday. We spent time looking at all your wonderful pictures but Shell says we can't show the kids because then comes the whining and gnashing of teeth about sharks, penquins and turtles...very unsightly.
    Glad you had a kick ass trip for your BD. Oma Linda

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  6. I love all the pics, but the one of the penguin and the one of you as a fish *grins* those are my favorite. The penguin looks like it is flying! And you, I must agree with Linda, you have the "picsean thang" goig on--you look like you belong there and the fishes are talking to you, and you understand what they are saying.

    Happy for you; nothing better than to spend your B(ig)-Day in your element ;-)

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  7. Gorgeous visit. That looks like a beautiful aquarium. I love the sharks too. And the Rays. And the jellyfish. :)

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  8. Super photos, I especially like the Danni-fish!

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  9. Awesome!! Loved all the photos. We recently took the kids to the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans. You would enjoy it, I think if you ever get the chance! It seems pretty similar to the one you show in the pics here!

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  10. Lolz... are you sure you're not my long lost twin??? ^_~
    Shark Week was an event, as you say, at my house as well. My siblings & parents let me have run of the TV that week, and woe to anyone who tried to change the channel. =D
    I've always loved sharks. Growing up, people would ask my favorite animal, and "SHARKS!" would be my reply. I've never understood why most people thought this strange. Oh well.

    I love your pics! =D That Danni-fish is a one of a kind... I'm pretty sure there aren't any others anywhere... You were terribly lucky to get that shot!

    XOXO

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  11. I love sharks too. Glad I'm not the only one to get giddy over seeing them! They are at the Newport Aquarium here in Ohio. I really want to go back because its been a few yrs since I've gone. They have a little viewing area where you can sit and watch the sharks come right up to you. Its an awesome feeling to see this great big predator come right up to the glass to greet you. Most people are scared, and I suppose if that glass wasn't there I might be too. But it was an awesome experience. I also got to pet baby sharks. Now that left a huge impression! You'd think they would feel slick but actually their skin is kind of like a reptiles. Its rough and thick.

    Anyway, I'll go check out your other pics now. :)

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