Upclose with the fish.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota is more than just a bunch of fish in tanks. They are a “nonprofit marine research institution comprised of world-class marine scientists committed to the belief that the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans begins with research and education.” They do a lot of work with injured marine life and study the impact of red tide. While my sisters were here visiting over Thanksgiving weekend, we drove down to Sarasota (a little more than an hour from my house in Tampa) to visit the aquarium, have lunch somewhere fun and stop by the outlet mall on the way home. It was a busy day. It was fun seeing all of the fishies to start the morning.

Breakfast on the trail.

Everyone was eating breakfast along the trail.

Some of the birds were eating the seeds from the bitter melon (or balsom pear).

A few usuals along the trail.

A scruffy looking pine warbler trying to hide in the bushes.

A snail kite across the marsh. He had been diving down getting snails to eat but he was so far away I couldn’t get a clear shot of him moving.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Fun at the New England Aquarium

The penguins were so much fun to watch.

Up close with some pretty fish.

The best was the octopus. It was awake and moving around. I’ve only ever seen them balled up in a corner. This one was right on the glass, looking at us.

The seals were our favorite though. I think that one seal was making faces at us, telling us what he thinks about us. The seal exhibit is outside with a view of the harbor. They were probably saying “Break that glass lady and let us out.”

Since we were a 10 minute walk to the aquarium in Boston, we spent a few hours visiting before dinner.

My Corner of the World

Big things swimming by.

I love seeing the big sting rays at the aquarium. It’s funny how they have faces underneath. I think that first one was smiling at me.

It’s fun to watch the kids go crazy over the sharks. You get to see them close up.

A turtle cruising by.

There’s something hypnotic about watching the fish swim by.

More fun from my September visit to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

Just keep swimming

Because I’m a member of the Tampa zoo, I get in free to the Florida Aquarium in September. Which works out perfect because by the time September comes around I’m tired of being outside in the heat and want to do something indoors. I get there right when it opens before the crowds cover the glass. I was using Auto mode on my camera with no flash since the flash would just put a big spotlight in the picture. And most of the exhibits don’t allow flash anyway. It’s too hard to bring a tripod in with even the smallest crowd. A lot of these were taken with my phone as well.

 

Seahorses are everyone’s favorite but it’s really hard to see them. They keep it dark in the room and no flash allowed. These were taken with my phone.

Always fun to see jellyfish floating upside down.

I call these boob jellyfish.

This little guy was so cute. He was very animated.

I took a ton of pictures since it was nice and cool inside so more to come. The Aquarium is fun until it’s crowded. When I left before noon it was wall to wall people and you had to wait to get close to the glass. I would suggest going during the week when school is in if you can to keep from bumping into kids.

 

Seafood for breakfast.

The above sandwich tern flew right in front of me and landed with a fish. Adult sandwich terns have that yellow tip on their beak.

He then proceeded to fly around the flock of different birds on the beach looking for his mate or baby. Not sure which. He seemed to be lost and none of the other birds tried to take the fish.

Some of the other babies tried to steal it after a few seconds. Eventually the bird flew off down the beach. He must have come back to the wrong flock on the beach.

This royal tern baby was driving his parents crazy, begging for food. Royal terns have orange beaks and always look like they have a bad hairpiece sticking up.

This lonely willet had a sand flea.