2011-01-22

Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 11:58 AM | No comments

Snow, snow and more snow

MA has been receiving record snowfall lately, and that has really hampered our outings. However, it does come with some benefits. Last week Kyle had two snow days, followed by his Friday off and then the Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday. A nice 6 day vacation, during which we were pretty much holed up in the house. Of course, that lends itself to lots of reading and video games.
Our neighbor Ernie, diligently shoveling.

Even Frak decided she couldn't handle being inside anymore and ventured out onto the front landing.
Frik, on the other hand, was perfectly willing to just look outside.

We did manage to break out of our white prison to go to Boston for a day. We spent it at the aquarium. It isn't the best aquarium, but we got a great discount for being members of the public library. Of course, Kyle is such a huge nature nut that we always get the best out of whatever zoo/aquarium we are visiting. As always, we walked away with new tidbits of knowledge.

 Who knew that Atlantic Harbor Seals love to get blasted by fresh water through a hose?
We learned that African penguins molt all of their feathers once a year. During that time, they can't go into the water, which means they can't eat. The process can take 2-3 weeks. The few that were molting were pretty plump as they had stored up fat as they would in the wild. A neat aspect to this exhibit is that the water is fresh Atlantic saltwater. The aquarium sits right on the shore and can easily incorporate ocean water into their exhibits.
Sadly, these guys are endangered.
Here we watched the divers go into the tank to feed the larger fish. They had a sand tiger shark in the tank, so they have to make sure he is a happy, full shark. That way the rest of the fish in the tank remain safe.
Below you can see Myrtle the Green Sea Turtle. She is 70 years old and over 500lbs. She is just enormous compared to the diver. Normally green sea turtles only live about 35 years.
When Kyle's parents came to town, in November, we were all discussing the fact that none of us knew what a scallop looked like in the ocean. Well, the aquarium answered that question for us. The little white circle below is the muscular part of the scallop we all know and love to eat:
 Here is what the shell looks like on the outside:
Kyle was also very excited to see an Axolotl. From what he told me, the Axolotl, which looks like a giant tadpole with legs, does not express the gene which would enable them to breath air and live on land. It's like a juvenile amphibian that never grows up.  Here is a wikipedia picture of one:
author: LoKiLeCh, page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl
Here is a picture of the harbor right next to the fur seal exhibit:
One of our favorite discoveries at the aquarium could only be captured on video, so here is a little video I put together. The last part of the video is what had to be captured.


There is one memory I forgot to share when I first made this post. Kyle and I were having lunch in Boston and this Dad was there with his little girl. She was probably about 3-4 years old. He prepped her sippy cup and got his beer and then they did a toast. It was adorable watching the sippy cup knock up against the glass of beer. I wonder what their toast was.
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