John and I celebrated our 34th anniversary this past Sunday with a visit to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where our son joined us. The weather was perfect—sunny and breezy with temperatures in the mid-70s—although, ironically, we spent the day indoors, looking at fish the names of which I cannot recall. Between the three of us, it is really John who has a deep and abiding interest in water creatures and all things aquatic, although David is not far behind him. I appreciate the diversity of aquatic life, but if you really want to know in detail what we looked at, John is the best person to give you a good rundown. If we had an Aquarium in Des Moines, I believe John would volunteer to be a visitor guide.
Because the lighting in the Shedd Aquarium is more suited to aquatic life than people, I must admit that of all the photos I took, this outdoors photo was my best one.
Our $49.95 Total Experience Pass, which we purchased online, included a pre-selected 4-D animated feature called “Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs” that had absolutely nothing to do with the Aquarium but probably gave parents of small children a sitting break. Much more enjoyable and relevant to the visit was an aquatic show in the Abbott Oceanarium that featured beluga whales and and dolphins. In the photo below, a member of the audience was invited to don a pair of rubber boots and come down to pet the dolphins.
Later, as we took the Beluga Trail to catch a below-water level view of the same beluga whales, we observed the whales playing with a square rectangle to which brushes had been attached. The whales roll onto their backs to get a good scratch from the brushes, but it is apparently also a cooperative playing toy for them, since they like to slide it along the tank floor.
John was most interested in the penguins. A small segment of the aquatic show was devoted to them, and there was a single tank where penguins swam in the water and guarded their nests of rocks in which they laid their eggs. We observed that the Shedd Aquarium had Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins from the Antarctic, rather than larger species of penguins.
I was most fascinated by the seahorses and jellyfish, but I must confess that none of my photos really do justice to them. Fortunately, John figured out that taking movies with his iPhone 5 was a much better option.
On our way home, we stopped at a fabric shop, which anyone might have predicted would happen. No matter where we go, there always seem to be visits to fabric or craft stores. I picked up some yarn and some linen to add some trim to an archer’s hood I am making for our son, who is involved in period archery. At the same time, I found a handy little flower-making tool from Clover called Flower Frill Templates.
As you can see, there was something for each of us to enjoy during our visit to Chicago. 🙂
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