What a great summer. So great, in fact, that I was never able to sit long enough to write a blog post … all summer long. So it got me thinking about how much fun material I can use to write about now … throughout the slower paced fall days. Wait … who am I kidding??? Fall is just as crazy … days filled with homeschooling … and all of the scrambling to get ready for the winter and the holidays. Well, there are some wonderful highlights to our summer that I want to be sure to log here … so here is to giving this a shot.
As many of you know, I am wild for sharks. Absolutely mad for them. I even see them swimming through my mind in daydreams … daydreams that happen at least twice a day … and sometimes occur when you think I am paying close attention to what you are saying. (Whoops.) And although we have travelled to the Boston Aquarium to pet the sharks and rays in their latest exhibit … I have always wanted to visit our state’s Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor. And after watching this commercial, I knew I couldn’t wait to bring the family to this ocean side jewel on one of our summer excursions. So I did …
My favorite picture of the day??? This sweet little shark … I just want to give it a kissy … don’t you?
And ya know, there are other exhibits too. Halis reminded me of this, as I was spending much too much time for his taste with my friends the sharks. It turns out the other exhibits were pretty amazing too. For a nice tourist video of most of the exhibits, check out this video.
The touch tank here is one of the best I have seen … with much variety of the animals you can find all along the Maine coast. I love to touch everything in the sea … obsessively really … so this was another great exhibit for me. And Isaac very much enjoyed it as well. We learned much from the young man overseeing the tank … here are a few science nuggets for you all …
This is a scallop that wants to escape from me … so it open and closes its shell … trying to force water out of itself in order to propel it backwards. It sometimes uses this method to detract predators. Both of these actions can be seen in the following videos here and here. Also … see those little black spots all along the shells … both upper and lower? Wait for it — those are eyes! Yes. How cool is that. Sure, they aren’t traditional eyes like those of a mammal … but eyes none the less.
Horse shoe crabs are not crabs at all … but are more closely related to spiders. Can you see how/why? Interesting. Spiders of the sea …
Sea Anemones are just plain cool looking. But have you seen their mouths? They look much like the beaks of an octopus …
So, that was our visit in a nutshell … awesome exhibits, shark touching, crab holding, learning new things … etc. But wait! Was that it? Nope … it got more awesome!!!
Aimee, the director of the Aquarium, and I had such a great time talking. She is so interesting and fun … and as I mentioned before, full of enthusiasm. Much to my surprise, she invited Isaac and I into the “underground lair” that is the inner workings of the aquarium! She showed us things that most people don’t get to see … and it blew my mind and made me so very happy!
I have always, always, always wanted to become a Marine Biologist. It was my life’s dream as a little girl … and still calls to me today. I took a different path, as we often do in life … and am glad for it. But boy does that ocean call to me – daily. Well, people like Aimee, who see their passion through, really inspire me … and I was thrilled to have a tour of the inner workings of the aquarium as well as to spend some of that time getting to know her better. It was a wonderful gift! And probably more than she will ever realize. (Thanks again, Aimee.)
I took a quick picture of her and Isaac (who has decided not to smile for pics anymore).
She was so lovely. The aquarium was wonderful. Boothbay was stunning. Enjoying the day with my family was/is always priceless. I am so grateful for our day spent there … and am sure we will return next season.