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Mote Aquarium October 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

We finally had a chance to visit the “new” river otter exhibit at Mote Aquarium on City Island in Sarasota.  We adored watching the antics of Pippi, Huck, and Jane from the 2nd floor mezzanine:

Here they are enjoying some non-stop action:

As we walked through the shark exhibit, this brave lad in the Hurricane Simulator blew us away:

We loved the decor in the 50’s diner ~ everything back then was so black & white, no shades of gray:

And check out these giant “Egyptian” Seahorses standing guard:

Perhaps they’re there to protect the flowers in the adjoining lily pad pond:

Our enjoyable, educational, and entertaining afternoon featured a surprising highlight:  a small aquarium of mesmerizing jellyfish:

Gorgeous and graceful, they were gliding up and down with gentle and perpetual undulations ~ it was rather like watching a live-action lava lamp!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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The Return of the Panther? September 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature, Sustainable Living.
22 comments

This video captures some amazing footage of the Florida Panther, including an unexpected encounter with a volunteer on the boardwalk in Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary:

It also highlights the benefits of preserving the panther and its habitat for future generations.

To learn more:  The Florida Panther

Aah . . . that’s better!

I’m Not Kidding Around August 4, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Home & Garden, Humor.
33 comments

A Boise Idaho neighborhood woke up to an unusual sight this week ~> a herd of 100+ goats providing “free lawn service” (while eating everything in sight).

The herd owned by “We Rent Goats” escaped from their nearby grazing station and decided to give the neighborhood’s nice green lawns a trim.

I’m NOT kidding around.  

A roving band of rent-a-goats did invade a Boise Idaho suburb this week.  

Once they finished breakfast, the lawns probably looked like this . . .  

Shortly after breakfast, “We Rent Goats” came by to reclaim the goats.

BAA-h . . . that’s better!  

“Cross In The Cross Walk” May 26, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.
22 comments

The other day, we were delighted to see this mother teaching her offspring the safest way to cross a busy (or not so busy) intersection:

Aah . . . that’s better!

It’s Love Bug Season! May 19, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

It was the BEST of times ~> tomato picking season!

It was the WORST of times ~> love bug season!

Ugh!

These bugs are nasty.

And sticky.

And plentiful.

And corrosive.

Wash them off in double quick time or they will strip your paint job.

At least we didn’t make the mistake of driving out to Hunsader Farms to pick tomatoes in a convertible!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Pelicans Paddling & Ibis in Flight April 5, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Nature.
22 comments

We often have nature scenes flying or floating past our back door.

I do not always have my camera “at the ready.”

But some days I do . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

A White Wedding February 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Art & Photography, Humor.
22 comments

During the International Festival of the Arts, we stumbled upon a white wedding in the Mexican pavilion.

Now, I’m sure no one here would accuse Mickey of marketing manipulation, but the choreography did seem designed to coincide with the recent release of Coco.

Nevertheless, we loved the simple yet elegant maid of honor.

And her escort, the best man . . . a/k/a man’s best friend.

We found him fetching!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery January 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

As we crossed the state on the Tamiami Trail, we saw birds, gators, and . . . fine art!

Clyde Butcher is an award-winning photographer who is not afraid of wading waist deep in water nor of waiting for hours to catch the right mix of sun, sky, and shadows for his stellar shots.

In short, he has patience to capture the exact configuration he wants.

We enjoyed touring his Big Cypress Gallery.

Both inside and out.

Noting that other artists aren’t constrained to black and white images or imaginings.

We skipped the guided tour ~ Walk On The Wild Side.

Trekking through the mucky muck of the Big Cypress Swamp surrounding the gallery (even with a seasoned professional as our tour guide) held no appeal.

Watching gators from an elevated boardwalk is more our speed.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Gator Country January 15, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Life Balance, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
30 comments

On a recent road trip to Miami and up Route A1A to Boca Raton, we traversed the state on the Tamiami Trail, passing through portions of the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve.

In other words, through the “River of Grass” and through swampy bits of  “Gator Country.”

Did we see Gators?

You betcha!

We wandered boardwalks at several rest stops and stopped to watch the gators resting.

They are pros at relaxing and recharging.

And recharging and relaxing.

Often sleeping with one eye open.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Two Heads Are Better Than One November 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
28 comments

A few weeks ago, we took advantage of FREE admission to the St. Pete Museum of History.

Our favorite exhibit ~> Signs of the Times.

We enjoyed wandering around the colorful memorabilia . . .

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs . . .

We watched a funny video which included surprising (and silly) signs from around the world including this sign (in English) from Russia . . .

No drugs or nuclear weapons allowed inside the restrooms.

The exhibit also included toy wagons and fire trucks . . .

In an adjacent room, we saw a 2-headed calf born in 1925.  Two heads.  Two tails.  Six legs.  The stuffed calf, which lived for 6 weeks, has resided at museum for 90 years.

The calf finally got a name this year ~> Half ‘n’ Half.  Other names considered – Topsy Turvy, Moo Two Gai Pan, and Double Stuffed.

A more recent acquisition, a 2-headed chicken born in 1930 near Tampa, lived for 8 months before heading to the taxidermist for stuffing . . .

After touring the museum, we enjoyed lunch at Moon Under Water, a British Pub, opting against any chicken or beef items on the menu . . .

I got Chana Masala (spicy chickpeas) with Naan bread and sampled 2 curries with basmati rice.  Delicious!

BFF opted for Fish & Chips . . .

His lunch cost more than the advertised lunch special at the museum . . .

After lunch, we walked around the waterfront and then took the Trolley back to the car . . .

It felt good to sit down . . .

Another option along the waterfront is to have a Lunch Date with a borrowed bike . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!