Monday, August 10, 2015

Get Lost! Episode 2 Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

I first discovered The Living Planet Aquarium because I was googling for Zoos and Aquariums in Utah. We were up visiting friends and family during the holidays and looking for something to do. I liked the old location because it looked like a run down pet store, square shaped, and design wise had an early 90's feel.
The new location does not have any of this vibe, it's modern, new and impressive. The creatures are divided up by region. Ocean Explorer, Antarctic Adventure (I'm still a little confused what the Jellyfish are doing in this section, but better than no jellyfish), Journey to South America and Discover Utah. The price is reasonable considering all the time and effort that has to go into maintaining exhibits, creatures and a building of that size. It is definitely kid friendly, weekends and holidays are crazy. I've found quieter days tend to be earlier in the week.
On the agenda first was Crocodiles. K.T. and I spent 10-20 minutes observing the caiman crocodiles. The crocodiles don't like to be seen they move slow and with purpose and when you aren't looking.

The Caiman Crocodile K.T.'s all time favourite and her P.O.V.

The river turtles also reside with the Crocs and where having a grand ol' time picking fights with each other and zooming around the tank. 

We had a particular order we were following, next was Sharks. In the video the Shark with the spots is a Zebra Shark. Which I've always called a Leopard Shark. Turns out when this species is young they have stripes, which they lose as adults. Either way they are fascinating to watch. For me it's therapeutic.

300,000 gallon Shark Tank. 

Around the corner from this viewing zone they have a tunnel. The first time I went through this tunnel Jaws 3 came to mind. I would like to reassure you there are no oversized great whites with a vendetta against man in the tank. We waited but seriously, no Jaws. Even though K.T. sang the theme song while in the tunnel.

This Grouper was having a good time.

I like to observe, aquariums and other places where people gather are great opportunities to watch creatures and people alike, to see how they operate. That came out a little creepy. What I mean to say is it doesn't hurt to take a moment to watch what is going on around you and see what you can learn.

Amongst the tanks I found some unique souls. The garden eels still make me think of Ursula's Grotto from the "Little Mermaid" The Octopus was in the exact same spot the last time we visited, squished in the top corner of his tank so you can barely see him. I wonder about whether or not he's happy in the tank. There is enough room, food and enrichment but sometimes a tank is still a tank.

Poor Unfortunate Soul!
The Nautiluses as always were chilling up against the glass. There was a Eldritch horror vibe going on with the new lighting in the section, it was awesome. They are master floaters thanks to their chambered shells.

                                                                  The great old one.

The Aquarium is continually updating and coming up with new exhibits, displays and enrichment activities for guests and critters. They are also really good about partnering with community business so they can be sustainable. If they keep up all the amazing work they will be around for a while. 

This conversation looked pretty intense.

Did I mention the penguins? The Gentoo Penguins at the Aquarium have recently had some chicks. They are grey, white and fluffy, oh so fluffy. They have been doubling in weight every week since they hatched. If you can't make it to the Aquarium you can watch them here.

But seriously, penguins!

This is a great day trip. If you are local and Zoos and Aquariums are of interest it's worth considering an annual pass which means you can visit year round. Of course you can find the Aquarium online at their website or facebook page.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Indicate or crash!

I woke up to rain this morning. Beautiful grey skies, crystal clear rain drops. That strange smell that I can't explain but I wish I could bottle and save for sunny days. I love the rain!
Until I got out on the road. My sister had been in town visiting and we went to drop her off at the airport. I got in the car did the normal routine of seatbelt and mirror check, as we got on the I15 the rain started falling a little heavier, visibility dropped and the haze that comes off of the road from other vehicles had started to fly. So on came the windshield wipers and my headlights. This was a visibility thing. So I could see and be seen.
Not everyone else on the road thought headlights were necessary. I watched several vehicles slam on brakes and swerve out of the way of cars, vans and trucks who just seemed oblivious to the chaos they were causing. Which leads me to the other pet peeve of the day. Why weren't these folks indicating? When I was in high school there was a campaign for road safety. A couple of phrases stuck with me, "Indicate or crash!" and "Merge like a zip!"
Last one I promise, If you are driving the speed limit and folks are passing you, move over. It makes sense to stay in the right lane, and use the left lane for passing. Just as a general rule of thumb in the U.S.
I'm not the best driver. Seriously, town driving is not my forte'. Every once in a while I've renewed the faith of a lost soul in god. But even I know to indicate.

A new edition of Get Lost is coming soon. I'll be writing about some trails I've checked out since moving up to Utah.