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Adventures.

04/23/2008

I’ve been trying to fit in all the little adventures I can. For one, I met up with some much-missed and infrequently-enjoyed family and wandered around Denver for a few hours.

This is actually the first time I’ve been to this place -now called the Downtown Aquarium in Denver- since it was Ocean Journey, went broke, and was bought out by a restaurant, and it slightly unnerved me to see how commercial and overblown it came off as- that is to say, I liked it better before, when it had less of an amusement park sort of feel. However, if that’s what you need to make it profitable I understand and support it completely, and the food was fantastic (finding good seafood in Colorado is a rare thing indeed).

Octopus
Octopus

Easily one of my favorite animals. I was careful not to flash the guy, but he still responded when the red light on my camera lit up, quickly cycling to white and then back to red again.

Moon Jellies
Moon Jellies

Nettle
Nettle

I may have gone a little overboard with the jellyfish pictures.

The Hoard
The Hoard

Laying on the Bottom
Laying on the Bottom

In my defense, there’s got to be a craft or motif in there somewhere.

Into the Dark
Into the Dark

Good Aim
Good Aim

These are archerfish, so named because they’ll spit jets of water like arrows at bugs above the surface and knock them down for lunch. That’s mad skill.

A Portrait
A Portrait

Of course, I took lots of pictures of the tiger as well. This is a Sumatran Tiger; the last remaining island tiger (both the Javan and Bali tigers are long extinct) and one of the smallest subspecies of the cat. I distinguish them from other subspecies not only by size, but by the redness to their fur, the density of their stripes and the big fat cheek ruffs they tend to have.

Yes; I am so nerdy I don’t just look and say “That’s a tiger!”, I look and say “That’s a Siberian Tiger, which is native to this-and-this region and which has this-and-this unique behavior and eats this-and-this and blah blah blah GEEK!”

Getting a Good Whiff
Getting a Good Whiff

They had scent marked its cage. This expression, which strikes me as somewhere between comical and “oh-my-what-big-teeth-you-have” scary, is a flehmen response; the mouth is open, nose wrinkled and tongue hanging out so the tiger can get a better “taste” for whatever it’s smelling. This traditionally means that what it is smelling is another tiger.

This also means that, commercial overload aside, the aquarium still takes pains to keep their animal’s lives interesting.

Stonefish Under Blue Light
Stonefish Under Blue Light

Eels
Eels

I love the pattern on those eels. There’s got to be a craft project or motif in there, too.

Seahorse
Seahorse

Lots of 'em!
Lots of ‘em!

Thing #3 I took too many pictures of: Seahorses!

Cutthroat
Cutthroat

And we end with a Colorado local: the Cutthroat Trout, so named for the big red splotch around the gills that makes it look like somebody, well, cut the poor thing’s throat.

Can you see why it might be rather annoying to go to a zoo or aquarium with me? I never shut up.

Further adventures! Next up I took a good friend of mine down to the cabin. The cabin is located outside of Westcliffe, Colorado in the beautiful Sangre de Cristos, and provides vast amounts of entertainment for those with a taste for the great outdoors (heck, if you’re in Colorado and would like to stay there, I can introduce you to the man to talk to).

There was much hiking:

Hiking
Hiking

And much snow:

What Snow?
What Snow?

There was fire and s’mores and Scrabble (I won), and many other lovely things.

My Macro Shot Obsession Continues
My Macro Shot Obsession Continues

There was also Bishop’s Castle, which is possibly the most ambitious creative project I’ve had the pleasure of falling down stairs in.

Castle
Castle

It is, just as it sounds, a castle: built by one man with his own two hands and many, many years of intensive labor.

Ironmongery
Ironmongery

It is glorious.

In the interest of a) getting back into shape, which I’ve let slip in the latter half of this semester, b) enjoying the spring and c) having more adventures, I’m trying to get in a hike every other day, minimum. Prepare for many pictures of the general Fort Collins area, and maybe a trail review or five.

All these little adventures, however, are nothing compared to what I’ve got coming up, which I will make an announcement about very, very soon. Trust me, it’s all sorts of cool.

Ooo, the suspense!

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