It’s been a long, long time

I’m sorry it’s been so long between posts. I feel like all I’ve done is try to fix a website that wasn’t really broken on my end. It was down for 5 weeks while I called and called tech support to no avail. I tried everything I could think of to fix it. Something went wrong on their end and they did not admit it. Please, never use Bluehost. Their tech support is horrid. With the help of a really nice fellow named Kumar at WP Fix It, we migrated the website to a new host that is already SO much better. SSL was installed almost instantly. I found Kumar here.  After an hour or so (maybe more) on GoToMeeting, Kumar and I are now Facebook friends.  {{{{Hi, Kumar}}}} He does the greatest sculptures from Shilpkar clay. Cute!

Now, I have some time to be creative again and to post some photos that I’ve been wanting to post since before Thanksgiving. We have snow on the ground now and the temperature was 8°F last night. It’s supposed to be warming to 12°F tonight.  That’s a far cry from some of the photos, and the warm(?) 50s that we’re supposed to have this weekend. 

With that said, here they are. Enjoy. 

Butterflies and Alligators and Otters, Oh My!

I wrote a bit about the Chattanooga Aquarium last time, but I want to add more about the wonderful stuff that we saw there. First, the buildings are beautiful. You can see pictures of them on their website as I forgot to take any photos of the outside. There are lots of skylights that remind me of the Sidney Opera House for some reason. And when I think of the Sidney Opera House, I think of Finding Nemo which totally brings me back to the Aquarium. Great how that works, huh?

The interior is bright and airy. It has escalators and elevators and the only place inaccessible with a stroller is the Butterfly Garden. The butterflies are amazing, especially the Blue Morphos. They were too fast to get a good picture, but I managed to capture some meager ones. 

Look Closely at the Blue Morphos in the picture. You will need to enlarge the photo. They’re on the left
Blue Morpho blur at bottom









The Blue Morphos are in front of the whiteboard in this photo.

The Morphos are the largest butterflies, but some of the smaller ones were SOOOOO colorful! 

One older boy–probably about 11–got one to sit on his finger. He actually walked around with it on his finger and the butterfly never budged. It was a magical place. 

To see the otters, you will have to either visit the aquarium or see them on the website. I almost made it to them before they all climbed out of camera range, but I would have had to run over a little one to get the shot. By the time I got to them, they had all gone to the top of the “cliff” and seemed to grin at me in defiance. Just kidding. They were really cute. 

BUT, the alligators were more cooperative. One even posed with a turtle. A long-necked turtle. I’m still wondering how the turtle kept his head while sitting next to an alligator. 

Can you spot the white alligator? It’s centered pretty well.
The brave little turtle and his alligator room-mate.
Barely showing gator like bumps on the water.

And to top off the trip, there were penguins, even penguins for small boys to wrestle.


Turtles ahead!

One of my grandsons, T,  is crazy, CRAZY, for turtles. Tortoises, terrapins, snapping turtles, turtles who live in the lake and the ocean. He wants turtles as pets, toy turtles, and turtle costumes. When I keep them, we have to watch turtle videos on Youtube.

As it happens, I have a friend who is a certified box turtle rehabilitator and I took them to visit her two unreleasable terrapins the other day. T was in heaven. Little brother, not so much. He’s two and was sleepy and a little leery of small animals with mouths that might bite. 

I must say that RK and Cleo were absolutely great with T who held them sideways and upside down at times. When told that they didn’t like being held that way, he was good about bringing them upright again. He inspected every part of them and was gentle and respectful. Not bad for a five-year-old. 

Last Thursday his mom and dad invited me to go with them to the aquarium a couple of hours away in Chattanooga. There were turtles everywhere. All kinds of turtles! I think the boys wore themselves out going from exhibit to exhibit looking at all the different animals! I know I did, but it was wonderful. 

T kept saying, “Dad! Put me in there!” He would have gone swimming with all the turtles if he could have. And he touched a snake–a ball python that an aquarium guide was holding. In some ways, he’s very brave, but in some ways not. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you’re in the area, I recommend the Chattanooga Aquarium. There are two separate buildings housing all kinds of aquatic animals from otters to sharks. Let the little ones bring a swim suit or something to get wet in and they can wade and play in the outdoor “creek” which reminds me of Granny’s “cement pond” on the Beverly Hillbillies, but is only about ankle deep. The boys were dying to get in there, but we didn’t know about the play area and hadn’t prepared. 

Find the frog

Can you find the frog?