Saturday, August 05, 2006

Five Wild Critters I Think Are Kinda Cool

[ISP was down almost all of yesterday and last night. Sheesh!]

1. Poison dart frogs: I got to see an exhibit of these little shavers when they were at the Shedd Aquarium a number of years ago. They’re really brightly colored – red, neon green, bright cobalt blue, and they are tiny, tiny, tiny. One of them, I think it was the blue one, also had a box shaped torso. It was like a little Lego turned frog. Apparently the ones in captivity are not poisonous, since their toxicity depends on their diets.

2. Seahorses: These were also part of the exhibit with the poison dart frogs. I had no idea there were so many different kinds! Some of them look like fancy seaweed, with no discernible (at least to me) eyes or moving parts or bits that look like they belong to a critter instead of a plant. The ones that were obviously moving around were so beautiful, delicate and graceful, almost like they were existing in a dream state and had just flickered into view for a moment…fairies of the sea.

3. Penguins: I liked penguins long before the wonderful movie, “March of the Penguins.” I like the way they are so graceful under water and so completely humorous waddling around on land, I like the fact that they are flightless aquatic birds, which seems like an oxymoronic concept in and of itself, and I like their goofy noises and curiosity. I was horribly upset when, during news reports from the British war in the Falkland Islands, it was said that Falkland soldiers were slitting open penguins and putting their feet in the bodies to keep warm. ACK! No! Not to penguins! Vultures, maybe, albatrosses, sheep, even, but not little penguins! Of course, the entire idea is putrid, but, really, not penguins.

4. Bats: I don’t want them in my house (I also don’t want seahorses, poison dart frogs, or penguins in my house), but I think they’re kind of neat. I appreciate that they eat bugs, particularly mosquitoes, I think the whole sonar thing is way cool, and if I don’t look at them tooooooo closely, they’re almost cute. I’d rather have bats eating my resident bugs than spiders because spiders just seem ill-tempered and mean to me. Bats are also much tinier in real life than in the movies, and they seem kind of helpless when you find one stranded or injured.

5. Seagulls: Not the most romantic of birds, but I like them. They have it all; they can float and swim and dive a little, they fly spectacularly, they perch and nest wherever the heck they want, and they have an attitude. They’re survivors and adaptors, and I respect that. They can live on garbage, which makes them tough and pragmatic in my eyes, they have enough functional brain cells to know to drop shellfish on rocks to crack them open so the innards can be eaten, and if you tick them off, they are obnoxious and aggressive. I have no idea why I like that so much in a bird. I guess I like feistiness.


Anonymous said...

hey there! your blog makes me giggle! more news on penguins: they can shoot from water to land from some insane distance back (20 feet or more), and, (the best part!), if they can't make it to their feet on shore, they slide on their bellies....i have lotsa days like that.

BoS said...

Hey! Always great to meet a fellow/sister penguin lover. They are so cute -- although they're not cuddly, not with those fish-snagging beaks! I love watching nature specials where the penguins just SQUIRT right up out of the water and land on their stubby little feet and waddle off, like they didn't do anything wonderful...