Monday, August 22, 2011

Poem for Monday and National Aquarium Dolphins

At the Aquarium
By Max Eastman

Serene the silver fishes glide,
Stern-lipped, and pale, and wonder-eyed!
As through the aged deeps of ocean,
They glide with wan and wavy motion!
They have no pathway where they go,
They flow like water to and fro.
They watch with never winking eyes,
They watch with staring, cold surprise,
The level people in the air,
The people peering, peering there:
Who wander also to and fro,
And know not why or where they go,
Yet have a wonder in their eyes,
Sometimes a pale and cold surprise.


Our plan for Sunday was to the to the Maryland Zoo after lunch -- in the morning, Adam went to play tennis with my father and Daniel went to pick up the television for his dorm at Sears -- but as we were driving to Baltimore, we were caught in a thunderstorm, then the local weather reported a tornado warning and flash flood warning within a few minutes of each other, so we decided it would be foolish to spend so much time outdoors and went to the National Aquarium instead. Conveniently, the rain stopped just as we reached the parking garage, so we walked to the aquarium without getting drenched, though the one large umbrella we decided to bring just in case decided to crack and fall apart en route. Putting "new umbrella" on list of a hundred things we still have to buy before Saturday.

The aquarium was moderately crowded but enjoyable. The flying foxes have returned to the Australia exhibit, hanging from the roof, and the kookaburra was out as well. We went to the dolphin show, which they weren't doing in the spring because a baby dolphin had just been born, and visited the puffins, who had babies recently but they're still hiding in the nests in the artificial cliff face. The golden lion tamarins are not on display in the rainforest because they sometimes steal the eggs of the white-tailed trogon, which the aquarium is currently breeding there, but we got to see the trogon and both sloths, though both were asleep in trees.

Dolphins leap in the air...

...and mimic their trainers.

A volunteer from the audience got to meet one of the dolphins and report on how its skin felt.

One dolphin seemed perturbed by the curtain that came down to keep the bright light from the rear tanks where the baby was and kept leaping up to bop it.

The dolphins turned around in circles with one of the trainers...

...and played catch with them.

And there was lots of leaping...

...and congratulations for tricks well done.

We got caught in traffic because of an accident on the way home, so we were ravenous by the time we had our burgers. Then, in on ongoing effort to make sure our children have seen all the movies that should not be left out of their education, we put on Risky Business, which we really should have shown Daniel when he was applying for colleges rather than about to leave but we figured he might throw a party while we were away, heh. I had forgotten that Tom Cruise was ever that young. Now Comcast seems to be utterly messed up -- I can only connect to the internet over my phone's wi-fi hotspot -- so hopefully I can post this. Is it Libyan news overwhelming the internet?

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