I went to the aquarium in Boston Friday. (Did any other aquarium have a band playing Celtic music the day before St. Patricks?) They have a fine exhibit of jellies.
jelly fish, New England Aquarium
As mentioned in my last post, when I was a child, I lived on the Severn River (in Maryland, not England) an estuary of the Chesapeake Bay. Every summer when the water warmed, the sea nettles (a species of jelly fish) came in. We scorned those kids who had community pools that looked like chlorinated concrete shoeboxes, when we could swim forever. I can still feel the sting and prickle of the nettles, a small price to pay for the vast, deep, ever-changing life of a river.
North American Sea Nettles, New England Aquarium
I enjoyed everything about the aquarium--adorable penguins, gorgeous tropical fish, goofy blowfish, massive sea turtles...but was particularly interested in a look at specific habitats such as salt marshes and mangrove swamps. They made me think of our frog pond in the Catskills.
frog pond, Andes NY
On my evening walks in the spring and summer I look forward to the sounds of the frogs croaking and splashing as I near the pond. Approximately 1/3 of the world's frogs, toads and salamanders face extinction due to pollution, pesticides, climate change and habitat destruction. Frogs, with their permeable skin and land/water life cycle are extremely vunerable to changes in the environment. This sensitivity makes them an early warning system for ecological decline. Every spring, when I walk to the pond I am afraid that they will not be there, and I feel a palpable sense of relief when I hear the first deep rib-bit and the splash of a frog who wants nothing do with a human.
Madagascar tree frog, New England Aquarium
African bull frog, New England Aquarium