August 19, 2006

Caitlyn and I went to the aquarium the other day. This was the first such outing where she found the exhibits interesting. Sure, she seemed to appreciate the orange fish on her first aquarium trip (at 7 months), but this time she marched up to the tank windows, put her hands on the glass and stared at the occupants. At the sea otters, she pointed at the otters, turned to me, and announced, "Dog!" In contrast to our trip to the zoo a month ago, when she found the fences irresistible. Not the enclosure fences, but the "serving suggestion" fences along the paths through the zoo. They were cable and about 14 inches high, perfect for Caitlyn to lean on and swing on and hang over. I kept pointing out animals ("Caitlyn, look! Hippos!"), and she kept going back to the fences.

Back at the aquarium, we also saw a large sea star moving at high speed down one of the tank windows. I'm familiar with the idea that sea stars move, but, never having actually seen any such activity, figured they moved about the speed of drugged snails. This star made it from top to bottom of a 30-inch window in under five minutes. We could see his many tentacles in his many arms reach and grab and contract and release, over and over. Two windows over, another sea star was moving at sea star speed, pulling a fish toward it's mouth so slowly that we couldn't see the motion, only the creeping disappearance of the fish when we looked back after watching some other, more active, fish for a while.

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