Saturday, September 19, 2009
I don't think I got any pictures of the super-cool Whale Shark beasties that the Georgia Aquarium is so famous for. Or if I did, I don't think it was as clear as this one.
It's hard to tell scale in this picture, but these puppies are pretty big! And, I thought, pretty cool.
Land, I mean, Whale Shark
Of course, I can't talk about coolness at the Georgia Aquarium without mentioning the jellies.
They were just amazing. I could have watched them for hours.
And lastly, this one is just kind of mind boggling to me. I've never seen it before and it certainly caught my eye.
Yeah, that's sweet tea flavored vodka. I didn't get any (though I thought about) because it sorta scared me. But now I think I'm going to have to get some. Just because it is so weird.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Why, you ask? I am covered in kitty.
The pic was taken with my webcam so not that great. But I've got a Gidgie and a Cocoa squished together in my lap so there was no way I could move to get my camera.
Kitties: Two for One!
But it's a good feeling so I wanted to share.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Nah. Then it'd be work and not near as fun.
Anyway, on with the pictures!
Our vacation this year was to Vogel State Park in North Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. This means we had some great scenery. Like mountains. See:
We didn't do extensive hiking or interacting with nature (neither Dan nor I are big "nature" people) but we did do some, including a shortish 1 mile hike around the lake, including a little detour to see the waterfall created by the dam runoff.
Vogel State Park's Lake Trahlyta taken from the Dam
And, of course, there were lots of gorgeous flowers around that we could see, even without being super nature explorers.
In fact, the entire area where the cabins were located were covered in magnolia trees.
Flower Type Unknown
If only we had been there when they were all in bloom!
But there were plenty of other lovlies in bloom. Though I'll admit, I have no clue what most of them were!
But there was even more nature around that just flowers. There were flying things, too. And some of them were nice enough to pose on the flowers for me. How sweet!
Another Unknown Flower
And go me, I did not freak out with these fuzzy bees flying around. Yellow jackets or dirt dobbers are another story. But fuzzy bees are cute.
Of course, no one freaks out with butterflies or moths. Okay, I have freaked out because of a moth, but I was eight and it was very traumatic but we won't get into that here.
We did get a little nature-y in some of our extracurricular activities. In fact, we did some real hiking at one point. I might even say that my calves are still the tiniest bit sore from this hiking (done the day before we left), but that might make me sound like a wuss so I won't.
The real hiking was done at Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. "Cascading", of course, being the key word. And woodsy. So to see the whole thing, you had to walk. Fortunately, my parents weren't stupid, I mean daring enough to do the hike (though Dad did do from the reflecting pool to the waterfall base and back), so Dan and I started at the top of the falls and hiked all the way down to the reflecting pool where my parents picked us up. Which was the only reason we did it. There was NO WAY I was hiking back up. You'll see why in a picture or two.
Here are Dan and I at the top of the falls. At this point, we had already walked from the reflecting pool up to almost 2/3 of the way to the fall's base but then wussed out.
But with the siren song of a downhill hike, we started off on the first 425 steps down to the base of the falls.
At the top of Amicalola Falls
This is just a portion of the stairs. They kept going and going and going. Oddly enough, we didn't run into anyone going up them. Hmm. Wonder why?
Stairs to the Fall's Base
But the hike down the stairs was totally worth it to see the base of Amicalola.
Now, I don't think hiking down the stairs and back up would have been worth it, at least not from the top. But from the reflecting pool up totally would have been.
The way down from the base to the reflecting pool was nice, too, even though it included another 170-some stairs. Lots of lovely scenery as we followed the water down.
And finally we ended up back at the reflecting pool about 40 minutes after the start of our journey.
On the way down
But don't think that we were all healthy and nature-hikers the whole trip or anything. There was a family reunion and LOTS of food. And one night we even roasted marshmallows!
Sure, we roasted them over charcoal leftover from cooking some veggies, but it worked out rather well!
All in all, a great vacation that, aside from some killer humidity on the last day, I would love all over again!
At this point you may be asking yourself, "I thought this was supposed to be some mushroom-centric vacation?" Ah, but wait. I've saved the best till last!
Now, I know zip about mushrooms except they grow in damp places and taste good on a pizza. And before this trip I didn't know there were so many freakin' types! My mom even read that there are mushroom appreciation societies. Dude, if I lived in an icky humid place, I would totally belong to one. Mushrooms are so cool!
There were a lot of these mushrooms around, but this one the only one that came with a snail.
I almost thought this one was a cherry tomato someone had thrown off the trail. But nope - mushroom!
I half expected these guys to break out into a little Russian dance a la Fantasia.
So there is our vacation now, from beginning to end with a nice side of mushrooms. Whew. That was a lot of work. I think I need a vacation!
I'm not sure if these qualify as mushrooms, but they kind of seemed like it. I mean, based on how they were growing and where. But their shape...? Who knows!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
This first video is of one of the manta rays in the big tank and then the jellyfish. Which I don't think are really jellyfish. Or maybe yes, they are called jellyfish. I admit, I was too enthralled to read the nearby signs. Anyway, a minute long.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I just love the bright colors of these guys. So pretty! Makes me want a saltwater fish tank.
Colorful Tropical Fishies
And more fishies! These are a bit bigger.
Hmm, or maybe I should get an aquarium like this one. Though this one had whale sharks and manta rays and other huge fishies, so yeah, maybe not.
View into the REALLY big aquarium
Of course, there was more than just fish tanks... There were two smaller tanks (I could totally fit one of them in the house... somewhere) that had octopus in them.
I was somewhat enthralled by them. The way they moved was fascinating. I have video of it, too. So cool. It made my word of the day "undulating".
Not quite undulating in their movements, the starfish were pretty cool, especially since they liked showing off their little feet by pressing up on the glass.
Their little tube-tacular feet were very busy! And allowed them to move surprisingly fast!
These next guys didn't move fast. In fact, while I was watching them, they didn't really move at all except for some little antenna-like things around their mouths(?) that made them look like they were rubbing little hands in evil delight.
He seems like he as a very pressing question to ask.
Now, this is something I definitely don't have room for in my house.
At first glance, these guys seemed fat. But watching them for a while I began to notice that the bulges of blubber were actually bulges of muscle. There stomach muscles were especially freakish. But freakish in a good way.
That's what I've got right now, but again, check out the album for other nifty pics. I've also got a few videos that I want to share - of an elephant nose fish, jelly fish and manta ray - but that's going to take a little bit longer. And I'll be learning a new video editing software when I do it so that might make it take a bit longer.
Next up: Vogel pictures!
And because of that, I'm offering two things to tide you over (though only one related). First: for the little bit of time you must continue to wait, I offer a Little Bit.
Bitty likes small boxes. And box-like things, apparently. This is a shallow basket currently sitting on the plant stand. It used to hold face cloths in the bathroom but is looking for a new home. It was being temporarily used on the plant stand as a catch-all (which is why Bitty is cuddling with my old cell phone), but after this picture, it has been emptied out to make sure Bitty has enough room if she wants to use it again. Though I haven't seen her up there yet so maybe cuddling with the cell phone was a big selling point.
Bitty Box 3?
Second: this one is a bit more related to the whole vacation thing. After we arrived in Atlanta, we went to the Georgia Aquarium (way cool, by the way) where, like a theme park or cruise, they take your picture upon entering.
This is the pic they took of our little group. The large fish over Dan are whale sharks, huge beasties that is pretty much GA's biggest deal.
So there you go. A good 30 seconds of entertainment while you wait the hours it will take me to get my vacation pictures all straight.
But to whet your excitment even more, I have unofficially dubbed our Georgia trip as The Year of the Mushroom. Ooooo.
You can't wait now, can you?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Oh, and the fish.
And the 97% humidity, but no pictures of that (unless you count my hair).
For the record, 97% humidity when it isn't raining? Sucks.
But the vacation was great so it's all good. And I'll post about it some time soon even!