"Following where my camera leads me!"

"Following where my camera leads me!"

Friday, June 29, 2018

Magnolias for Mommy

this tree looks like dozens of big white birds are in the branches!

 I spotted this one  out on one of the old plantations out in the country

What is it about the magnolias that I love so much? Is it the shiny glossy leaves? The big creamy blooms? The twisty tree branches all gnarled together?It's all that and something else....a distant memory of a sweltering summer day long ago and far away. My Mommy snuggled up right next to a huge bloom and said "these beautiful blooms are bigger than dinner plates!"---as my Daddy snapped the photograph on the Brownie camera.
Happy Birthday Mommy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mermaids in the City

It's a beautiful day in Charleston, and we're heading to the Aquarium! Hope you come along with us!

Lots of people out on the sparkling water today:

Let's go inside, we know the world famous Weeki Wachee mermaids have swam up from their spring in Florida to come visit us today! They come just once a year, and we always look forward to it. I think they will probably return in April 2019.
Little children just naturally flock to the smiling mermaids!

(above) this little one was sure excited to see the pretty mermaids!

The Mountain Forest area:
I love the noisy waterfalls here and it's fun to watch the otters swim and play, they are so fast and so fun!

The Coastal Plain area:

There is also a large white albino alligator in this area. I don't think I got a picture of him this time.  His name is "Alabaster".
The Great Ocean Tank is below. I think it's about 400,000 gallons of water and yes, there are sharks! I made the next picture looking down from the second story. It kind of shows just how big this large ocean tank is.
So many beautiful fish to see as they swim around and around and around! Very relaxing to watch them.

Enjoyed a stop in the gift shop:

These are socks!!:

If you are a new reader and would like to learn more about the Weeki Wachee mermaids and their beautiful natural spring home from previous posts-- click here:

Weeki Wachee Springs State park

And if you'd like to see my very first and very special visit to Weeki Wachee, click here:

My first visit to the magical spring waters of Weeki Wachee!

One of my FAVORITE stops at the Aquarium---to view the beautiful jellyfish! They are so intricate, so delicate, so wispy,  so amazing! Love to watch them!

I've been stung by jellyfish a few times in our ocean here....all I can say is It. Sure. Does. Hurt. LOL Have any of you been stung?

It is full nesting season here in South Carolina for the beloved sea turtles. We even have a much more rare Leatherback nest or two this year, in addition to our loggerheads. The leatherbacks are much bigger than the loggerheads.
You can read more about the nests here:
Leatherbacks nesting on Isle of Palms this year
If you would like to read more about the Care Center for the turtles, click here:
Sea Turtle Care Center

 (BELOW)  this turtle is going home!!
Extra information:
It's about $29.00 for adult admission to the aquarium and about $22.00 for children. I think under age five is free. It's worth it---you'll have a real nice day here.
There is a parking garage nearby with an easy walk to the entrance. The Aquarium is located on the harbor, in downtown Charleston.
The aquarium is clean and nice and cool inside.There are elevators and an escalator if you can't do steps.
 The Saltmarsh Aviary is outdoors, but there is almost always a good strong breeze blowing there even on hot days. I like seeing the marsh birds out there and the herons and big pelicans. This area has the big stingray tank, fun to see! Our granddaughter loves to touch the stingrays in the shallow area.
 The restrooms are nice and clean, and have changing tables for babies. 
 The snack bar has a nice variety of snacks and quick meal options. (sandwiches, bottled drinks, salads, fruit, ice cream,  chips, etc.) One of my favorite things there is the frozen Coke slushie drinks, love those!
Two of my favorite things about our Aquarium---1. they have roving staff who wander about with all sorts of interesting things for see/touch opportunities, such as snakes, owls, etc. Fun to see and great learning opportunities for the young ones to touch and learn about new animals, birds, and reptiles. On this visit, we had a roving "pirate" who was glad to pose for pictures with people, and another who handed our granddaughter a pretty little seashell necklace.

2. Photographers make really nice pictures in many areas throughout the Aquarium during your visit and you may purchase any of them when you are leaving for a pretty reasonable price. They are always great photos and yes, we always do buy! LOL Especially on "mermaid days".
The Aquarium hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I think they are open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
any questions call: (800) 722-6455
So glad you visited with us today, and hope you enjoyed your visit to the Aquarium!! We usually go once year, our daughter is a member and she takes little granddaughter pretty frequently, they love it there--always new and fun exhibits to see. I think right now they have a big Lego sculpture display going on called Bricks ALIVE.

Ending this post with two of my favorite photos of previous mermaid encounters at the aquarium from prior years. 
This is Mermaid Amanda, she is one of our favorites---so great with the kids!