Finally Spring!

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It has been winter for a good long while in these parts. And only recently has it finally begun to act like spring! That means bees are buzzing, buds are blooming, and birds are….birding. Obviously I have an obsessive need to document everything and have been taking lots of pictures of the little creatures enjoying the warmer weather as I sit outside and read through The Gulag Archipelago (because it’s such great springtime reading?). I guess you can take the girl out of the poli-sci but you can’t take the poli-sci out of the girl. The birds at least provide a nice counter balance to the sad gulag human rights abuses.

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Goldfinch! We only ever get one or two of them in the spring and summer, and he’s pretty elusive. I guess he was hungry this day.

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A plucky little cardinal.

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House finch sitting in a tree.

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Here are the two of them sharing the feeder! The cardinal looks terribly suspicious of me.

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From top left, clockwise: chickadee, house finch, grosbeak (female), and nuthatch.

We have also seen a new face at our brand new hummingbird feeder!

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It’s a ruby-throated hummingbird! He’s quite small and difficult to spot as he flits back and forth.

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Flapping those wings very hard and fast.

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Getting a hit of that sweet, sweet sugar water. He’s actually pretty frustrating to photograph because he moves so quickly and is so tiny.

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I think I might name him Waldo, after the eponymous and elusive striped-shirt wearer. Relatedly, I wish I had one of those enormous NatGeo zoom lenses the size of an 18th century cannon. Anyone wanna loan me $10,000?

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The caterpillars and the dandelions are also out in full swing. And, finally, the cherry tree in our yard is blossoming! It’s nice to finally see signs of life after all the snow.

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Aquarium Trip

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Is there anything I love more than aquariums? Maybe cake. Maybe.

So I recently took a trip to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut with my boyfriend. With the minor exception of some misbehaved screaming children and a strange promotional day that involved the most depressing cello player I’ve ever heard, it was a lot of fun!

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It’s located right on the Norwalk River, and it was a beautiful day!

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There were, of course, all manner of strange fish.

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Fish is staring at you!

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Did this fish just hear a piece of juicy gossip?

There were, of course, more than just fish there…

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I think the frog to the left was an albino.

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Here is his non-albino counterpart hiding under a leaf. We can see you, frog! You fool no one!

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I was pretty excited about these two axolotls (the dark one blends into the background a little)! Is there a more awesome salamander? The answer is no.

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Here is a diamondback terrapin. The poor thing was being constantly bothered by the other terrapins in the tank as it tried to sleep. I came back later to find this:

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Happy ending: it finally found some peace and quiet!

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They also had a bigger type of turtle: the sea turtle!

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Here are some anemones and moon jellies.

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A fish enjoying the anemone.

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One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish!

My favorite animal at the aquarium, however, was definitely…

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…this goofus, the dragon moray eel. There were also other “dragons” at the exhibit…

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For instance, this Chinese water dragon.

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A sailfin dragon.

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And this weedy sea dragon! (Okay, maybe this guy was my favorite animal there.) And I’m so happy I managed to get a semi decent picture of him (despite the fact that it appeared the aquarium had cleaned the glass on his exhibit with vaseline jelly and flour.)

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But the tiny residents of the aquarium shouldn’t be forgotten! I found this minuscule hermit crab in the seahorse exhibit. He appeared to be shopping around for a new home.

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Here is the aforementioned seahorse, roommate of the house shopping hermit crab.

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Close up of the seahorse.

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One of my favorite animals of all time: the lobster! But why are their claws banded like that?

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A silly looking fish who stood around staring at me.

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A pretty lionfish!

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A harbor seal enjoying the beautiful day!

So, I hope you enjoyed this interlude of aquatic animals. If not, the fish below is going to sit and judge you.

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Actually, I think he’s going to do that no matter what.