Saturday, July 14, 2007

Swimming with a little Hawksbill turtle at Lau Lau

Saturday was just an awesome day to dive Lau Lau bay. The recent storm had washed out all the algae and crud that was clouding up visibility. The sand flats were all scrubbed clean and there wasn't any of the algae or gunk covering it up, and visibility was well over 80'. The tide was really low so entry and exit were a breeze and there wasn't much current, just a picture perfect dive day. And there would have been a bunch of beautiful dead shells all over the sand flats, except that my dive buddy Doug did a dive before me Saturday morning and managed to get most of them. That's ok, I got to spend some quality time with the little Hawksbill turtle, and after an experience like that, nothing else really seems to matter. He wasn't the least bit afraid of me, and let me get as close as I wanted to film him and be able to get in nice and close with macro shots.

And then this other video is of a live Strombus Taurus, a shell only found within the Northern Mariana Islands, and because of that fact one that is fairly highly valued and sought after by shell collectors. The animal wasn't real happy that I flipped it's shell up on it's side, so it keeps an eye on me, then comes out and flips his shell over very quickly.

Insanity Continues

I wish I could say this was a picture of a couple parakeets in some pet store somewhere, but sadly that is not the case. If you've looked at my son's website at all you will know that they got the wrong guy to play Bruce Almighty in that movie, it really should have been Josh. He seems to keep collecting animals by the two's. Two dogs, two ferrets, two cats, and who knows what will be next. The smell finally cost the ferrets their home and he wound up selling them, but he just replaced them with kittens. I don't know if he thinks he's Noah or what, I just hope Regis is ready to be an ark keeper. But in his latest rant, he blamed this obsession with animals on his upbringing. I'd like to go on record here as saying that every time they have brought home another animal, I've always staunchly said no. It didn't seem to help much as we wound up with rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, cats, dogs, monitor lizards, and Josh even had a goat that was madly in love with him for a while. And it's not like there was just one of all the above mentioned animals, they usually came in pairs, and sometimes it happened more than once. I'm sure I've missed naming about a dozen species of animals I've had to share the house with over the years, but you get my point.
As if I don't have enough of a problem with furry varmints taking up residence on my couch and favorite chair, now I have the feathered variety as well. Greg, our old neighbor who recently moved in with us, had an empty bird cage he was trying to sell. This devious dog figured that rather than go to all the trouble of advertising it, and having people come look at it, he'd just tell Sarah, my daughter, what a great deal he'd give her on it, and then he even offered to buy the birds to get her started if she'd buy the cage. Sarah has also been responsible a multitude of the inhuman inhabitants of my house over the years. Her latest additions were a tiny kitten that crawled up on her while she and Kelli were having a picnic lunch at American Memorial Park (she has since been banned from having picnic lunches anywhere furry varmints might be found), and Emma the psycho firework eating dog, who was a tiny scared to death puppy living under one of the college buildings when Sarah decided she was to be this puppy's rescuer. Of course I once again adamantly put my foot down saying no, but you can guess how it went. They somehow figured this was a democracy all the sudden, and everyone got an equal vote. I thought Greg should have been banned from voting because of the obvious conflict of interest, but I was the only one who saw it that way. So now our residential zoo also has a pair of parakeets that Sarah is hoping to mate, and get a bunch more of the feathered little beasties.

My only hope is that cat, which grew up from that little kitten who crawled up on Sarah, will now turn into an animal control officer and keep the balance of nature in check in my house. Sarah seemed to think it was a good idea to introduce Charlie to the birds, and now she's upset that he's climbing up on the top of their cage to get more up close and personal with them, go figure. But I figure it's only a matter of time before Charlie gets the opportunity to claim Heckle and Jeckyl as his own. I don't think those are really their names, but does it really matter? Here you see Charlie doing his little mating dance with his favorite Alpaca pillow, and Emma looking at him like he's lost his mind. Even Emma knows that's not another cat. But maybe Charlie is just fooling us all and rather than trying to elicit romantic feelings from the pillow, he is really just practicing how he wants to play with the birds. I suppose an argument could be made that Charlie was doing this long before the birds arrived, but if you ask me I'd say he was just practicing for the day, since he knew Sarah was a sucker for any and all animals.

No, I don't need to go diving to see wildlife, or to have an up close and personal experience with the animal kingdom. They're just lucky our walls aren't filled with salt water so I could turn them into giant aquariums. Then I'd show them was living in the middle of nature was really like!