An oasis in the desert

Duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn…

These are a few of the residents at the shark aquarium at Mandalay Bay Hotel.  I love sharks!  Teddy ate local basking shark with Vietnamese sauce at our wedding lunch in Wales.  Before I set off for the Grand Canyon, I had an afternoon to visit this aquarium.  It was good, not the best I have been to, but gave some respite to the chaos of Vegas.

Lion Fish – Rawrrrr!

I had my new camera with me and I am so impatient that I didn’t read the instructions.  It took me a while to figure out how to turn the flash off.  Once I did, the photographs were great quality through glass.  Wouldn’t this lioness’ costume inspire a lovely dress?

Fashionable rays

These rays had the most beautiful outfits on.  The black one looked like velvet.

Handsome Whiskers

Catfish are my favorite type of fish, probably because of their whiskers.  They taste quite nice too, especially blackened.

Starfish

Starfish just make me feel happy – they look like little hands waving at you.  I loved the delicate brocade on her seams.

Rays in flight

Until this moment, I have never seen rays flapping their fins.  So graceful and elegant.

Wings up!

A perfect predator

The last photograph of jelly fish is my favorite – it looks like some alien world.  Beautifully different and somehow alluring.

My long hot walk along the Strip to get to the Mandalay Bay Hotel was worth it just to see these wonderful creatures and I didn’t gamble a cent.

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Kerry and the Catfish

My catfish wasn't as big as this but the water looked as murky!

My catfish wasn’t as big as this but the water looked as murky!


I have a huge crush on Jeremy Wade who stars in the Animal Planet series, “River Monsters”.  He is not my type but something about his soothing voice and his gentle treatment of his monsters just turns me on!  I have my own monster story.  A few years ago I was going through a difficult stage of my life, feeling mentally unhealthy and wanting to make big changes in my life.  Early one morning, around 7 am,  I went to my favorite little forest and trekked down to visit the lake.  It is full of fish, stocked naturally, and many local anglers fish there.  Sometimes their lures and casts get caught in the trees and on this occasion one of the lures had landed in the water.  I saw movement in the murky depths and realized that something was caught on the lure.  There are both water moccasins and alligators in the lake and I am frightened of deep water and a poor swimmer.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t bear the idea that some poor creature was stuck by a lazy, careless angler.  I started to wade into the water which shelved quickly and by the time I reached the lure, I was up to my hips in the sediment filled water.  I grabbed hold of the fishing line and I don’t know who was more astonished – me or the gorgeous, healthy big catfish on the end.  It was about the size of a furry cat and quite hard to handle.  Every time it struggled to get away from me, I was losing my balance.  Finally, I grabbed hold of it and managed to unhook the lure.  It jumped back into the lake, probably terrified by the kindly predator who had rescued it.  I was fascinated by it’s beautiful dark gray flesh and it’s funny little whiskers – it just glowed with health.  That little act of compassion turned my life about in that moment.  I suddenly knew that life was worth living, if only to rescue catfish, and my moment of bravery showed me that I was capable of anything.  I hope he or she went on to live a happy, fruitful life.  The next week, I waded in and retrieved as many discarded fishing lines and lures that I could find.

Thanksgiving

bedias view2 This is a view from our favorite forest and lake close to our home in Texas. It was a beautiful day today, sunny but with a little chill in the air. We rarely get the fall foliage that is common to the north of us but sometimes Mother Nature gives us just enough rain, not too much sun and a gentle autumn to turn the leaves into gold, red and copper. If we are unlucky enough to get a hurricane it blows all the leaves off before they get a chance to develop autumnal tones. A quiet walk through this forest on Thanksgiving morning with the possibility of seeing an alligator or a giant Woodpecker gives us so much reason to be thankful. Click on the red link to see more fall photos. THANKSGIVING