Thursday, 16 March 2017


Away for a couple of weeks.
I tried to schedule some fascinating blog posts to amuse my readers while I'm not here, but nothing has gone to plan! So I'll be back in April with news of my travels. Stay tuned....

Monday, 13 March 2017

Jelly Time

Jellyfish are soft-bodied, free swimming aquatic animals with a gelatinous umbrella shaped bell, and long tentacles. Jellies have floated along the ocean currents for 500 million years, making them the world's oldest multi-organ animal.
The creature is an invertebrate made mostly of water, and has no heart, brain or bones.

Tiny stinging cells in the tentacles stun their prey and provide an easy way to catch dinner which can be fish, shrimp, crab, or even tiny plants. They move by squirting water from their mouth.
The jellies at the Planet Jellies exhibit at the Aquarium are translucent and are enhanced by the changing coloured lights.... a fascinating ballet of delicate movement.

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Time for some of the more static creatures of the oceans.
Sea anenomes are close relatives of jellyfish and coral, and may look like plants, but are actually aquatic animals. More than 1000 different varieties found throughout the world oceans. When I was growing up near the beach in England, the rock pools were full of red and green anenomes, looking like round lumps of jelly stuck to the rocks when the tide was out, but waving their tentacles menacingly when under water.

They may look like pretty flowers, but beware.... they are predatory! They are able to release venom through their many tentacles surrounding a central mouth, and stun their prey, making it easy to enjoy dinner. Sea anenomes can live up to 50 years, and most varieties are anchored to one place and unable to chase their prey. They'll ensnare and eat fish, zooplankton, larvae, worms, in fact whatever comes along.

Afterthought.... and nothing to do with sea anenomes.... Happy Birthday to my Dad, he was born 135 years ago today!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Big Fish, Little Fish

A trip to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is always fun. I was there with the family a couple of years ago, here, and this time I met with some English friends who were on vacation and joined them in being a tourist for the day.
The Aquarium opened in October 2013. It's right downtown in Toronto, located at the foot of the CN Tower. Lots of big numbers here: 16,000 marine animals; 135,000 square feet; 1.5 million gallons (5.7 million litres) of water; 17 habitats; more than 100 different species of fish; the world's most extensive jellyfish exhibit.

It was the perfect day to see the fish. No huge crowds to battle as the children are still in school. It will be a different story next week during March Break.