Monday, August 18, 2014

Nature Abounds at Spider Lake

Traverse City has LOTS of things to do....However, we found PLENTY to do just at the campground and between trying out some of the great restaurants Traverse City has to offer, and taking advantage of the lake activities, we were kept pretty busy and did not venture into town much....After all, the goal was to connect with family, and we sure did.....

My brother, Rich, from Massachusetts, generously rented a pontoon boat for the week for the family...The rental was from Blue Sky Boat Rental company in Traverse City. They delivered the boat to Spider Lake for us, and it was almost brand new.  Spider Lake is a terrific lake for exploring....it's got LOTS of little fingers spreading out, like spider legs, of course. So we usually had a full load, accompanied with beer and wine or pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company, snacks, or all of the above!Every night we went out for a "float boat" ride....And everybody just loved it!

Sparky went kayaking almost every morning....There are LOONS on the lake, at least one pair with a youngster....

We saw and heard them every single day. What a beautiful sound to hear them calling!

Sparky went looking for the loons almost every morning in the campground kayak.

She was lucky to be able to see them and watch the parents feed the young one more than once.

Here the mama (?) is coming to the youngster with a fish. Even though the young one seemed to be finding some fish on his own, the parents still came and took turns bringing him extra fish.

The loons weren't bothered by all the lake traffic at all. Jet skis whizzed by, water skiing boats zoomed around, and they just went about their business of feeding the youngster and swimming around looking for food.


Here's the baby, er, youngster, as he's getting quite big......

Loons weren't the only wildlife, besides the screaming kids on tubes and the noisy jet skis.  Sparky saw a family of ducklings that were all lined up on a log one morning, waiting for Mama's directions.

And of course, turtles...not sure of what kind this one is, but the shell is cool......

Sparky also saw a line up of ducks (female mallards?) that just called for a photo opp!

And guess that will about be enough for today....Have to stretch out this blog, ya know...because we aren't doing that much back home in Bradenton...We'll finish up the reunion next time...See you then!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Best Family Reunion EVER!

Once we got back from Virginia and the mountains, we had a little time to catch our breaths and to get ready for our (Sparky's) family reunion in Traverse City, MI. It's not easy to get a big family to agree on where to go, what time of year, and what activities do they want to be available, but somehow, we all managed to find and agree on Windjammer Resort on the Lake just outside Traverse City (ten miles southeast) for the first week in August this year. The campground/resort is located on the 450 acre Spider Lake just outside the city.

We had a total of 16 family members attend. Sparky was REALLY looking forward to seeing her daughter from Houston and her little grandson, but due to a major delay and engine problems on Kerry's flight, and her little two year old deciding he'd had enough after sitting for almost 3 hours in the plane on the ground at the gate, Kerry was not able to complete her flight,  and had to stay home.

However, once everybody got there, the fun began! But first, a little about the resort, which was really a campground.....There are 9 cabins at Windjammer. Some are VERY rustic, original, and still furnished with very old furnishings from many years ago. Some are modernized and quite pretty. The common area has three log cabins built in 2001, four original cabins and a two story cottage. Two of my brothers and their families stayed in the the largest cabin, up on a hill overlooking all the others. It's a big, log cabin house built in 2009 and was just gorgeous. This cabin, however, does not have a very good view of the lake, you can barely see it from the deck. The other cabins are organized in a sort of semi circle, which was really great for seeing where family members are if they are out and about. This arrangement was great for communicating with each other and gathering in the evenings on the different decks of the cabins.

So much better than staying in a hotel, where you don't know when anybody is coming or going, or what anybody is doing. Sparky loved looking out over our deck, seeing her sister across the way, having her morning coffee, or the cousins next door out eating a snack on the deck and knowing she could stop by any time and chat. It was great for communicating with each other, and having some great conversations with family members that you ordinarily wouldn't do easily if you were staying in hotel rooms.

The biggest log cabin, #9, set up on a hill (with only two bedrooms) were oddly appointed. Each bedroom had one queen and one double bed with a corner hot tub in each bedroom and a shower stall. For such a nice large cabin, you would think there would be a little more privacy for couples wanting to stay there and a little more space allotted instead of trying to equip the bedrooms to fit as many people as possible in each bedroom. But it's all about maximizing people capacity, for sure.

This cabin had a beautiful great room area, a nice long kitchen counter with cedar bar stools, and a dining table area for eating that seats 6. The living room had a hide a bed in the couch.

We congregated a lot on the big cabin deck.

It was also AIR CONDITIONED, which most of the cabins DIDN'T have. We got lucky with the weather on that one. In the high seventies low eighties during the day, it cooled down to the fifties at night. No rain, and even more amazing NO MOSQUITOES to speak of. Not all week! Whew! More amenities for the large cabin---gas fireplace, gas grill, washer and dryer.  $1780 for the week.

On to some of the other cabins available...We stayed in cabin #8, which sleeps 4-6 people and has one nice bathroom. It had the best view of any of the cabins, with an upper deck overlooking the lake. The managers of the campground reside in the separate, ground level cabin below.  Our cabin had one queen bed which completely filled the bedroom along with one chest of drawers, and the bedroom patio door exited straight out to the stair steps. There's one double bed sofa bed in the great room. Had Sparky's daughter been there, she would have had to sleep on it. It was in terrible shape. The foam in the cushions no longer supported the weight of anybody sitting on the sofa during the day, and once you sat down, it was difficult to get back up! We doubt that sofa bed would be suitable for anybody to sleep on as bad a condition as it was in. The other bedroom with the bunk beds was TINY! Again, the twin bunks completely filled the little bedroom and one chest of drawers took care of the rest of the space. There was room for only one adult in the room at a time.

The microwave was very old and the door was badly cracked in one corner. The gas stove was an old one, and you could smell the fumes from the burning pilot light. The refrigerator light kept going out even after an effort to fix it. Despite some of the cabin's limitations, the knotty pine paneling and the bamboo wood floors with a very spacious open, great room/kitchen plan made for a wonderful atmosphere. It was a beautiful cabin despite needing some new furniture and appliances. No AC, a couple of small fans are provided. We were not having much luck getting the cool night air to cool down the cabin, so the manager went out and bought another fan, a nice big box fan to help keep us cool. We really appreciated that!  We sat out on the deck every morning and every night. The wrap around deck also had a picnic table so Sparky sat and crafted a few times during the week.      $1280 a week, $200 nightly.

Some additional things about Windjammer Resort....They don't provide sheets and towels. You have to bring your own! Guess most people drive in from not too far away. Sparky's sister drove up from the Detroit area and filled one car with beddings and linens so we could have some. Thanks, sis! They DO provide plenty of kitchen utensils and pots and pans.

The managers of the campground were absolutely wonderful....Keith and Theresa. Whatever we needed, they promptly tried to provide or fix. They were just great to deal with. They have a lot to deal with with many groups coming into a campground, some with unreasonable expectations. They manage, not own the campground, so they are limited in what they can do.

The common areas of the campground were just wonderful....A deck overlooking Spider Lake, two big porch swings, a common fire pit area and one big sandbox of a lot, which the little kids absolutely loved.

The entire campgrounds are all sand, so you are in a losing battle all week with sand coming into the cabins. No problem, with all wood floors, easy clean up!

There is a beach, but it's very tiny....wide enough for one row of deck chairs, and your feet are just about in the water.

It's a clean sandy shallow bottom, so a great place for toddlers. There were LOTS of water toys---a pedal boat, FIVE kayaks and two rowboats. Sparky actually got out one morning to row for a little workout. But the rest of the time, Sparky got out and kayaked almost every day....There's a boat dock and two floating platforms which we used, too. The common areas where you can sit and picnic with family were just beautiful. Nice and shady...loved the two wooden swings and two gathering areas, one being the lower deck.

Overall, the campground resort was a terrific place for families....The only drawback, really, is that you share your cabin with seven other cabins in the common area, so you need to come with a good attitude---barking dogs, noisy children, and late night campfires and loud conversations are all possibilities here. Because our family took up several of the cabins, we didn't have to worry about that! (We didn't have any barking dogs and we all pooped out by 10:00 PM) Peak season is June through Labor Day, and mostly weekly rentals are available during that time unless there's availability. In that case, they have a three day minimum rental. They are open all year round. Nice breeze off the lake most days....plenty of shade to sit and read...The lake was wonderful and fun to explore. We saw LOTS of wildlife...More about that next time....We loved it.....

Time to start having fun! Come back and see what we did.......







Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to Normal, for Now....

We're back home and it's hot....Sparky is trying to forget about those wonderful temperatures in the mountains...She's dreaming of a way to return next summer...She's dreaming of hiking...She's dreaming of a month in the mountains.....(Dream on, sweetie...that's gonna be EXPENSIVE! states E., just stating the facts.)

Hmmmmm....let's see....If I sub X number of days a month....If we cut out eating out...(THAT'S  not gonna happen! exclaims E.) Eldo is right about that...Sparky is the one who loves to eat out....If we play the lottery.....lol......Well, a gal can dream, right?

Seriously, we will look hard and work hard for a solution to get back to the mountains--some mountains, somewhere-- next summer, so Sparky can hike and we both can get relief from the hot, humid temps.....

Sparky went back to the Celery Fields in Sarasota.....A beautiful place with a couple hundred species of birds they say....Lots of marshy areas, lots of water...prime bird and duck habitat. Sparky met a lady photographer here one day, and she takes the most awesome photos. 'Course she has a really big lens and a super duper camera. She was kind enough to share some other locations in town where she looks for birds. Sparky will have to check those places out one of these days, when it's not so hot.

Usually the fields and marshes yield something interesting to see...but not today....Maybe over at Jigg's Landing, the pretty park that is on the Braden River?
view from the porch of one of the little fishing cabins
Yep! A baby moorehen chick or a common gallinule, not sure which. The two birds are VERY closely related and were just recently split into two separate family categories in 2011. The moorhen is also known as the "swamp chicken"! Whatever, this bird is, the baby chicks are cute, well, sort of....

The mom was supervising....
And keeping an eye on Sparky who was a little above the action on the nice boardwalk that runs through the park.....Sparky really enjoys riding down to this park, less than a mile from her house. This is where the horned owlets were earlier this summer....

Time to head back home and see what the yard birds are up to....the pileated woodpeckers are still at those carrotwood tree berries, which are coming to the end of their lifespan....
The carrotwood tree right in front of our house is a messy tree...we have to sweep the sidewalk twice a day while the berries are developing...The tree throws down little brown hard kernels at first. If you step on them, they release an orange fluid and it can stain the carpet if they come in on your shoes and you crush them, so we have to really watch that. But boy, do the birds love the berries when they come out! Sparky saw THREE pileated woodpeckers all munching on berries at the same time in the tree today!
And this little bird (Sparky doesn't know this species) had something to say about the pileateds eating all the berries.....
"Save some for me!"
And that's about it for now....

Sparky and Eldo are getting ready for another trip...time to head to Traverse City tomorrow for Sparky's family reunion....which will be a week at the Windjammer Resort on the Lake near Traverse. It's actually not much of a resort, but more of a campground. More about that later.....like when we get back! Sparky is looking forward to seeing her brothers and sister and enjoying cooler temperatures once again...Looks like the mid seventies during the day, and fifties at night. Woo hoo!  Until next time......

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Mile High Suspension Bridge, Oh, My!

Boone is a great North Carolina city for anchoring a visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway and doing a BUNCH of other cool things, like river rafting, hiking and seeing Appalachian history stuff. The highest peak in the east is in the Boone area---Mount Mitchell, and there are many trails to hike, dozens of spectacular waterfalls to see, and lots more.....
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Grandfather Mountain, being one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge chain, (5, 945 ft) captured Sparky's interest when reading about the area, so off we went.  There's an admission fee to Grandfather Mountain, naturally...it's a very old tourist attraction. But---we thought it was worth it...18.00 for seniors to get in, and there's a mile high suspension bridge there! Sparky really wanted to see that and walk it....
Unfortunately, the day we went  heavy fog rolled in early in the morning....so not much to see, darn it! The bridge was a little disappointing...Sparky was picturing a really LONG suspension bridge...(Uh, Sparky, explains E., the Mile High Bridge is referring to the fact that it's 5,280 feet above sea level, not that it's very long.) Sparky knew that but 228 feet later, she had traversed the bridge and looked for the awesome view which was covered in fog. Phooey!

What was cool about the bridge was that it crossed an 80 foot chasm and on the other side was THE Grandfather Mountain summit. Sparky clambered over some really big boulders to be able to stand on the summit. She would have taken a selfie, but had to pay attention to the slippery rock instead.

At this mountain park, there are eleven trails of varying difficulties, all the way from an easy stroll to some strenuous hiking using ladders and cables. Sparky always regretted leaving Acadia National Park without doing one of those hikes with the ladders, but today we were just quickly scouting out the area for a future visit and enjoying the temperatures. We didn't have the right shoes or hiking poles and who wants to get lost in the fog! Heck, Sparky gets lost on a regular basis in broad daylight! (Glad she said that and not me! says E.)
At Grandfather Mountain, there are also environmental habitats....where you see animals in their real habitats, where enclosures have been built around them, yet they are free to explore, forage and live as close to their natural habitat as possible. Not like zoos, where enclosures are fabricated to replicate an animal's real environment. We didn't explore them today, it was time to move on......

We really enjoyed exploring this small corner of North Carolina. You see log cabin after log cabin after log cabin while exploring the roads and the byways. There was so much more to see and do and we just didn't have the time this time. We think we might head back next summer and spend some more time in the area.

One last night in Boone, and tomorrow we were due to head south, back to Bradenton and back to the summer heat.....But hey, it was 96 in Rapid City the day Sparky wrote this blog, hotter than Sarasota/Bradenton! (We're halfway through the summer, Sparky, hang in there, says E.) We have a trip to Traverse City coming up soon, that will be something to look forward to...Just hope it's not going to be in the 90's the week we are there! See you later......



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sparky and Eldo Meander on the Way Home

Isn't it great to be retired and go anywhere you want to, when you want and for how long you want? After leaving seeing Kelly off, Sparky and Eldo were headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains, at last report. This time, we were absolutely sure that's where we were going. (See yesterday's post) But then again, you never know with Sparky.

Well, we sort of knew we were going....west, towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where to stay? We stopped at a beautiful welcome center in North Carolina, gathered up a bunch of brochures (Sparky likes to collect them, you know....) and were on our way...
entrance coming up to the Blue Ridge Parkway
A trail near the parkway visitor center
A few hours later, we stopped in Boone, North Carolina...a beautiful town nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains. The entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway was nearby, and after we got settled in our hotel room, we decided to venture out on the Parkway for awhile before it got dark. The Blue Ridge Parkway spans 469 miles and wends its way through 29 counties in Virginia and North Carolina. It connects two popular national parks--Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are nine official parkway campgrounds along the way, but since we no longer have our motorhome, (sniff sniff), we stayed in a hotel in Boone. There are more than 200 overlooks and 26 different tunnels, and some gorgeous waterfalls and fabulous hiking trails, so this is an amazing greenway to explore, and one of America's most popular scenic roadways.  We stopped along one overlook, and Sparky saw an entrance to a trail. It looked so inviting, but it was getting late in the day, and not the best time to go.....We didn't have the proper shoes or our poles, either, so we weren't going to head out today. We will definitely come back to this area....It was beautiful!




We stopped at overlook after overlook, each one just as beautiful as the last......

The temperatures were dropping into the very pleasant low seventies and high sixties....What a relief from the Florida heat! As the sun started to set, we headed back to the hotel. We had one day left to explore the area, and we were going to make the most of it! Time to go back and plan an excursion as we only were going to spend one more day in the area before heading back to Florida....

Back at the hotel, Sparky started investigating and reading all the info we had gathered...

POPULAR ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA SECTION OF THE PARKWAY INCLUDE:

Linn Cove Viaduct in the Fall
  • Grandfather Mountain at Milepost 305
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 384
  • North Carolina Arboretum at Milepost 393.6
  • Folk Art Center at Milepost 382
  • Mt. Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi, Milepost 355.4
  • Craggy Gardens picnic area and hiking trails at Milepost 367.6
  • Pisgah Inn, an inn and restaurant, at Milepost 408.7

POPULAR PARKWAY OVERLOOKS FOR VIEWING WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA'S SCENIC BEAUTY INCLUDE:

  • Cold Mountain overlook, the namesake of the best selling novel and movie, at Milepost 412
  • Looking Glass Rock overlook, a distinct rock formation named for the way water and ice reflects off mountain's granite surface, Milepost 417
  • Graveyard Fields overlook, the barren scenery is reminiscent of the moor of England, Milepost 418.8
Here's a link to the hiking trails near Boone, NC. Sparky is definitely going to save this for a future trip to the area. We hope to maybe go back next summer and stay for a little while.
http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=61

We decided to head to the Mile High Bridge on Grandfather Mountain the next day.....See you there!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Goodbye (sniff, sniff) and Good Luck to Kelly!

Our final day with Kelly, was spent at a local school where they were holding a deployment ceremony to say good bye to the soldiers....The governor of Virginia was there, along with other important dignitaries.

Kelly is headed to Fort Hood for a few weeks to get ready for deployment overseas....It was hard saying goodbye, but it sure makes a mom and step dad proud....

We took several photos...Sparky loves this one of Kelly and Eldy....
And mom has to be in the photo, too...

It's hard to watch your son or daughter leave for a difficult assignment in a difficult area, but we will have lots of prayers headed Kelly's way as she fulfills her duties. Sparky had her Kleenex out as the bus pulled out of the parking lot. It's just as hard for officers and enlisted men and women to leave their families and be gone for many months. It takes courage to step up and serve your country. She's a great officer and a great leader. We are very proud of her!

Our plan was to drive back to Florida the next day in Kelly's car. We are going to take care of it for her while she's serving her duty.  So we started out down the road....Eldy and Sparky discussed taking our time going back, and maybe we would take a side trip before heading back to HOT, HOT, HOT temperatures. How about the Blue Ridge Mountains? I was thinking Asheville, N.C., suggested Eldy.  SURE! says Sparky...Since Kelly's car has OnStar, we called them and had them program a route for us to the Blue Ridge Moutains, or at least to Asheville, N.C. Well, one hour into the drive, and Sparky is looking at a map, the old fashioned way of navigating.

"You mean, it's all the way over THERE??" she says, pointing to the far eastern corner of Virginia and North Carolina, or somewhere thereabouts. (sigh....says E.) Yep, says E. "How long is it going to take?" Sparky starts realizing she's going to be stuck in the car for a VERY, VERY, long time. "I told you this was going to take X number of hours," says an exasperated E. This little Pontiac G6 ain't no spacious motorhome. OK, maybe we better switch plans. Eldo asks Sparky if she's sure this is what she wants to do. Of course, she is sure---for the moment, anyway.

Kelly's car has OnStar, so we call and say we've changed our minds and send us a route to "take us home". Eldy heaves a big sigh....They say ok, and send the route. The route was to KELLY'S home in Virginia.  Call OnStar back. We get that straightened out. Twenty minutes later, Sparky and Eldo are discussing the route home, and Sparky changes her mind again. We're in no hurry, let's go to the Blue Ridge Mountains after all. It's COOL there.....Call OnStar again....they change the route. Only this time, the three times plus route change has befuddled the system, and the route is unable to be sent to the car. Call OnStar again....they trouble shoot...

In the mean time, we missed an exit we were supposed to take and had to call On Star AGAIN. By this time, Sparky is having friendly conversations and dialogue with the OnStar people, we're on a first name basis now....It turns out that Kelly's car needed an update, and that's why the system couldn't accept a BUNCH of route changes in a short period of time. Sparky laughed and told the OnStar rep, "It seems we can't make up our minds where we want to go today!" But finally, the system updates were performed, the rep called us back and stayed on the line while he made sure that the updates took care of the problem. They offered several different ways to guide our traveling while the system was being updated. We were very impressed with the OnStar service. It was very cool and easy to use. A little weird having a disembodied voice talking with you that's not family or somebody on a phone! There's all kinds of cool stuff that comes with the OnStar service, like they can unlock your car for you if you lock yourself out, and of course, everybody has heard the radio commercials where someone has been involved in an accident and OnStar immediately comes on and takes care of notifying emergency vehicles, etc. A very personalized trip service! Great for single individuals who travel alone, too.....

On to the Blue Ridge Mountains!......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Washed Ashore and More....

Sparky and Eldo are lucky to have a super duper aquarium called Mote Marine in Sarasota that is just hard to beat! But, the Virginia Beach Aquarium Marine and Science Center is awesome! There are two buildings to visit with this aquarium, and the smaller section has a new zip line activity part to it. Both are accessible on the trolley line stopping points. The main aquarium was particularly awesome because it had a special exhibit of sculptures made from trash that has washed ashore, calling attention to the garbage in the oceans, and Sparky really was looking forward to seeing that....The exhibit was titled, appropriately enough, "Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea". In addition to some wonderful hands on exhibits, there's an IMAX theater there, with other cool things to see....There is a kaleidoscope hallway that you walk through to get to the IMAX theater and it's full of eye popping color and effects, reflecting what you are wearing along with colorful signs of the aquarium's exhibits!

Admission pricing was 8.50 for seniors for the IMAX movie experience, and 22.00 for general admission to get in. Kinda pricey, but, Sparky had never seen an IMAX 3D movie so we did both! The IMAX movie was COOL! A 3D movie called "Under the Sea". Sparky had trouble with getting the 3D glasses to sit right on her face, working with her bifocals, but there were parts that had her practically jumping out of her seat to get away from some sea eels!

There's a harbor seal tank outside the aquarium where you can see trainers working with seals, and for an extra charge, you can stand in the tank with the trainers and have the seals come to you. Sparky hates unnatural environments like that, but understands the need for the aquarium to make money to support all their expenses.

Sparky liked the "Under the Dome" section of the aquarium. Not the TV show which Sparky wants to check out anyway some day, but a plastic bubble in the komodo dragon exhibit. Take your kid with you to observe from the protection of the domed enclosure while the dragon walks around you, and scares your kid half to death!

Kelly enjoyed the rays touch tank...
And so did everyone else!

And now, for the "Washed Ashore" exhibits....This art project was started by artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, who used to ignore the trash she encountered while enjoying the healing properties of the ocean--the smells, the soothing waves, the motion of the water, things we beach lovers hold dear to our hearts. One day her eyes opened to the trash around her, and she decided to use her artwork to bring attention to a very serious problem, the oceans of trash surrounding and engulfing our marine life and environment. Each sculpture tells the dangers inherent to our ocean inhabitants, and what washed up trash was used to make each sculpture.



First, Lydia, the seal...made out of plastic lids, synthetic rope, foam and little plastic pieces--all things that seals have been known to get tangled up in or swallow that have washed ashore....Kind of ugly, but that's the point!

A turtle made of balloons...Hundreds of balloons were found on just one small Virginia beach. Balloons are most likely to end up in the water or on beaches because our planet is what, 72% water? To marine animals, balloons look like food--jellyfish, squid, or other prey. The balloons lodge in the stomach or intestinal tract and then the animals may starve. Dead whales have been found with balloons in their stomachs. The strings attached to the balloons can hurt animals, too. The birds might use the strings for nesting material and the strings can get wrapped around the young babies and cause death.

This is the flip flop fish.....Cool looking as a sculpture, but highly dangerous to marine life.....
Made from discarded flip flop shoe parts, which are sold to fishermen around the world and used for buoys,  the pieces break off and end up littering the ocean. Invasive species can "ride" the ocean currents on these pieces, birds take bites to sample. Flip flops are made from polyurethane and cannot be recycled.

Related to the flip flop fish is the "fish bite fish". This sculpture is made all out of plastic pieces that marine animals have taken a chomp out of. Plastic pieces are often made of toxic materials. Mistaking the plastic for food, the debris can cause death by blocking breathing or intestinal systems.
Sparky learned about gyres, which are slowly moving water columns from the ocean currents and trade winds, which in turn make the oceans like a big soup of plastic beads. There are five gyres and all together, trash from all the continents of the world is being circulated through the oceans from top to bottom.  Here's another viewpoint from YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxNqzAHGXvs

Here's a sculpture of a whale skeleton.....Think about everything you know about how whales feed.....with their mouths open, right? Right through polluted waters.....70% of the pollution sinks towards the bottom of the ocean, where gray whales feed, for example. In this part of the exhibit, the sign said that a whale was found dead on the coast of Washington with surgical gloves, plastic bags, towels, a pair of sweatpants, a golf ball, fishing line and duct tape in its stomach....And this is not uncommon, to find dead whales and fish with debris in their stomachs......How sad.....

And finally, here is a collection of masks made out of brittle photo degraded plastic pieces found on beaches to symbolize putting a face to the problem of a deteriorating planet---humans--who are the ones causing this terrible destruction of our planets' animal habitats through irresponsible use of plastics.

Thank you to Virginia Beach aquarium and to artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, for opening our eyes to the disaster that is occurring in our oceans..This exhibit had quite the impact on Sparky, as you can probably tell.....We can only hope to make some noise, take some action, change our plastic reliant lifestyles now and change our life's dependency on plastics for future generations....It doesn't look too good, does it?

Thanks for reading......