May 29, 2011

Wondrous Life at the New York Aquarium

There are times when I am presented with such a remarkable array of varied and beautiful life that I feel awestruck: is it possible that these colors and forms really exist? I am very grateful for the natural world around me in northern Vermont, wild and cultivated, but a visit to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island was of another order; it was full of stunned surprise and sheer aesthetic delight. The sea anemones, above, were some of my favorite creatures; though predatory, they are marvelously decorative, and as they sway in the gentle watery flow, they are hypnotic.

I realize that there are people uncomfortable with putting wild creatures on display, whether in zoos or as here in an aquarium. But the aquarium is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society and an aspect of its mission is education. How could we not be more sensitive to the plight of endangered fishes and corals after seeing them up close and realizing how beautiful and unique they are.

The three photos above are all anemones. I was quite transfixed by all these vivid creatures; the world above can seem pale and wan after visiting them.

And oh! the jellyfish, brightly glowing in the deep blue water, slowly rising and falling, trailing their long tentacles in graceful curving lines.

There are also mammals housed at the Aquarium, and here is a fur seal, an animal that is now protected after being exploited for the fur industry. And below is homo sapiens, another mammal, here working to clean the coral in the huge coral tank. Our human species has done some great things, but has also made a real mess of others, and we're not cleaning up the way we should.


  1. I had a beautiful tank in my apartment in Redondo Beach, CA for years. My old bf used to sing to the discus. They loved it. They were as aware of us as we were to them. Love the jellyfish!

  2. other world-ly!
    I just put the aquarium on my summer list of places to visit ( and how convenient that the beach is right there...)

  3. annette, some of the fish did seem to notice the people watching them, but most just went about their business. I imagine it's very different with a home aquarium.
    rappel, this would make a perfect summer trip, along with the beach and food from the boardwalk, and maybe you could even take in a ride on the Wonder Wheel and take pictures from up on top.

  4. Yeah, and maybe Rapps could take an airplane bag just in case when
    she's on the Wonder Wheel.

    Great photos Altoon from the fish world. Love the jellyfish!


  5. Myrna, if you go on the fixed cages on the Wonder Wheel it's just a pleasant ride; I'd never go on one of the swinging cages.
    and glad you like these photos.

  6. What great shots from the Aquarium! Reminds me to get there this summer too along with a host of other places I want to catch up on.