Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Afternoon in Paradise - Part II

As mentioned in "An Afternoon in Paradise", Darlene and I were invited to be Scarlet's guest at the Dolphin Research and Sealife Center in Port Isabel. They had recently relocated from South Padre Island to Lighthouse Square, which was right off the Causeway on our way home. Even though it was late afternoon, Scarlet assured us her sister-in-law would be working late and would be happy to accommodate us. It would be a challenge to photograph "Denizens of the Deep" behind glass but we were up to the challenge and eager to see more wildlife.

Front entrance at 110 North Garcia Street between the historic Lighthouse and Pirate's Landing Restaurant.

This mermaid greets visitors coming off the Causeway from South Padre Island.

This Banded starfish was in one of the touch tanks that allows children (and adults!) to have a "hands-on" experience with local marine life.

A Lined starfish in one of the touch tanks.

A Shrimp eel poses perfectly!

One tank was dedicated to nothing but Sea anemones.

A very personable Gulf toadfish.

This Spotted scorpionfish was in the same tank.

A very odd Mantis shrimp. Their punch is powerful enough to break glass.

This Guitarfish was ALWAYS on the move.

A heated turtle pond housed several species of local brackish
and fresh water turtles. This is a female Red-bellied slider.

Our host took this large Florida horse conch out for a close-up.

I was intrigued by this mossy looking fellow, a Portly spider crab.

A juvenile Portly spider crab.

These were just a fraction of the species there. Many of my photos turned out fuzzy so check out Darlene's Blog to see more creatures. I'm still wondering how she persuaded the Moray eel to sit still for her! Next time you're passing through Port Isabel, be sure to make time to visit the nice folks at the Sealife Center. It's only $3 per person and your money goes to a very worthy cause.

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