Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dallas Aquarium

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...but I'm so far behind on my blogs that I'm still on Thanksgiving! On the way to a holiday feast at my brother Benjamin's new house in Leander, Texas (near Austin), Mom, Dad, and I stopped by the Dallas aquarium. Now I've seen aquariums all over the world (or at least in Japan, Thailand, Korea, China, India, and the U.S.), so I've got to say it takes a lot to impress me. This one did the trick!

It was more like a zoo than just an aquarium, a full rain forest indoors! You start at the top of the canopy and work your way down. I think the goal was the display the entire ecosystem rather than try to isolate the rivers and oceans. Everything is interconnected, and if the land were to suddenly disappear, most water-dwelling creatures wouldn't last long.

We saw this jungle vulture as we came in. I didn't know they lived there! Maybe it's actually a parrot...I'm not sure. I have a fascination in vultures because of my novel Treasure Traitor, but I've only researched the desert-dwelling ones. 

And here's the world's smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset. So cute!


Feed the toucan, tuppence a bag... Actually three blueberries are free, but you better have your camera ready, 'cause they grab 'em fast!
Here's the South American otter, the largest otter in the world:
 They're interesting, but my favorite are still the smallest, Asian river otters. They makes noises like squeak toys! What can top that?

I got my map a little too close to the Emperor Tamarin cage!

  Little owl snacking on a mousy lunch:

Next, we went downstairs and saw the small tunnel: 

 And the big tunnel. This sword fish has decided to sleep right on top of the glass!

And here are some sea snakes swimming on the bottom of the ocean...actually, they're garden eels peeking out of their holes:

And the deep-dwelling glow fish. They have bio-luminescent bacteria in a special organ that lights them up like that, only because it's so dark, the picture didn't turn out so great.


 The world's coolest fish, the leafy sea dragon:

How about this one? If you can see them, say hello to the weedy sea dragons!

Of course, the classic sea horse:

Afterwards, we had a wonderful, relaxing time with my brother and sister-in-law's house with lots of delicious food! I'm looking forward to seeing them again at Christmas, with my brother Tony and his wife Emily too!

Prayer Requests: I started teaching another class at the YWCA last week. Two of the students aren't Christian, but I've been praying before and after class, and they don't seem to mind. Please pray for Zahidul and Tao Bai, and that I will be able to "reveal the Gospel clearly, as I should." (Colasians 4:4.)

Also, I have a friend Marisa who's been sick for a long time. The doctors don't know what's wrong with her, but Lord willing, I'll be moving in with her sometime early next year. Please pray for this transition, for wisdom on where to live, and her speedy recovery.

Finally, I'd like prayers for my teacher's certification. There have been a lot of bumps along the road, but praise God I'm finally being paid for some of my work!

Until next time, keep loving and praying,

L.J. Popp

P.S., Treasure Traitor is doing reasonably, well, but it could do even better with your help! If you haven't ordered a copy for your local library yet, it would be a great help to me! Also, reviews on and goodreads are very useful.