The Birch Aquarium, Seal Rock

The boys and I spent the morning at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and had a fabulous time. It's a great place, and we all learned a lot. Sardine scales are often used to infuse opalescence into nail polish; California sea hares are 90% water and look like giant, smooshy slug bags; some fish change color as they mature from baby to juvenile to adult, and the adult Garibaldi is an outstandingly beautiful example of that; sea horses are the cutest things ever and are related to the also-charming pipefish and shrimpfish, both of which look as if they're dancing on their noses; wolf eels look like grumpy old men; and sea dragons are works of art. We loved everything we saw, and this sequence of photos of the bell jellyfish continues to take my breath away. Go iPhone camera!

More Mexican for lunch, a quick respite of couch-and-drawing at homebase and then to Seal Rock to see, you guessed it, the giant sea slugs the seals really are. I love them. Their faces remind me of Percy (pug), their feethands are so odd, and their tuberous rotundity is perfectly magnificent.