Sort of on impulse, I took my boys up to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago yesterday. We all enjoyed the time looking at the beautiful diversity of the world's watery habitats (although, I have to note I had a hard time with the extreme crowds and really rude people. Really, I think we all need to revisit Etiquette 101. It's really becoming a loss art!)
My personal favorite Shedd inhabitant is the seahorses, but the exhibit is popular and I am on the 5'3" short side, so peering at them was impossible over the four-five deep layers of seahorse fans. I did, however, get to peer at the gorgeousness that is the jellies, anemones and the seadragons. Pretty animal-flowers of the deep.
I also love the invasive species exhibit because, near and dear to me, I focused on invasive species (or, more specifically, how we erroneously encourage the spread in our urban forestry designs and habits) for my thesis in university.
In addition to all the marine biology goodness, I saw the most impressive mason bee house near one of the entrances. If you have even a small flower or vegetable garden, attracting these tiny little pollinators is a total benefit for your plants. I've had on my list to build some of these practical little houses for years, mainly to gift the gardeners in my life (including myself). These houses, combined with mindful landscaping, can increase flower pollination which means greater fruit and vegetable production. Seeing this wonderful crafted house at the Shedd, I'm taking it as a sign that 2013 is the year to accomplish this goal! Clearly an oversight, I did not fish out my camera and take a picture of it. I hope it is still around when I return to the Field Museum (my favorite!) in February.
I've started revamping this place (in case it wasn't noticeable!) and I added a button below the header to see and/or follow my Pinterest pages if y'all are interested. I am adding some lovely Mason Bee Houses to my Urban Gardening folder.