Monthly Archives: March 2016

Legacy Longhorns

Fort Worth’s stockyards as tourist attraction?  It didn’t sound like a bucket-list item, but we needed a road trip stopover, so we gave it a try.  The historic tour set in turn-of-the-century brick cattle pens, turned out to be a real find.  The prime rib and smoked catfish were also exceptional. The cattle drive wasn’t so much — for good reason.  Pushing a rambunctious herd of longhorns past a lineup of small children would be insanity.  Still a half-dozen deadheaded longhorns escorted by shushing cowhands makes for a laughably lackluster spectacle. Indeed, the saddled photo-op steer on a street corner put […]

Snub Boat? 2

I hadn’t realized what cruising has done for me until a writer friend dithered over her clothes and etiquette while attending my dolphin presentation at the local country club.  Before my first cruise I was equally stressed that all those rich, sophisticated people would look down their noses at me.  Now that I’ve spent a couple months sailing with seriously wealthy cruisers, I say “no worries Mate.”  There are always people looking for ways to feel superior, but Steve and I found that most frequent-cruisers are looking for friendly conversations rather than one-up ops.  People who are into status games must have a tough time figuring out who to snub because multi-millionaires generally dress and act the way they want to.  A […]

Death Squirt

A beetle picked his way along a branch above a mangrove swamp. Wham! A geyser of water smacked him right in the kisser, dropping him into the water where he was snatched down a hungry gullet. On the other side of the globe, in Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, an innocent child climbs a ladder to stretch his arm over an exhibit and offer the fish a cricket. Wham! A powerful spurt smacks his palm dead-center, jolting the little guy with backsplash. The exhibit and swamp are each populated by hand-sized archer fish which specialize in precision squirts ranging to six feet.  I’d been captivated by an article about archers sometime back and am thrilled to find that the Denver aquarium not only has archer fish, it […]

Sloth Blockage

“Sloths look sweet but they can tear your jugular out with one swipe.” Our volunteer trainer at the Denver aquarium reminded me of a photo shoot I had with a sloth in Columbia.  As you can see below the little guy’s claws did put me on edge. The handler wrapped the sloth’s legs around me slowly as if its limbs required extra time to move, and they did feel stiff, almost creaky. Sloth is not a weakness in the sloth’s case.  It’s about surviving in a predatory jungle.  An animal that moves slowly and sparingly is hard to spot.  Sloths do have […]