On Saturday afternoon, we went canoeing on the Hillsborough river. While the starting point looked a little unimpressive, the river was gorgeous, flowing through a peaceful cypress swamp. We saw many birds, including ibis, osprey, anhinga, and several different species of heron. Other wildlife included spiders (my canoe had at least 15 8-legged hitchhikers by the end, most likely due to our tendency to steer into trees), damselflies, and alligators! The river was surprisingly pristine and a great escape from the busy metropolis of Miami.
Although we missed meeting the penguins in the lobby, the Florida Aquarium was worth seeing! We enjoyed all of the exhibits, including a stingray/bamboo shark and a Pacific Northwest invertebrate touch tank. There was even a special section devoted to the art of home aquariums with helpful tips and tanks filled with species you could have in your home. The centerpiece of the aquarium was an enormous tank filled with sharks, moray eels, barracuda and a very wide array of fish species.
-Kathryn Doering with Allison LaChanse