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Greenland Shark Facts Because “SHARK WEEK!”

Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

Greenland sharks are seriously interesting sharks, so I was really looking forward to doing the Info portion of this post. πŸ™‚ I had also intended to include an illustration like I did for my recent Whale Shark Post, but 1.) Greenland sharks are kind of wonky to try to draw/color (at least for me) and 2.) My access to scanners is much more limited at the moment than I had anticipated. So thank you google images! Phew! Excuses aside, onto the info:

Greenland sharks are part of the family of sharks known as Somniosidae, more commonly known as “sleeper sharks”. As the name would imply, this group of sharks are the more mellow of the bunch, swimming at lower speeds and just being pretty “chill” in general. The Greenland shark specifically is known to be the world’s slowest shark, not even reaching 1 mile per hour.

Other names for the Greenland shark include: the “gurry shark”, “grey shark”, and “eqalussuaq“.

These guys get old. Like, realllly old. Being the longest-living of all vertebrate species, these big guys are estimated to be capable of living for anywhere between 200 to even 500 years!

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Many people tend to only think of sharks living in warmer waters, but Greenland sharks prefer the cold. In fact, they can be found thriving in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters year round, making the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Canada their home.

Comparable in size with the Great White, these predators have never been recorded to attack humans. They sustain themselves by hunting and scavenging, and have been found with some interesting things in their stomachs when caught. (One particular Greenland shark on record was even found with the body of an entire reindeer in its stomach!) Due to their slow speed, scientists were surprised that these guys were able to prey on living seals which can travel so much faster . . . until they discovered that Greenland sharks were nomming on the speedy little guys while they were sleeping under water.

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Due to the depths these guys like to hang out in, their tissue is loaded with a potent neurotoxin (trimethylamine oxide) making their meat toxic. Despite this, they are still hunted for food, and through a lengthy and longstanding process involving fermentation and curing of the meat, they are not only eaten, but even considered a delicacy in Iceland.

There are loads of other awesome things to learn about these sharks whether it comes to them themselves or the mythology that surrounds them. Seriously, if you’re looking for an interesting shark to research, look no further than the Greenland shark. They may not be much to look at to most, but they truly are fascinating. πŸ™‚

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Whale Shark Drawing/Facts

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Drawing by IgnitedMoth (aka: ME!) πŸ˜‰

My favorite shark of all is none other than the whale shark, so of course I had to do a Shark Week post about these docile behemoths. πŸ™‚

As their name would imply, these magnificent creatures are HUGE. On average, a mature whale shark is estimated to reach lengths of 32 feet, and to weigh in at a massive average of 20,000 pounds! (Even larger specimens than that have been recorded, though, believe it or not.) It’s no surprise that they are the largest fish in the world.

Don’t let their massive size intimidate you though, because these sharks are the gentle giants of the ocean. They’re actually filter feeders who use their giant gaping mouths to dine on plankton and some small fish and other itty bitty sea critters.

Much like how two tigers never have the same stripes, no two whale sharks have the same spot/stripe pattern.

Whale sharks have some BIG mouths. (All the better to nom on all that tasty plankton with!) A mature whale shark’s mouth is about five feet wide on average and is home to over 300 teeth. (Again, no worries about them coming up to divers for a little nibble. They’re basically giant cinnamon rolls just floating around doing their thing.) Fun Fact, though: These guys will use their giant mouths to suck out a free meal from the full nets of fishermen. I personally find this hilarious. Way to stick it to the man, whale sharks!

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All in all, whale sharks rock and are to be respected for the mellow and distinguished sharks they are.

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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! My favorite week for television is upon us: SHARK WEEK! πŸ˜€ I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when Shark Week is on, Discovery Channel reigns supreme in my home. I love sharks (and marine life in general) so an entire week of non-stop specials about sharks is always a big plus in my book. πŸ˜‰ Let the binge-watching begin!

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In honor of Shark Week, I will be posting multiple shark-related posts throughout the week that I’ve been putting together. You can count on there being a couple new drawings and plenty of snazzy shark facts I thought you guys might find interesting. I’ve got several posts that shine a light on some of my favorite types of sharks. πŸ™‚ Hopefully you will enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ve been enjoying creating them. ❀

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So, how about you? Are any of you fine folks planning to partake in the “Jawsome” glory that is Shark Week? Any particular sharks you’re hoping to see and/or learn more about from this year’s specials? Ever seen or encountered a shark in real life?? Let’s talk SHARKS!! πŸ˜€

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Aaaaand on a related note, I’m still attempting to catch up on reading other blogs after my recent absence. There’s so much to catch up on and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. πŸ™‚ It’s amazing how fast you can get behind and how long it takes to try to catch up. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

 

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Science & Nature Days: Geode Project!

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Have you ever had one of those days at work where you just wanna take a hammer and SMASH things?? Well, I got to do just that recently. πŸ˜› I found this cool geode project in a catalogue that I thought would be fun for a science and nature day project. I thought we could get the job done with the tools pictured above, grossly underestimating just how hard we had to smack the hammer against these geodes, so it was time to up our game and get a bigger hammer!

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With the proper tools for the job, we busted these little bad boys open, sending sparks flying multiple times in the process, and were delighted to see what we could find inside. πŸ™‚ Some were duds, but some were quite pretty. My photos unfortunately don’t quite do them justice, but I wanted to share them just the same.

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We get to do some pretty snazzy things at work, but my favorite days are usually the ones we do fun nature projects. For our next science and nature adventure we’re going to be hanging out with rescued sea turtles and other cool marine critters at the aquarium. Needless to say, I cannot wait! πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend, everyone! ❀

Posted in nature, Uncategorized

Flower Friday Post 3: Rhododendron

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Woo! It’s finally Friday, which means it’s not only time for the weekend, but also another Flower Friday! πŸ˜€ Some of you might remember Last Flower Friday, when I mentioned that the rhododendron in my backyard finally had one single bud on it. Well, as you can see from the picture above, that lone bud turned into a poofy pink ball of magnificence. And several more sprouted up to join it, much to my delight!

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The leaves on this plant are pretty interesting, being much thicker and coarser than your typical plant leaves. Fun Fact: The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal. I can totally see why, too, because they’re absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be sad to see these guys go once they’ve finished blooming.

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I’ve got some yellow irises blooming out in the front yard right now, too. Those were quite the pleasant surprise to say the least. This past Memorial weekend I spent a lot of time out in the yard getting stuff done. Weeding, raking, trimming, more weeding. It was exhausting in the heat, but it really did make a big difference. Oh, and the pine cones. SO. MANY. DAMN. PINE. CONES. They’re everywhere. I rake them up one day, and the giant pine tree by my back porch promptly projectile vomits them up all over again by the next day so that my porch is covered once more.

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If this were accurate I’d be rich AF, just sayin’.

Well, that’s it for this week’s Flower Friday. Are you planting/growing anything special at the moment? Have a great weekend, everyone! ❀

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Flower Friday: Weeping Cherry Blossoms

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I’ve been loving Read Rant Rock & Roll‘s awesome Flower Friday posts for a while now, so when they recently suggested I join in on the fun, of course, I decided to do just that!

I’ve been snapping plenty of photos since the first plants of spring began to bloom, so I’m excited to get to share some of them with you. πŸ™‚ For my first Flower Friday post I thought I’d share a couple quick pics I took from the weeping cherry tree in my backyard. I love this tree so much. ❀

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Like your traditional weeping willow tree, the weeping cherry tree has cascading branches that hang low, but are covered in hundred of beautiful little white or pink blossoms.

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Happy Earth Day + Garden Haul + Garter Snake Pics

Yay! Not only does it finally feel like spring here in Michigan, but it’s also Earth Day! πŸ™‚ It was the perfect day to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and start planning for this year’s gardening.

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After an absolutely fabulous margarita-drag queen-and-true crime-filled start to the weekend withΒ Cupcakes and Machetes, today was a laid back, lazy day mostly spent outside. I went out with my mom to a fantastic garden center and nursery that was having some really good sales. Here’s some pics from my little plant haul:

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Peas, Parsley, and Basil.

and

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There are some yummy salads in my future. πŸ˜›

aaaaaand

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Strawberries in the making!

I didn’t get a pic of the cherry bush I bought my mom as an early Mother’s Day gift, but she was really excited about it. πŸ™‚ The place we went to was wonderful and I wanted to buy all the things. (Especially with all the great deals they had going on.)

I hope everyone is having an amazing Earth Day and that the weather where you’re at allows you to get out and fully enjoy the great outdoors. ❀ Considering it was about a week ago that I had to literally chisel my way into my car because it was completely covered in a thick layer of ice, I was more than ready for some nice weather like this.

Aaaand here’s some cute little garter snake buddies I crossed paths with while out and about today.

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Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

SHARK WEEEEEEK!!

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Awwww, Yeaaaahhhhh! It’s that magical time of year again, guys: SHARK WEEK!!

I’ve always loved sharks, so tuning into Discovery Channel each Summer for all this sharky goodness has been an absolute must for me for as long as I can remember. You know how a lot of people get pumped up about the Super Bowl? That’s me with Shark Week. πŸ˜›

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Disclaimer: This image may be photoshopped.

Shark Week has always given us landlubbers a chance to see (and learn about) what’s really going on out there in the deep blue yonder. I love sharks, but like a lot of things in nature, I prefer to love them from afar. Preferably curled up under a blanket with my cat minion purring beside me as we nom popcorn like sharks nom their prey.

A lot of people tend to mainly think of Great Whites when they think of Shark Week, but several of my favorite programs over the years has focused on the vastly different species of shark. Monday, for example, there will be a program called “Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins” about some of the unsung heroes of the shark populace, the bizarre weirdos of the deep. πŸ™‚

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How about you? Are you going to watch any (or all of) Shark Week? I’ll admit, tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones will manage to pry me from my shark binge for at least an hour, but otherwise it’s gonna be sharks all day, every day.

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Wishing a merry and Jaw-some shark week to one and all! πŸ˜‰

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A Beautiful June Day

Well, this weekend came and went pretty quickly if you ask me. Heck, this year is going by pretty quickly, too. Can you believe we’re already six months in? Madness, I tell you!

It was such a beautiful day today that I decided to take some photos of all that lovely outdoorsy goodness! πŸ™‚

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Found this cute little bumble buddy bro-ing about on the peonies that just recently bloomed. He didn’t seem to mind me capturing the moment as he pollinated around. Maybe he’s an exhibitionist. Who am I to judge?

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Check out all that leaf lettuce looking all scrumptious. Can’t wait to start eating it all up. Awesome for salads and great on sammiches. ❀

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I was really hoping to get a picture of the baby robins to share with you guys but they’ve gone and left the nest already. I even checked around below the nest to make sure they hadn’t fallen out or anything. It makes sense, they’d gotten pretty big, but last I saw they still had some of those Bernie Sanders tufts of white fuzz on them, so I thought they’d be sticking around a little longer. So, sorry, you guys just get a pic of the empty nest. :/

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Some of the other peonies. It’s kind of hard to tell, but they’re a really light pink and light cream color, but they mostly look white in the photos.

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We’ve got tons and tons and TONS of these pretty white flowers. Seriously, this is only a small sampling of them.

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Again, this is just a bit of them, but it goes to show how many little clusters of them there are in a small area. They’re pretty lovely when you get the whole view of them all.

So, those are my outdoors pics I thought I’d share with you guys. Hope you’re all having a great weekend with just as nice of weather wherever you might be. ❀

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Help Bees Help YOU!

Hey, you! Yeah, you! You like food, right? Well, so do bees. And bees (being the bad ass little pollinators they are) help provide us with so much of the food we eat to stay alive. Cheerios and Veseys Seeds recognize the major decline in bee colony numbers and are giving away MILLIONS of wildflower seeds for FREE to people in the U.S. and Canada to encourage people to do their part and get planting!

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Cupcakes and Machetes and I have already signed up for our seeds so give into peer pressure and be sure to do it too! It’s seriously SO easy. Just click this magical link of awesomeness and get those free seeds!! πŸ˜€

Not a bad deal, right? Everyone wins. Free flowers, bees get some much-needed help, you get to enjoy some gardening when spring hits, bee colonies hopefully grow and flourish and the world gets to continue stuffing their faces with all those delicious fruits and veggies and other nutritious noms.

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We’re all on this planet together, and it’s up to us to take care of one another and the earth itself. Even simple little things like this make a big difference if enough of us get off our butts and do something.

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