Sketchbook Thursday No.7


Early Morning, Monterey Bay Aquarium Lobby

This past weekend I had the opportunity to explore Monterey, Pacific Grove and the village of Carmel. An added bonus was the escape from triple digit temperatures here in the valley to the balmy 70º breezes of the Pacific Coast. Instead of setting up my easel outdoors like I had origianlly planned, I took my sketchbook and camera and spent Friday visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It had been years, probably over 20 that I had been there last. What an experience. Admission tickets are sold as two day passes. And you really do need two days to see it all. If you have kids in tow, it could take you a week. The whole facility is kid friendly with hundreds of hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages.



The ever popular sea otter exhibit was entertaining as well as educational. Did you know that otters have a million hairs per square inch of skin? Their dense fur protects them from the cold sea temperature. As I understand it, it would take 100 human heads (with hair) to equal the fur density of an otter!

Leafy Sea Dragon
Leafy Sea Dragon

Currently there is a special exhibit, The Secret Life of Seahorses. There are over 15 different species in the most beautiful tanks you could imagine. A most fascinating and perplexing fact is that the male seahorse is the one who becomes pregnant and bears the offspring. The exhibit highlights their fragile habitat and conservation stations are set up to teach aquarium visitors how to help protect their environment. The strange creature pictured here looks like a floating clump of sea algae. It is a Leafy Sea Dragon, one of the many unusual species of seahorses currently on display.


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4 Responses to “Sketchbook Thursday No.7”

  1. Katherine Kean Says:

    I love that part of the California coastline, but I’ve never visited the Aquarium. I shall have to make a point of it now – who knew that otters have so much hair (wonderful sketch) or that what looks like a clump of algae is a seahorse?

    • Marianne Post Says:

      The Aquarium is celebrating its 25 year anniversary and it has grown tremendously. While I usually paint outdoors when in that area it was fun to revisit a great resource.

  2. Lyra Halprin Says:

    Wow, these are so much fun! I have a lamp from Sue Johnson in Albany with seahorses embedded in the shade – one looks kinda like the leafy one here. Ditto the sea otter & all it’s hair! You are amazing, MP. Your writing & teaching skills are as good as your drawing/painting skills.

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