Every year, during the holiday season, I am graced by the gift and great pleasure of having my niece Jessica Vliet, visit with me for the better part of a week (for the past 2 years, she's come with her lovely boy friend, Joey). It is always among the happiest times of my year, when she crosses the continent and devotes a more than fair share of her attention to her eccentric, middle aged uncle who loves her so.
Part of her annual trek to NYC is always devoted to cultural outings of one kind or another. This year it was to be the American Museum of Natural History. For me, this hallowed place is by far and away, my very first museum memory. My mother tells me that at the age of 2, I had to be physically extricated from the tibia of a brachiosaurus by a security guard. As I clung to the giant, ancient leg bone, not wanting to be removed from it, I proclaimed " But, I love this dinosaur! I love this dinosaur!
This year the "Halls of Oceans" inspired me to take more shots of it than any other hall.
It's dark and eerie. Veiled in the deepest, azure shades, rippling rays of light breaking through the ocean's surface are projected from the floor to the soaring ceiling, from which hangs a 100 foot long, Fiberglass Blue Whale.
The denizen's of these displays are all so masterfully executed from the meekest to the most menacing. The above composite is an image I've recognize in my head for more years than I will count, so many memorable monsters in a single pane, strangely cooperating rather than eating each other.