Nina’s Home

So, Nina got back from her week-long research cruise last night, and she organized a picnic for today. We set sail at around 9:30 am, and once we reached deeper waters we stopped for some homemade muffins and coffee. It was already warm out, and Conan threw himself into the water almost immediately, probably paddling after some fish that he noticed beneath the surface. An Irish setter he may be, but his love of water implies an even more aquatic origin.

Nina, ever the passionate biologist, pointed out various creatures as we drifted. She noticed an otter from very far off, and when I couldn’t see it she whipped out a pair of binoculars. Nine is very familiar with the wildlife here- she sometimes runs the bird watching tours when they need a fill-in. The Lake Champlain region is home to more than 300 species of birds! My favorites are the ospreys, which are not at all uncommon- I often see them from our porch. Nina likes the golden eagles, which are, of course, listed as endangered.

I spent the remainder of the time sketching the shoreline, and did some watercolors as well, and Nina joined Conan for a swim.

Museums and Ancient Art

Yesterday, I spent my entire day visiting the Fleming Museum. Of course, I have been there before, but things close to home are often forgotten, and I must confess that I have never truly paid the museum the respects it so deserves. I had completely forgotten how impressive their collection is! When one is as familiar with ancient art as I, (considering how much time and money I spend on my collection) impressing me is no easy task. Speaking of which- I recently visited two antique galleries I’d never browsed before: Phoenix Ancient Art (owned by the Aboutaam brothers, Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam) and The Merrin Gallery.

Anyway, I was especially enthralled with the museum’s Oceanic collection. Since many antique shops, exhibits and news articles focus on art from ancient Egypt, Asia, and Europe, I was so fascinated to learn about a whole new area of antiques. The Oceanic exhibit presented art and artifacts from areas like New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, the, Aboriginal Islands and so many more. Too bad Nina was away, she would’ve talked my ear off about what an Atlantis exhibit would’ve looked like.

I also spent a lot of time admiring the Native American collection. Our country has such a rich and diverse background, and the Native American artifacts do a wonderful job of coloring in the black-and white picture drawn by history books. I think I recall hearing of a new Native American exhibit opening in the Smithsonian’s late last year; I’m inclined to go check it out.