Saturday, September 22, 2007

spiders, pigeons, Charlotte, and date night

We have been watching our pet writing spider. (also known as common garden spider or orb weaver) Every few days Daniel will catch a cricket or grasshopper and throw it on the web and we all watch as the spider quickly wraps its prey in its web and starts to eat its insides. It is all very fascinating. This same spider has been on our back porch for several weeks now. We are waiting to see what happens next.

We also went downtown to do some pigeon watching. We counted and sorted pigeons after learning all about them from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. They have great information for "citizen scientists" as a part of their Urban Bird Studies series. We gathered information about the different pigeons and we will go out one more time to collect some more data before sending it off to the lab.

We also went to Discovery Place Museum and the Nature Center in Charlotte on Friday. We loved getting hands and close up experience with all kinds of local creatures (skunks, owls, snakes, turtles, insects, etc.) My favorite were the butterflies. We also observed some chemistry lab experiments in the Discovery Place's Einstein's Corner. We have not read or studied much about chemistry but it was cool to watch the scientist in his tie dye coat doing experiments with balloons, gases, bubbles, fire.

The main purpose of our trip to charlotte was a party for my good friend Kelly who had twins. She was my roommate in college and now lives in Seattle. I loved showing off my girls and Ellen and Arianna were such troopers attending a party where they knew no one. They loved seeing the baby twins and got to hold Kanah. It was great for me to get to see some old friends.

Lastly, Daniel and I got a much needed date night. We dropped the girls off with some friends that are in Daniel's department at USC. Sonya and Gordon were happy to help out. The girls were very shy at first but after they were treated to a warm soy coco drink and Tom and Jerry cartoons they were able to relax and enjoy! Daniel and I scooted over to Five Points and watched the USC/LSU game while enjoying some snacks and drinks. This is Daniel when I told him to pose for a blog picture. We both got a good laugh out of that one:)


Anna Morrison said...

good times, good times!

we had a spider like that in our garden in Boone. they are amazing creatures.

i am officially a jen wanna be. you do great things with your girls. i am proud of you.

love the picture of you two. truly, I do.

Lesley said...

I am so excited about the citizen science project you are doing. Great job finding the Cornell Lab of O - as an ornithologist, I can tell you this is a respected organization and your data will be used! I hope we get to do some bird watching together at the beach here soon!!

Date night? What's that?

Love you,