Special Bonus Pictures – Harvard Museum of Natural History

These are from Sunday.

Sunday Pictures 2009-04-19

If you want to see captions etc. you can always click the link near the top and view these on Flickr. Some day I’ll write some scripts to import the text so that things will be searchable here.

Tuesday Pictures

Cindy has been sick a lot, so I’ve been spending more time than usual with Amy. On Friday I got to take her to swim class, which meant dealing with the awkwardness of taking a girl through the boys’ locker room. On Sunday we went to the New England Aquarium. It was mostly Amy’s idea, actually. Somehow we’d been talking about the aquarium we went to in Myrtle Beach, and I mentioned that there was one in Boston. The rest, as they say, is history. Her favorite exhibit was the penguins, especially diving and pooping (it’s a pre-schooler obsession). Anyway, here are some pictures of her and of other things from the last couple of months.

A gingerbread-house kit which finally got put together in February.
The view from my hotel room on my last trip to Boulder.
Amy at the jelly (not jellyfish because they’re not fish) exhibit.
My favorite – leafy sea dragons. There are actually three in the picture; two greenish-gold ones at the top and an even better-camouflaged one in the middle.
Amy and the shark (not sure what kind).

Oak Apple Galls

While I’m talking about oak trees, here’s the solution to another mystery. We often find little brown-spotted green spheres in our yard or neighborhood.

Not knowing what they are, I’ve called them pods and Amy has come to consider them an exciting find. As it turns out, “pod” is pretty appropriate because they’re actually galls formed by a species of wasp and even have wasp larvae in them. Click on either the picture above or the one below (from two different sites) for more info.

Walking to Work

On this drizzly and dreary day, I just have one picture to post. This is from October 27, when I happened to have my camera with me and had to park in the far lot at work. As I crossed the bridge that separates the two parts of “the pond” I noticed that the water was unusually still, so I stopped to snap this.

Scary Pumpkin

OK, folks, this is a scary pumpkin.

Myrtle Beach

Last weekend, we all went down to Myrtle Beach SC to help our good friends Scott and Frances celebrate their marriage (which was actually in Georgetown but close enough). It was a beautiful ceremony in a grand old Episcopal church, with a reception in the attached hall and a more casual hang-out at the bride’s parents’ house afterward. The house is worth mentioning because it was built in 1775 and still has many of the details – wide floorboards, fireplace in every room, huge high-ceilinged kitchen with a servants’ staircase up from it – characteristic of that era, plus there were plenty of old books and antiques and so on (including a framed 1754 letter of commission for some ancestor) to spark wonder and conversation. Of course, I thought it would be impolite to go around snapping lot of pictures. Besides, between enjoying the friendly conversation on such a joyous occasion and making sure Amy didn’t knock over any of the priceless items lying around (which includes wedding gifts) I was kind of occupied.

The wedding was on a slightly drizzly Saturday, and we didn’t do much after we got to the hotel. Sunday was supposed to be even drearier but, while it was cloudy, it didn’t actually rain so we enjoyed the beach and the seven swimming pools (including one “lazy river”) at our hotel. Monday was the big surprise. Partly it was a surprise because we hadn’t intended to be there for the whole day. There was a mixup with our flight, so we had some time to kill – but no rental car, and we’d already checked out of the hotel so we had no place to stash our belongings. It turns out that I’m in Enterprise’s “preferred customer” list from my last job (they don’t need to know that the company no longer exists and probably wouldn’t care if they did) so I was able to get a car despite it being a holiday weekend. With that settled, we hit the beach, the aquarium, and a little carnival near the aquarium. The weather was the nicest it had been, too, so my standard line to coworkers and others who asked has been that there are worse things than to find yourself stranded in Myrtle Beach on a beautiful fall day.

Now, on with the pictures.

Weekend Pictures

Nothing particularly amazing, but I thought these were cool enough to share.

Some clusters of small mushrooms growing inside a rotting log at Drumlin Animal Farm on Saturday. The largest is no bigger than the tip of my finger. Amy actually spotted these and asked what they were, but I didn’t know.
A squash plant taking over a shrub at Bowman school on Sunday.

Drumlin Farm, August 10

Nothing earth-shattering here, just some generally nice pictures.

A goat standing on an upturned box so she could look over the side of the stall. A greenhouse full of onions.
They had a tepee-like structure like this last year, too. I’m fond of both morning glories and nasturtiums (nasturtia?) so I just had to take a picture. Just a plain old garden-variety cabbage moth. There are thousands of better pictures out there, but I wanted to see what the new camera could do and I think it worked out OK. I’ve had little luck with the macro feature in general, with every picture taken at less than about 1′ being blurry. Maybe there’s some special trick to getting good focus in macro mode, or maybe it’s just an otherwise fine camera’s Achilles Heel.
A goat family portrait. Amy and some other kid I don’t know in the tack room.

Michigan Trip, part 2

These are mostly from the petting farm at Domino Farms in Ann Arbor. I had made the mistake of referring to it as a “petting zoo” at some point, which led to Amy being momentarily disappointed when she realized there wouldn’t be giraffes and such there.

A mara or Patagonian cavy. These were in the barn, kind of tucked in behind the little store and away from where the more familiar animals – goats, pigs, etc. – were. They’re the second largest rodent species (after the capybara), a couple of feet long and up to 35 pounds or so. I’d never heard of them before.
Some long-horned cattle in a field near the petting farm. I realized when I saw these on the way in that I had sort of noticed them on my previous Michigan trip, when I’d picked up a prescription at a medical facility on the vast Domino Farm sprawl, and meant to investigate but then forgotten. This shot is from the hayride.
One of Amy’s little tricks at Kevin’s place was “wearing furniture” – the little armrest covers from the recliner. I’d also like to point out that the nightgown she’s wearing is from fabric she had picked out herself, sewn by Cindy. She loves it.

Now, some video.

(1.7MB AVI, 2.0MB WMV) One of my favorite home-movie segments that I remember from my childhood is of my cousin Pam – very young at the time – trying to blow out the candles on a birthday cake. This is kind of similar.
(3.6MB AVI, 3.1MB WMV) Amy’s absolute favorite animal at the petting farm was this plain old black cat named Squirrel.