Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monsters In Your Backyard...

Friday's trip with Aunty S. and Cousin M. to the Royal Botanical Gardens to see the "Bug Show"...

Professor Buzz McFly tells us all about the wonderful world of entymology and how insects are so very important to the Earth. Sebastian was absolutely horrified at first but came to be quite charmed by Prof. McFly by the end of our visit. He even worked himself up to pressing the button (to start the animatronics) himself...much to the delight, I'm sure, of the poor soul working at the admissions desk nearby. She's probably ready to take a giant fly swatter to Professor McFly by the end of each day....

A giant Monarch butterfly...the first of the gigantic insects.

Savannah 'rubs some bugs' at one of the craft table. She now has quite a colourful collection of rubbings papering her bedroom wall.

A few views from the top of the Atrium where the giant bugs were. It's a new section of the RBG and is a beautiful building...sunlight streaming through the windows, flowers and plants growing everywhere...Oh, and a mammoth freakin' tarantula..

Two Atlas beetles duke it out.....

Team work to match the different bug parts together....
Savannah and Cousin M. try to get a closer look at the Tomato Caterpillar's mouth parts...
A great honkin' snail. Native to Africa (glad its not native to MY garden)...but really, super cool. I got to hold a mealworm and was offered an up-close-and-personal with a Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula. I declined. But first, I shrieked like a girl.

Sebastian studies population proportions. The big plastic globe is filled with different coloured foam balls, each representing a proportion of life on Earth - mammals, birds, insects etc. Did you know that insects represent 75% of all life on this great planet? The best part is that when you press a button, a fan blasts some air into the globe, sending the balls flying around like one of those lottery machines. Sebastian pressed the button many, many, many, many times. :)

The robotic bugs. Designed to be great lessons in robotics and how insects move their many legs, but mostly it was just fun to watch them jive around the floor when the joysticks were jiggled just so.

Then we went to the Mediterranean Gardens. A school group invaded the Atrium - they had certain Things To Learn and had Clipboards and Forms To Fill Out and really cramped our free-for-all wild learning style, so we went to look at the fish instead. It was infinitely more Zen.

It's official - the first picnic of 2009! The Hendrie Garden was closed so we found a table amongst the trees, pooled our bounty and enjoyed a lovely sunny day.

Then we headed back in to see the bugs. The school kids had all been herded off to a classroom for their lunch so we had the Atrium pretty much to ourselves. And of course, it wouldn't be a trip without some shopping so we hit the gift shop where all the kids bought a Big Bag of Bugs which can now be found in odd places around our house.

'Twas a grand day indeed.

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