The Family

The Family

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Field Trip Double Dose

In trying to simplify life, or at least live where I don't feel like I'm rushing from one place to the next, I've made a conscious attempt to limit our commitments lately.

But when I got notices about the two field trips we took this week, I knew these were commitments to make.

On Thursday we visited the Planetarium in Montgomery, Ala. The moderator there told us they were Montgomery's best-kept secret. Apparently, because the place has been open since 1968, and a native of Alabama, I never knew it existed until two years ago.

While small, it has a lot to offer. The shows that run on the domed ceiling are fantastic. My favorite part was when the moderator pointed out what the night sky in our area looks like, with Venus and Jupiter currently visible above the horizon. This fact gave me a real thrill because a few weeks ago we sat in the backyard as the sun went down and could clearly see both. At the time we weren't sure what those were, but now we know they are planets!!!

She also pointed out the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. We all loved that because our dog is named Sirius. Now we named him after the Harry Potter character, not the star, but I have a feeling JK Rowling got quite a few character names, including Sirius, from constellations or ancient Greek. Characters such as Regulus (brother to Sirius), Draco and Remus are a few other examples. And to make the connection even more clear, did you know that Sirius is the "dog star?" Pretty cool, huh!

Then on Friday we headed out to the Poultry Science Research Center here at Auburn University to learn a bit about chickens. Truth be told, I wasn't sure my two were going to be that keen on chicken research, but boy was I wrong.

The hour-long program was fantastic! All the children enjoyed drawing their own chicken inside of the egg.

They talked a lot about chicken and egg facts, which all the children - and adults - found fascinating. We learned why some chickens lay brown eggs and why some are white (hint: the color of their ears), how long it takes a baby chick to fully develop inside an egg (21 days) and all about chicken anatomy (do you know what the comb and waddle are?).

At the end they brought out a HUGE chicken for the children to observe and pet. My two were all about it until the chicken started pooping everywhere. To say Mattie had a minor meltdown about the poop would be an understatement. And in the interest of full disclosure, on the inside, her mother was having the same said meltdown.

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