Saturday, January 10, 2009


The boys and I were back at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham today for their Birdapalooza event. We had a SUPERB time! This is our 3rd weekend visit in a row, and it seems like we have more fun every time we go!!!
First, we went to the 10:30 Birdman Dave show where we met his Macaw, Bell, and his Barred Owl, Christopher Columbus. We got to see both birds up very close, and we even got to see both birds fly. Super neat. Birdman Dave was great with the kids.

Second, we visited with the museum's Red-Tailed Hawk, Misha, in the farmyard. Very interesting, again, to see such a beautiful bird up so close. Misha put on a nice show for us opening her feathers and sitting pretty.

Third, we met Ranger Greg at the gate to the Explore the Wild exhibit and went on an hour bird walk. I saw a Belted Kingfisher for the first time. We discovered a Hummingbird's nest made out of lichen up in a Loblolly. We got to watch a Red-Bellied Woodpecker working on making a home in a hole in the branch of a Loblolly. We saw a pine sisken at the museum's bird feeders. It was really fun to walk with a group of folks all interested in spotting birds. Ranger Greg gave us a lot of good tips on how to look for different types of birds. One was to learn what seeds and berries various birds prefer and then look for those plants to find the birds. I definitely saw more on my bird walk with Ranger Greg today than I would have seen on my own.

Fourth, we went on the train. No trip to the museum is complete without a train ride:-)

Fifth, we walked back into the Explore the Wild exhibit and met Ranger Greg again this time to see a Red-Shouldered Hawk. WOW! This hawk tolerates people well and sat unbothered for over 15 minutes while a bunch of people took pictures of him. This whole experience was just too cool for words.

Sixth, we went to the butterfly house for the 3PM release. Joey didn't exactly get to hold a butterfly today, but one did fly out of the release cage and land in his hair and sit there for several minutes. Everyone was taking pictures of him. What a pretty Owl Butterfly. Seems appropriate it was named after a bird since it was after all Birdapalooza day:-)

5 hours later, we were ready for a trip to the gift shop and then some food!

We'll be watching the museums website for their next fun event.
Here are the best of the rest of the pics from today.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Chocolate Machine

Joey and I attended Gerbo's Gravity Racer Workshop at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham this afternoon. Steve Gerberich, the artist behind the Holiday Springs and Sprockets exhibit, hosted the workshop. Joey and 6 other boys near his age worked with supplies and tools provided by the workshop to construct a race car. A basic wood rectangle for the base and 4 bolted on wheels were the foundation for each racer. Then, the kids got to search in Mr. Gerberich's bins for items to decorate their racers. The kids could hot glue on items up to 16oz and then take home the finished race car. Joey found a wood piece in the shape of a Hershey's Chocolate Kiss and used that as the focal point of his decorations. He had a small glass bottle, a cork, a spring, and a spoon too. There were several practice runs some of which ended up in us having to reglue pieces on the Chocolate Machine racer. In the end, Joey's car was pretty fast, but there was one car faster, the Arrowhead by Andre.

Joey talked of nothing but going to the workshop all week, and I expect him to continue to talk about this experience for the week to come as well. He was pretty darn excited! So was Mom!!! We had a great time and would do other museum workships in the future. We also hope to see more of Mr. Gerberich's work sometime again soon too.

All of today's pics are here.