Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sharks and Butterflies

This week's Phineas and Ferb Friday was based on "Belly of the Beast. " In this episode the brothers make a mechanical shark and Dr. Doofenshmirtz makes lots and lots of saltwater taffy.
We made a papier-mâché shark. Not really to Phineas and Ferb standards--but we try.

Next we visited the lab of a friend from church to see sharks and other sea creatures.

This is a leopard shark. Nick's specialty is Mako sharks. However, they do not adapt well to captivity, so no Mako sharks for us. We did see a lot of other amazing sea creatures, including: abalone, cuttlefish, sting rays, star fish, sea urchins and anemones.

Above, Nick is showing us a brittle starfish. Everyone loves it when Nick is speaking in church. He always finds a way to tell a good shark story. On Friday he had lots of good stories for us. Just last week he was tagging manta rays in Mexico and swimming with whale sharks--whale sharks (for those of you who don't regularly read shark books to their children) are the largest fish on earth up to 30 feet long. Can you even imagine? And he was putting cameras in their mouths.

One of the many things I learned is that if you lick a sea anemone it will make your tongue fizz and pop and then go numb for about an hour. I guess the young men in our ward have all tried it. We all declined.

Check-eth it out, he also took us out on the famous Scripps Pier. (Yeah, "Check-eth it out" is a reference from the Belly and Beast episode. Those of you not familiar with Phineas and Ferb are really missing out. We watch it on NetFlix.)

Phineas and Ferb Fridays are so fun, our group keeps getting bigger and bigger. And this is not even a complete photo--no adults and no Lizzy.

Oh here's Lizzy holding up Emma to see into the tanks. I can't say how much more fun it was to see the animals in a lab versus in an aquarium. It was so good of Nick to take the time to show us around. And he was so patient with our large, often very loud group. Thank You.

Afterward, we thought we might make homemade taffy--ala Doofenshmirtz. But saner minds prevailed and we decided snacking on store bought taffy and hitting a shark piñata would be enough fun.

It was.

Yes, it was.

Now for the butterflies. Several years ago I gave my mom California milkweed seeds for her birthday. Hoping to attract monarch butterflies I had tried growing them in my own yard but without success. My mom had a green thumb and her plants flourished. After she died, we moved a couple milkweed plants from her yard. Each year the we seem to get more and more butterflies. We like to capture a few caterpillars and bring them into the house so we can watch them grow big and fat, form a pale green chrysalis and then come out a new creature.

It so amazing when the butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis. A new monarch is like a newborn who instinctively grasps on to your finger. A newborn butterfly--still drying it's wings-- seems to prefer human companions. One butterfly we nicknamed Leroy stayed in Lizzy's hair for more than 8 hours.

Watching the whole process has filled our home with hope. The caterpillar turning into a butterfly is such a beautiful metaphor. When we didn't know better we mistook one black chrysalis as a failure. All the plants in the jar had wilted and there was some mold growing. Then we noticed the chrysalis was moving. We discovered that the chrysalis turns black just before the butterfly emerges. One more reminder that sometimes what we mistake for the end, is actually a new beginning.


Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

I loved everything about this post from the creativity of your P&F Fridays to the butterflies.

I'm taking hope in the black chrysalis.

Brandan and Becky said...

Sharks are so super cool! Were you sad to smash your pinata? It looked awesome. I would join your group if I lived closer. Beautiful butterflies, too.

Jordan said...

I am so glad we get to join all the fun of Phineas and Ferb Fridays. Our Fridays would be so boring without friends like the Mitchells. My mom had fun tagging along on our adventures last week.

Linn said...

Our kids LOVE Phineas and Ferb. What a great idea! We need to try that next summer.

And loved what you said about the butterflies. We miss you all!

Ken said...

Thank you for this interesting blog. Glad to see you are still raising butterflies! I missed seeing Zoey. Was she the photographer for P&F this week?

Rock said...

this is interesting blog and loved post pics