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A Trip to “SPACE” at the Center for Puppetry Arts!

WE HEAD TO SPAAAACE!

            This past Saturday we went to see “SPACE” an original show by Jon Ludwig at the Center for Puppetry Arts! It was an amazing ride and great fun! The premise: Rockin’ aliens come to earth and whisk the audience away in their spaceship to teach us all about outer space! And let us tell you these aliens can rock!

You meet the three rocking aliens and their pilot and mechanic of the spaceship; Eema and Ot! They are fun pair! The aliens and Eema and Ot take you on an adventure through our solar system with some great songs that help you learn! Sir Issac Newton, the scientist who discovered gravity makes an appearance in the show! He even uses an elephant as an example to explain gravity! See we elephants are everywhere!

We loved the man in the moon number that explained the phases of the moon! An Ellie and Edmond moon tidbit: Did you know that many animals rely on the phases of the moon? Horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate during the new and full moon in spring. Baby sea turtles use the moon to guide them to the ocean after they hatch on land!

We learned all about the sun, Mercury, Venus and then headed through the asteroid belt! That’s right folks; we went through an asteroid belt, where we saw some amazing singing asteroids! After that, the aliens stopped at Jupiter and Saturn! Keep an eye out for a special number from Saturn!

The aliens then head out in to our galaxy, the Milky Way (yum)! Then after learning all about galaxies and stars, the aliens took us back to earth, where they sang a song about how awesome our planet is and how we need to take care of it! We loved this song the best and Edmond was dancing the whole time! We definitely agreed that we need to take care of our planet! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at “SPACE” and we can guarantee that you will too!

Ellie gives it 4 out 4 trunks for the great science.

Edmond gives it 4 out of 4 horseshoes for the great music!

We recommend that your gallop and don’t walk to The Center for Puppetry Arts to catch all the outer space fun!

We have our own space helmets and we're ready!

The show runs Jan 26th-March 11, 2012 every Tuesday-Sunday. Here’s the website for more details: http://www.puppet.org/perform/space.shtml

Here are some photos from our trip!

Aliens lurk in the lobby of The Center for Puppetry Arts!Opening weekend!You can make your own alien puppet! FUN!Here we are with an alien!Here we are with the program!

Categories: Atlanta, Children, education, Local, Puppets, science, space | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Interview with a Reindeer Puppet Wrangler

You know Dasher and Dancer and Comet and Cupid… but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? That’s right it’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Last week we went to the Center for Puppetry Arts here in Atlanta to see “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”! It is a live adaptation of the beloved TV special and we loved it! There are dancing and singing snowmen, trees, raccoons, bunnies and squirrels! Oh yeah, and reindeer! There’s a snow monster, misfit toys, a lion king and last but not least Santa! What more could you want in a puppet show? It a word, it’s fabulous!

We had a chance to interview one of the talented puppeteers from the show! And man was she nice! Here’s our interview with Allison Murphy who plays Rudolph and Mrs. Claus.

 

Us: What’s it like playing a reindeer?

Allison: It’s fun and new, because you don’t meet many reindeer.

Us: How did you prepare to play Rudolph? Did you talk to any live reindeer?

Allison: No, I wish I had to talk to a reindeer, but they are hard to meet in Atlanta.  (Allison did tell us that she watched the TV special to get into character.)

Us: Do you play any other animals in the show?

Allison: Not usually, I sometimes play a raccoon. I do play a dancing tree too.

 

Us: Ellie’s favorite character in the show is of course the spotted elephant and Edmond’s is Rudolph. Who is your favorite character?

Allison: It depends on the day. I like Charlie in a Box and Sam the snowman because he’s a good storyteller.

 

Us: What is your favorite part of the show? We loved it when Sam the Snowman sings “Silver and Gold” and the animals decorate the tree! There were cool special effects during that part!

Allison: I like the “We’re a Couple of Misfits” song sung by Rudolph and Herbie and I like the “Silver and Gold” scene. I get to take a break during that song. (Turns out the adolescent Rudolph puppet is pretty heavy, so Allison’s arms need a brake  J!)

 

Us: How long does it take to prepare/rehearse for the show?

Allison: We rehearse for 4 weeks before the show, 6 days a week, 8 hours a day.  (Wow- who knew it took so much work to put on the show!)

Us: How did you get started in puppetry?

Allison: It was accidental. I grew up watching the Muppets and Fragile Rock. I never heard of the Center for Puppetry Arts. A friend who lived in Atlanta said she could get me an audition at the Center, so I came and watched a show and was amazed. I auditioned in 2006 and I got the job. (Allison grew up in Kentucky and attended the Boston Conservatory and has a masters degree in musical theater. Trust us, she can sing and act!)

Us: What advice would you a give a kid or small horse who wants to get into puppetry?

Allison: Come to puppet shows, take workshops at the Center, make puppets, put on shows at home and be creative.  (We thought these are all fun ideas!)

Us: We love that the story of Rudolph is ultimately about “misfits” finding their place in the world. Were you ever a misfit?

Allison: I have always loved music, singing and playing with puppets. The Center is my Island of Misfit Toys, I found a place to fit in here. I think all misfits eventually find their Yukon Cornelius and Herbie.  (We just love this! It’s true all misfits find their place in life! We think being a misfit is great!)

We had such a lovely time talking to Allison. She was so nice to spend some time with a little elephant and horse. After we talked to her, she even took us back stage, and man that was so exciting! We saw how things work and the scenery up close. We couldn’t take pictures, because that ruin the magic of the show! And believe us it’s magical! We did get to take some pictures with young Rudolph and Allison though!

Here we are with Rudolph! YAY!

Rudolph's red nose all lit up! It is very bright! Great for guiding Santa's sleigh!

Allison, Rudolph and us!

Here we are hanging on some snow scenery! Edmond wants to be a puppeteer now!

You can become a member at the Center!

You have to put “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” on your to do list this holiday season! They sold out all 91 shows last year and have already surpassed the number of people they had last year at this time. The last week of December the Center will have 3 shows a day! Whew, we bet our friend Allison and the rest of the puppeteers will be pooped by then! Good luck!

Here’s more info on the Center for Puppetry Arts and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”:

http://www.puppet.org/

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An Adventure at Pike Nurseries!

It’s the holidays and we wanted to learn about how we could incorporate nature into our holiday celebrations. So we headed to our local Pike nursery to learn all about holiday plants and trees. We met a lovely lady named Alison who showed us around and taught us all kinds of fun stuff! So come join us on our plant adventureJ!

First up, let’s learn about poinsettias!

Beuatiful Poinsettia!

Edmond liked the white poinsettias

Poinsettias are tropical plants, that are native to Mexico and they are beautiful! They come in all kinds of colors (from red to pink to white) and sizes (large and small)! Did you know that the colored part of the poinsettia is actually the leaf and not the flowering part of the plant? We didn’t either! The flower of the poinsettia is in the center of the plant and looks like tiny little yellow Venus Flytraps (at least that’s what Edmond thought they looked like).

  • Red and white speckled!

The yellow center is actually the flower and the leaves are red! Don't the flowers look like Venus Flytraps?

Poinsettias are considered blushing plants; no they don’t turn red when embarrassed, but that would be funny. Their green leaves turn dark purple to red as the days get shorter. Neat!

Did you also know that poinsettias are members of the succulent family? Succulent plants retain water in their leaves and roots and are adapted to live in tropical to desert environments. You may be familiar with cactus, also members of the succulent family! The succulent family of plants is very large and diverse! We found these relatives of the poinsettia at the nursery! They’re called Euphorbia, funny name, pretty plants!

Euphorbia! We thought they look like little palm trees!

More Euphorbia! These kind of look like cactus!

One more type of Euphorbia!

Our new friend showed us the Norfolk Island pine tree! They are a neat little tree that is native to the Pacific Island of Norfolk Island. They are also called the Star pine, because their branches are in a star pattern. These trees do well as house plants, but will not survive outside because they’re tropical! They make great Ellie and Edmond sized Christmas trees too!

Here we are with an Ellie and Edmond sized Norfolk Island Pine!

Norfolk Island Pine!

We also stumbled upon some topiaries! They use ivy to grow around the shape underneath. Edmond especially loved the reindeer topiary!

Edmond loved the reindeer topiary!

The next plant we discovered was the cyclamen! These flowers grown inside out and they smell like crayons! So fun! Each leaf of this plant is looks a little different.  Ellie loved the pink ones!

Ellie with the cyclamen! It smells like crayons!

The last plant we found was the Christmas cactus. They are a tropical plant from South America! The flowers of the Christmas cactus come in white, yellow, red, pink and other colors! These plants also bloom when the days get shorter! We have fun with these!

Christmas cactus with white buds!

We decided to relax among the Christmas cactus! Not all cactus are pointy!

Pike’s has so many beautiful plants and we could have stayed all evening to learn about all them! Alison was a great teacher! You should definitely go and find yourselves some beautiful holiday plants to brighten your home. Remember to do your homework though when getting a plant if you have small pets or children, they can often be toxic, including the poinsettia. Cats especially like to chew on plants, we know, the cat we live with eats plants all the time! We actually eat plants to being herbivores and all!

Check out of some of the other pictures we took as we explored the store!

They had loads of bird seed! You should stop by and get the wild birds in your neightborhood a little Christmas gift :)!

 

Here we are hiding in some poinsettias! Fun!

Beautiful lit trees!

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Walking in a Dino Winter Wonderland!

Walking in a Dino Winter Wonderland!

Have you ever dreamed about going around the world during the holidays? Wonder what it’s like in Australia during Christmas or how people in Chile decorate their homes? Well you are in luck, because without buying a plane ticket or packing a bag you can learn all about holiday traditions around the world at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Winter Wonderland!

We were invited to check out the 28 trees and displays and man did we have a good time! What’s a better combo than dinos and culture? Nothing! Do you know the song “Twelve Days of Christmas”? We’ve decided to tell you about our favorite trees set to the tune of our favorite carol! Forgive us now if it’s doesn’t exactly fit the song, we are just a small elephant and horse!

On the first tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A Troll from Norway!

A troll from Norway!

On the second tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A Maple leaf and a moose!

The Canadian tree! There are Canadian flags with maple leaves all over it! You have to find the moose!

On the third tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: Animals who speak French!

An elephant from one of the many french speaking countries!

A dragon from Vietnam (they speak french there!)

A giraffe from Cameroon

Here we are in front of the French tree with all the fun animals!

On the fourth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A sweet gum and some walnuts!

Gumballs from a sweetgum tree on the tree from Switzerland!

On the fifth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A tree full of green and gold balls!

Brazil's tree had balls of green and gold to represent their flag!

On the sixth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: Chilean butterflies!

The tree from Chile

Edmond loves butterflies!

On the seventh tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: Japanese cranes

The tree from Japan was covered in oragami cranes!

Ellie loved the cranes, especially this shiny one!

On the eighth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A little goose from Denmark

We found this little goose on the Denmark Tree

On the ninth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: Mexican dancing ladies

The Mexican tree has ladies dancing underneath it!

We found this brightly covered chicken on the Mexican tree!

On the tenth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A festival of lights

Ellie loved Genesha, who is an elephant god in India!

On the eleventh tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A Hungarian hedgehog

How cute is this little hedgehog from Hungary?

On the twelfth tree at Fernbank a dino brought to us: A koala playing the drum!

Here we are with the drum playing koala on the Australia tree!

 

A dino tail and trees!

The Great Hall in the evening!

Dance party with Giggy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the trees were and displays were so neat! Each one was sponsored by an organization that represents the individual country and each one has a plaque that tells you all about the holiday traditions of that country! Look for all the animal ornaments, they’re our favorites!  Make sure you put Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland on your holiday to do list!

 

They’re having all kinds of fun holiday celebrations too! Check them out: http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/explore-exhibits/special-exhibitions/winter-wonderland/special-programming/

 

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Field Trip to Elachee Nature Center

FIELD TRIP! We waited and waited for a beautiful day to come so that we could go to the mountains of North Georgia and it finally came! And man what a perfect day; it was a little chilly, the sky was blue and the leaves were brightly colored! We decided to make our way to the Elachee Nature & Science Center for the morning!

We arrived and made our way in the center!

Elachee Nature & Science Center

We spoke to very nice lady who worked there! She first showed us some great touch shelves full of skulls, snake sheds and all kinds of wonderful items!

Ellie and Edmond in front of a horse skull

Touch shelves!

Can you believe they let you touch all these neat items? It was loads of fun!

Here's the beehive!

Next we headed into the center’s museum! We first encountered BEES! Yes, you heard right folks, BEES! The nature center has a small hive of bees that live there! It’s really neat to watch them buzz about and make honey. The bees weren’t super active when we saw them, because they’re getting ready for the cooler temperatures!

The best part of the bees is that you can buy the honey that they make right there in the center!

We moved into the Chicopee Woods story gallery of the museum! You go back in time and learn what today’s woods looked like all the way back to the time before the dinos; and you can do it without a time machine!

We'e about to learn the story of the Chicopee Woods!

We found all kinds of different fossils that came from the area!

Fossils on the bottom of the sea floor!
Fossilized Duck Billed Dinosaur Eggs!

The biggest fossil there was a Mosasaur!

Mosasaur!

Its name means river lizard and it lived during the last 25 million years of the Crustaceous period. This giant marine reptile, a distant relative of snakes, swam in the oceans! Yep, the Chicopee woods at one time were under water! Can you believe it? The center even shows you all the work it takes to dig and find fossils!

Digging for fossils!

Being a paleontologist is HARD work!

Edmond found a sign that said when horses first appeared!

Edmond learns about ancient horses!

Horses started out very small, about the size of a dog! Wow! Edmond was very excited to learn about his ancestors! Recent DNA studies show that horses were very spotty at one point!

The day just got better when Ellie found a fossilized mammoth tooth and hair!

Ellie with the mammoth tooth and hair! That is one BIG tooth!

Did you know that mammoths are early relatives of the modern elephant? Turns out our Asian elephant cousins are more closely related to mammoths than African elephants, but we’re all still family!

As we wandered around we saw and learned all about the events and people that lived in this area throughout history! It was very interesting! We did find this lovely guide to some of the animals you might see in the woods surrounding the center!

Animals you made find in the woods.

We were hoping to see all of them!

The other gallery in the museum talked all about space!

Enter to learn about the stars, planets, moon and sun!

It’s a neat space that talks about the moon and stars and sun. Ellie had to hold Edmond’s hoof because he’s afraid of the dark! Sadly, we didn’t take many pictures because we couldn’t get our camera in the right setting. Trust us, you will not be disappointed!

We then hit up the live animal room underneath the museum! They have all kinds of fun animals living at the center! We found snakes, salamanders, frogs and turtles!

Super cute Eastern Tiger Salamanders! We wondered if they could roar like a tiger! Probably not.

A red rat corn snake posed for us!

An Eastern box turtle is about to chow down on some salad! YUM!

You can even adopt some of these animals! No silly, you can’t take them home, but you can adopt them by helping pay for their care! We wondered if the animal writes you a thank note when you adopt them (that’s hard for snakes).

Our last stop for the day was the Chicopee Woods themselves! We went exploring around the outside of the center and found beautiful fall leaves, animals and scarecrows!

Edmond liked the scarecrow!

The center has loads of trails for you explore, just remember the rules J!

The woods are for everyone!

The nice lady at the center told us that volunteers help to maintain the trails for visitors! It’s so nice of them to do all that work for us to enjoy the woods!

We found these lovely lichen or fungus on a fallen tree!

Lichen or fungus on a tree! Pretty!

We really enjoyed exploring the trail!

Here we are on one of the trails!

Unfortunately the only animal we encountered was a squirrel, but he was pretty cute!

A squirrel grabs a quick bite near the picnic tables!

We’ll have to look harder for more animals next time! We did find some beautyberries and Edmond found a tiny pinecone and Ellie enjoyed hanging out in the leaves!

Beautyberries!

We called these the burnt marshmallow plant! :)!

Edmond found a Edmond sized pinecone!

Ellie enjoyed playing in the leaves!

All in all we had a wonderful time at the Elachee Nature & Science Center! It’s really a gem just north of Atlanta! We’re definitely going back soon and highly recommend that you check it out too!

Categories: Animals, Atlanta, Children, education, Environment, Local, nature, reptiles | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our road trip to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

We recently went on a road trip to the coast of Georgia to meet sea turtles.  We were so excited to go to Jekyll Island and to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where they work very hard to help injured and sick sea turtles. They also do a great job of educating people (and elephants and horses) about sea turtles and how we can help protect them.

We started off the day riding around Jekyll on bikes. Ok, we were in a bag on the back of a bike, but riding no less.  We love seeing the ocean and coastal waters of our home state!

Here we are in front of the water on Jekyll Island

As we watched the water we saw a few dolphins swim by us! That was awesome! Unfortunately they were too fast to get pictures.

After riding around and seeing all the big beautiful houses that are part of the Jekyll Island Club, we made it to the Sea Turtle Center.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

As we entered the center, we were so excited to meet some sea turtles. Little did we know that they had such a great exhibit room with loads of information! We first spotted this funny fish in an aquarium.

Fish in aquarium!

We aren’t sure what kind of fish it is, but we love his googly eyes! Do any of you have any idea what kind of fish he is?

Right next to that fish’s aquarium was a giant window that looked into the turtle hospital exam room.  It was great to be able to see an actual an exam being done on a Green sea turtle.  The center also had a nice lady sitting there to answer any questions we had.

Sea Turtle Center exam and surgery room

If you look closely you’ll see that they were doing an exam on a Green sea turtle. The sign also says the turtle was getting a shell cleaning. Sea turtles often have a problem with excessive barnacles growing on their shell (also called the carapace). This can slow the turtle down so it is important to clean them off their shells.

Staff giving the exam

Green Sea Turtle during his exam. It was good to see the vet staff working so hard to make sure this turtle gets the best care they can give it.

The center has so much great information! This picture shows one of the informational stations!

Information on sea turtle survival

It told us all about the threats to sea turtles, including trash.  Did you know that sea turtles and other marine animals mistake people’s trash for food?  LOne of the sea turtle’s favorite prey is jellyfish.  If they come across plastic grocery bags in the water they mistake them for jellies and eat the bag.  Obviously plastic bags are not food! They also get fish hooks caught in their mouths and throats! Both plastic bags and fish hooks are something we can prevent the turtles from eating by disposing of them properly.

Info on how to help sea turtles

You can even adopt a sea turtle at the center! No silly you can’t bring it home and put it in your bathtub, but giving to the center helps them take care of the turtles!

Did you know that there are 7 species of sea turtles? They are Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley and Flatback. The center has replicas of each one hanging from the ceiling and cool information about each one below them!

Sea Turtle replicas

More sea turtles

Do you know which species is the biggest? If you said Leatherback, you’re right! We met a Leatherback  laying her eggs in Indonesia once- it was AWESOME!

Here we are learning fun facts about Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles

Not only could you view a sea turtle getting an exam, but they had a very small turtle at the center. Her name was Kathy.

Young sea turtle Kathy.

The Center and other researchers from the Georgia coast record how many sea turtle nests are laid each year. Did you know that sea turtles come back to the same shore where they hatched to lay their eggs when they are adults?  As of late August there were almost 2000 nests in Georgia! Wow that is a bunch of baby turtles (also called hatchlings).  Did you know there are numerous volunteers and workers who protect and check on the nests during nesting season?We love people who help wildlife.

Sign showing how many nests there are in Georgia

We went outside the main center to the hospital where sick and injured turtles are cared for and housed.

Here we are outside the Sea Turtle Hospital! Be very quiet!

We also discovered that the center has a few other turtles, including box turtles and terrapins.

Box turtles in a yard next to the hospital

A very teeny tiny terapin! It was only about the size of a half dollar!

The sea turtles in the hospital had all kinds of injuries and illnesses.  We took a few pictures in the hospital, but we wanted to be extra quiet for the patients.

Karen the sea turtle in her tank

Each turtle has a sheet that explains their illness and treatment. Humbolt had eaten a hook 😦

The turtles have to be kept in smaller tubs to keep them from swimming too much. They need their rest; just like you do when you’re not feeling well.  Here’s a list of some of their current patients, http://www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org/our-patients/sea-turtle-patients/current-patients/.

As we exited the Center we looked up in the gift shop and saw an enormous turtle hanging above us! Imagine our surprise! It was a replica of an ancient sea turtle from the Crustaceous period. This turtle swam in the oceans around 74 million years ago.  It was called Archelon ischyros. This turtle was 7 feet long and weighed around 11,300 lbs! That is one big turtle! Anyone have a truckload of jellies handy?

Archelon ischyros hanging in the gift shop

The skull of the giant sea turtle! My what a big beak you have!

Info on the giant sea turtle! This fossil was found in South Dakota! WOW!

We had the best day at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center! We hope everyone makes a trip to visit this very special place! Say hi to the turtles for us if you go! As we left we decided to take a few fun shots!

The center has turtle stepping stones! FUN!

A sea turtle made out of bricks at the entrance!We look very little :)!

Categories: Animals, Atlanta, Children, education, Environment, fish, Local, reptiles | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Animals go Back to School…

We’ve got another post today for Super Surprise Thursday! It’s all about how animals learn in zoos and aquariums in honor of all the kids going back to school!

Well, it’s that time of year again- BACK TO SCHOOL; time for kids pack up their backpacks and lunch boxes and head into a classroom. It’s time to pull out the pens, pencils and crayons and learn all kinds of fascinating information. We hope kids learn all about animals and nature during the year!

We know that kids get very excited about the beginning of the school year, but what about animals? Do you think they learn? Would it be unusual to see an orangutan sitting at a desk or a crow with glasses on, solving math problems? Well, maybe not! Animals learn too! Has anyone ever taught their dog to sit or shake hands? If you have taught your dog some of those tricks, then they learned something. Cool!

We thought it would be fun to look at some ways that animals learn in honor of this awesome time of year! Zoos and aquariums often use training to teach animals! The training is a great way to give the animals enrichment and it also helps keepers take care of the animals. What’s enrichment? Well, enrichment is a way to teach and entertain animals. Here’s an example, gorillas in Africa spend much of their day foraging or searching for food, but they don’t have to do that in a zoo.  Zoo keepers will put food in objects or scatter it around the enclosure so the gorillas have to search for it. It keeps the gorillas busy and it’s more like what gorillas would do in the wild.  Here’s a great explanation from Zoo Atlanta on enrichment:  http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/enrichment

Training also helps keepers take care of wild animals. You can’t just walk up to a tiger and give them a pill or walk up to a rhino ask them to get on a scale! Keepers work to train animals using positive reinforcement! They can train animals to show their mouths, sit on scales, and even to be given shots.  We’ve found some great websites on training animals in zoos and aquariums! Let’s check them out!

The St Louis Zoo does a great job taking care of their animals through training! http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/enrichmenttraining/animaltraining.htm Who knew it takes 3 people to give a giraffe a manicure? And who knew they needed manicures?

Disney also has a great site all about enrichment and training! Tons of great info! http://www.animalenrichment.org/guests.html

The National Zoo has a list of the items they use for enrichment: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Primates/Enrichment/default.cfm

Here’s a great video about training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7FE-UA2Z38&playnext=1&list=PLEF90075590A06F31

 

Animals have almost as much to learn as you do! Whew!  Did you know that there are chimpanzees that know sign language, that there are birds that can count and that there are animals that use tools? We’ll be writing about these amazing animals soon! Now it’s time to get back to your homework!

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Reptile Day at Fernbank Natural History Museum

We decided to go on an adventure to Fernbank Natural History Museum! We’ve been here before, but once we heard they were having Reptile day on July 30th we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet some rockin’ reptiles. Luckily our friend Ayden and his mom came with us!

The dinos look watch over reptile day!

Fernbank is already one of our favorite places in Atlanta with its awesome dinosaurs, its IMAX theater and its new Fernbank NatureQuest, this place is one learning adventure after another! We walked in and the great hall was filled with different environmental groups and animal lovers! And they brought all kinds of reptiles!

Our friend Ayden was excited as we were to meet all the animals! Our first stop was to see a Blue Tongue Skink.We weren’t able to touch him, being an elephant and a horse, but people could and according to our friends he was very smooth and cool! Blue Tongue Skinks are native to Australia. They’re omnivores and eat insects, fruit and flowers and the best part is they have a blue tongue (sadly the skink wouldn’t show us his though).

As we wandered around the exhibits we stopped by to check out the frogs The Atlanta Botanical Gardens brought! Ok, so frogs aren’t reptiles they’re amphibians, but let’s face it- they’re super cool! We saw several different kinds of frogs but our favorite was the Glass Frog!

Look close and you can see his internal organs!

His skin is very transparent so you could see his internal organs (or insides as Edmond likes to call them)! The Atlanta Botanical Gardens does some great work to help frogs in the wild! We’re definitely going to have to go and check it out!

The next animal we saw was a Red-tailed rat snake and we were so lucky to watch him put his tongue out! Did you know that snakes “smell” with their tongues? Because snakes don’t smell through their nostrils; they use their forked tongues to gather particles in the air. They then analyze the particles using a special organ called the Jacobson’s organ! Pretty neat! We wondered what the snake smelled…

This snake was all twisted up in knots! I know this elephant can’t do that, can you? Snakes skeletons are very flexible and enable them to slither, climb and ball up.

Here’s picture of Argentinosaurus! That is one BIG dino!

We then were able to meet a ball python. Again our human friends were allowed to touch but no such luck for an elephant and a horse :(. These snakes are from Africa and are called ball pythons because when threatened they ball up to protect themselves. That is a neat adaptation!

There were some really amazing turtles and tortoises there too! Including some really big ones, but our favorite was the mata mata. We’d never seen one before and we thought it was so funny looking! Turns out this master of camouflage is from parts of South America. They use their leaf like appearance to blend in with the rocky bottoms of streams and creeks. It’s an ambush predator and lays in wait for a fish to swim by so they can them suck up! They can’t chew so the fish is swallowed whole! WOW!

We decided to end our day with a couple of snapshots!

We are very little compared to this giant dino 🙂

We made one last stop to snap our picture with an Andean Milk Snake! It was such a fun day at Fernbank’s Reptile Day. The only bad part was we wanted to meet Giggy A Dinosuar, hopefully we can meet up next time!

Categories: Animals, Atlanta, Children, education, Local, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hi!!

Hi! We're hanging at Duck Pond Park in Buckhead!

Hello! We wanted to start our blog with an introduction! My name is Ellie the Elephant and I’m Edmond the Horse. We’re best friends, explorers, travelers, educators, and animal lovers.  Our goal in life is go on as many adventures as possible and explore tons of cool places. We’ve traveled all around the planet including, Indonesia, Israel, Trinidad, New York City, Vancouver and San Francisco! Our favorite thing to do when we travel is to find wildlife and explore zoos and aquariums. Our passion is animals- naturally. We love to meet our fellow animal friends and learn about their habitats, lives and families.  And because we have so much fun together we’ve decided to write about the awesome animals we meet! We’ve been to so many fabulous places around the world but have yet to check out our own home town Atlanta. So that’s where our adventures will focus, but don’t worry we’ll be heading out of town some too! We’re excited to share with you and hope that our excursions will inspire you to go explore the world around you. And if you have any tips or places you’d like us to visit, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can get there!

Ellie and Edmond!

Categories: Animals, Atlanta, Children, education, Environment, Local | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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