Monday, January 7, 2008

A Gorgeous Day

Today was a simply gorgeous day, very unseasonably warm. We celebrated by taking a field trip to the Calvert Marine Museum this morning. We looked at the fossils and each child got a turritella (snail) shell which the people at the paleo prep lab helped them clean. Leah and Rebecca each got to use a dentist's pick to get sediment out from the inside of their shell and then dusted the outside gently with a paintbrush to clean it. Then we went to see the aquariums. We saw one of the staff people cleaning a tank with a long sponge attached to a pole! We also struck up quite a friendship with a black sea bass who settled down in the sand right in front of the children and stared at them for a long time. :-)

River otters were next, then the marsh walk (we saw a TON of footprints in the mud, as well as three ducks swimming along), then the boat shed and the lighthouse. We finished up at the Discovery Room where the children got to raise and lower a sail, touch the terrapin and horseshoe crabs, and find a fossilized shark tooth in the sand box. At the gift shop Rebecca picked a sheet of sparkly dolphin stickers, Leah chose the Folkmanis Blue Whale puppet, and I scored Building an Indian House, a local publication by William H. Hancock (Exhibits Fabrication Manager at Jamestown Settlement Museum). It has no ISBN number. According to the front information,
    "This booklet is for those wanting to go behind the scenes and learn how museums build replicas of the coastal Algonquin-speaking Indians' houses. The story is told briefly, mainly in pictures. For those wanting to know more, Hancock and Rountree have produced a much more detailed manuscript, with video and hundreds of photographs, titled Building a Powhatan House; copies are on file in the libraries of Jamestown Settlement and Historic St. Mary's City."

It has extremely detailed step-by-step photos which I am thrilled to find and if I am lucky enough to teach my own children a unit on Native Americans or housebuilding this book will be worth its weight in gold!

In the afternoon we got Natalie some 6T clothes (the girl is growing like a weed) and then headed to the playground to enjoy the swings and slides and the beautiful weather.

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