Monday, August 29, 2011
So - when I found this imperial moth in the yard - I knew (or hoped) they would appreciate it. It was huge, with a wingspan similar to the luna moth, but with a much thicker body. Sarah was more focused, maybe because she realized that this wasn't something we see everyday, or maybe because she wanted to make me happy. Eric came and went, wandering off to do something else and then coming back to check on the moth (and to ask when we would be finished looking at it).
When we came back inside, I looked it up online and found out that it's related to the luna moth, both of which are in the Saturniidae family. One interesting factoid about the moths that belong to this family is the lack of mouth parts or a digestive system in adults. Their sole purpose is reproduction, and they live for less than a week.
That is, unless a bird picks them off sooner. The imperial moth's numbers are in decline, possibly due to light pollution. The theory - the moth doesn't move fast enough after resting near a light at night (at its size, how could it?), and the following morning it becomes quite a feast for a now-fat bird.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Next year is our tenth, which seems big, happy, and important, and I promise - I won't forget.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Alton Brown's Good Eats Fudge Pops
(We made 9 pops with this recipe.)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream
8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Special Equipment: popsicle molds
1 Place chopped chocolate into a medium glass mixing bowl. Set aside.
2 Combine heavy cream, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until cocoa is dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk gently until all chocolate is melted. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
3 Divide the mixture evenly among the molds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid. Fudgepops can be held in the freezer for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
We looked for frogs, fed a turtle and some ducks, admired flowers and the blue heron. They waded in the water, collected shells, and played "Three Billy Goats Gruff". I think we found the perfect balance. I was able to enjoy talking and walking with them, and they were able to play and have fun. When it was time to go, they didn't want to leave, and neither did I. Maybe we should go again tomorrow . . .
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
We've had the bigger ones for awhile. Shortly after setting the frogs free, I found directions for creating a snail habitat in one of my books. So, we found some snails and put them in their new home. Thanks to my friend Shelly, they have a pretty cool house - she gave me the container, along with a coupon for an aquatic frog. We never did order the frog, but the snails seem to like it. They go back and forth through the tunnel, which is a big hit. There are two big ones and one smaller one - Sarah and Eric call them "Mr. Big" (with no clarification between the two bigger ones) and "Mr. Little."