I’m not sure if any of you attempted to attend the “Bat Loco” extravaganza that I mentioned in last week’s post. Our family actually arrived at the location about 20 minutes after the bats had already left! Apparently, they have not been waiting until dusk lately, and last night they flew out about 7:25 PM. We were slightly disappointed to miss the exodus, but there were Parks Department representatives there to answer questions about bats and give out information. Also, the Cheesy Jane’s food truck was available, so not all was lost!
Next week, we are going to try to attend the Wednesday evening “Astronomy in the Park” at McAllister. You can click here to get more information, including a map to where the telescopes are located in McAllister. This is also a free event, and several astronomers set up their huge telescopes for different views of the night sky. The last time we attended, we saw Saturn – and it looked exactly as though someone had drawn it on the telescope lens! If you go, I recommend bringing bug spray and drinking water.
If you are interested in what can be seen in the sky in the next week, you might want to check out this site. The Perseid Meteor Shower is supposed to be quite a show on August 12th and 13th. Unfortunately – the best time to view the meteors in our area will be between midnight and dawn.
Did you know that Texas Parks and Wildlife is sponsoring a “Bat Loco Bash” in San Antonio every Tuesday night until August 13th this summer? If you’ve never had the chance to view the bat colony that lives under I-35, then this would be a great (and FREE) event to try out! Here is the official Bat Loco website with information about the times and place. This is a fun family activity!
And if your family enjoys that, then you might be interested in seeing even more bats as they leave their tunnel for their nightly dinner at the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area near Fredericksburg. Our family has done this a couple of times, and we are always astounded by the sheer number of bats! On Thursday-Sunday evenings, you can pay to enter the lower viewing area and receive an educational presentation. It’s definitely worth checking out!
With the help of the wonderful Mrs. Pearson (who set up the Science Lab and cleaned all of our instruments and trays) and Mrs. Dillard (who took pictures and video for us), we went to the Science Lab yesterday to dissect sheep eyeballs. The students did a great job in following directions, and you can see from the following comments and pictures how much they learned:
Keaton – I thought it would be gross, but it’s actually pretty fun, and I learned that the eyeball is not squishy, but pretty firm.
Richard – I actually learned how much vitreous humor there is.
Athasi – I learned that the eyelashes are attached to the fat and muscle.
Gage – I learned that the pupil is not solid; it’s just a hole. Also, I learned that the light shines through the pupil and reflects off the lens, and sends an upside down picture through your optic nerve. Once it hits the brain, it flips over.
Mahli – There is a lot of fat around your eye!
Logan – The eye is bigger than you think it is.
The Kinder students started learning about “Scientist Thinking” today. We talked about what a scientist does, and two students are already determined to be scientists when they grow up (one wants to be a rocket scientist and one wants to be a geneticist). We also watched a fun YouTube rap about how to be a scientist.
We are learning about ladybugs. My hope was to have the kids find some in our field this morning to look at more closely, but it was a bit too wet. Instead, we worked on our Activboard, and learned some interesting facts about ladybugs that most of us didn’t know. My plan is to try our ladybug hunt on Monday.