Friday, July 18, 2014

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa - the Botanic Gardens & the Field Museum

We went to the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Saturday on our way out of town, and we had a fantastic time seeing the butterflies  They were very active that day, constantly flying around.  Ben even got a photo of a blue morpho with its wings open; he was delighted with that.

The girls liked trying to identify the butterflies, although several of the butterflies weren't on the identification sheet.

The best part about this butterfly visit was that the butterflies loved to land on Grandma's hat!  Grandma let Amelia and Megan wear her hat so that they could have butterflies land on them, too. Amelia even had four butterflies on the hat at one time:

Here's her expression when she found out that there was a blue morpho on her hat.

Megan wanted to try wearing the hat, but then she decided she really didn't want to have a butterfly sitting on her head, so I took it off her head carefully.  While I was holding the hat, a blue morpho landed on my arm and stayed for a minute or two.  It tickled a little bit!  I told Mom that she should make sure she wears that hat every time she goes to see the butterflies because it was such a neat experience.

We walked around the gardens a little bit; we saw the Rose Garden (which was beautiful!) and the English Garden, but then it was time to head back to the car so the kids could each lunch and Nathaniel could take a nap while we were driving back home.  I took these flower photos - I always love to look at dahlias, and the water lilies were in bloom, too.  I'm thinking the girls and I might do some Georgia O'Keeffe flower paintings based on these photos.

Since Megan has been so interested in dinosaurs lately, I wanted to take her to the Field Museum to see all the dinosaur fossils, especially Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  We had read a nonfiction book about the dinosaur hunter who discovered Sue and how Sue was living at the Field Museum in Chicago, and Megan had asked if we could go see Sue, so I'm glad we were able to go.  Mom and Dad came with us.  I told the girls to pretend they were being chased by Sue for this photo, and these are the expressions they chose.  Apparently they would be both scared and delighted to have a Tyrannosaurus chasing them.  Megan also really liked seeing the pteranodon skeleton flying in the air.

I think the most interesting thing was seeing how big the dinosaurs really were.

Megan is looking inside the parasaurolophus' mouth in this next photo.  The crest on the back of its head was used like a trumpet to communicate with other dinosaurs.  The cylinder just behind Megan was a demonstration of what the parasaurolophus sounded like; Megan enjoyed getting to listen to that.  Over and over again.

I believe this was the femur of an apatosaurus, which was just as long as Dad, and much longer than Megan.  They had an entire apatosauraus skeleton (or was it a diplodocus?) but I didn't get a photo of that because it was too big. 

The dinosaurs were definitely the biggest hit in the Field Museum, but Grandpa wanted to go see the Hall of Gems, and the girls really enjoyed that, too.  Amelia especially liked the amethysts, and Megan liked a great big huge blue topaz.  Both girls also liked the opals - just like me!

We also saw the Egypt exhibit, although it didn't have as many child friendly activities as I remembered.  The girls were interested in seeing the mummies and trying to pull the pyramid stone.

And finally, we saw the animal displays.  Megan particularly liked an exhibit at the beginning that had a sunflower starfish, some brittle stars, beetles and all kinds of other interestingly shaped small animals.  When she is interested in an exhibit, she can look at it for a long time, but otherwise she speeds through museums like Becky and Dad like to do.  I think Amelia really liked seeing the animal displays.

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