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Andrew & George 2Last Sunday, my hubby, Andrew, and I took a road trip to Slidell to attend the HERPS Exotic Reptile and Pet Show at The Harbor Center. These shows happen a few times a year in our surrounding areas, and I have always wanted to go to check out their critters. We are animal lovers and have cared for many pets over the years with a few exotics being part of the mix. I specifically was interested in checking out the hedgehogs (learn about the breeders, touch one, and assess cost to acquire one). I have never had a hedgehog but find them fascinating, so I have joined a couple of Facebook hedgehog groups to learn more about their habits and care requirements. I even follow Mr. Pokee’s page to check out his many adventures with his owner. My guys tagged along because they were just as curious as I was, and there would be lots of snakes.

Snakes are awesome creatures that are important for our environment, but they unfortunately frighten many people. I think if those people who are afraid of snakes took the time to learn more about snakes and their benefits in our world, they may not fear them as much. There were snakes galore at the HERPS show. They ranged in size from babies to adults in a multitude of colors. Andrew & GeorgeI had no idea when I went to the show that I would be leaving with one of them. We stopped at the Knockout Exotics table where Andrew spotted a Corn Snake for $25. The snake was born on June 4th where he hatched from an egg. His container had a “pet only” label on it. I inquired about it, and the breeder (Kara) told us that he was born with kinks in his spine which are medically harmless to the snake but not ideal for breeding. That was all my future zoologist needed to hear. Andrew purchased the snake, and with help from Kara, he also purchased a tank, bedding, and a hidey-hole to place inside the tank. With instructions from Kara, we left Slidell and headed back to Hammond. On the drive home, Andrew named his snake George. Before we arrived home, we had to make a quick trip to Petco to buy some frozen pinkies (sold out at the show) to feed George.

George has been with us for one week and is doing very well. He has eaten twice, successfully pooped, and has drunk water. He likes to explore his tank and get in between the paper towels (temporary bedding) and has even become more comfortable with Andrew handling him. I check on him regularly because he is amazing to watch. I fed him for the first time on Friday. Unfortunately, my phone was in the other room charging, so I could not take a video of it, and I didn’t want to miss a moment by running to get it. It was terrifyingly cool to watch. I was afraid he was going to suffocate while swallowing his food. Andrew informed me that George would not attempt to eat anything that would be too big for him to swallow. Whew! Since Andrew is leaving for college soon, I will have to care for George in between Andrew’s visits. This means I may have to feed him from time to time. Thankfully, Andrew is attending SLU which is no more than 20 minutes away. He plans to come home regularly to check on both Puar (his cat) and George.

In Other News:

I have been diligently working on my List of 100 Dreams (#19 on my 19 for 2019). Currently, I have 86 dreams listed, and one of them is to adopt a hedgehog.  More on my dreams list in an upcoming post.

I hope your weekend is going well, dear reader. I am wrapping up a few tasks at home today since I will be reporting back to my day job this week. And, one of those tasks is to add 14 more dreams to my List of 100 Dreams. Happiness!

“We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife.” ~ Steve Irwin

 

 

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On July 6th, my hubby, Andrew, and I drove over to Lafayette to visit the Lafayette Science Museum (formerly the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium). As we entered the lobby of the museum, we were greeted by an Allosaurus attacking a Camptosaurus. Both of these dinosaurs lived during the Jurassic Period.
Allosaurus

We spent the next two hours walking through various exhibits. Our first stop was at the atrium on the first floor where we saw a display of fossil casts of an American mastodon (Mammut americanum), two saber-toothed cats (Smilodon), and a giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum) from the Cenozoic Period. A fact about the American mastodon, that I found fascinating, was one was discovered near the Trappey food canning plant in Lafayette in 1970. It was called the Trappey mastodon.
IMG_1550 (1)

Barry-Virtual RealityOur next stop was the Virtual Reality Laboratory where all three of us took turns putting on special headgear to experience a science theme. There were several people at this exhibit, so we only participated in the space station. Afterwards, we ventured through the Energy Unearthed (The Science of Petroleum Exploration) exhibit where there was a collection of rocks and minerals. One of the minerals on display was garnet which is my birthstone. Before leaving the geology exhibit, we passed a fossil of Megatylopus (extinct giant camel). According to the museum, it was found in Oregon and acted similarly to a giraffe. We also walked by the Geology Lab which had a gigantic prehistoric whale hanging from the ceiling. Amazing!

The second floor of the museum is home to “The Crawl Space.” There were skeletons (bat, snake) and skulls from a variety of animals native to Louisiana: a racoon, a turtle, a fox, and a deer to name a few. There were also animals (grizzly bear, bobcat, beaver) on display that had been stuffed. To complete the collection, there was a skull of a juvenile, female Sei whale. She had beached on Marsh Island on the coast of Louisiana and was recovered by Louisiana’s Wildlife and Fisheries Department.  IMG_1554However, the neatest part of this section was the live insects, centipedes, and arachnids on display. My most favorite creepy-crawly was the tarantula, and my least favorite was the Madagascar hissing cockroach. And, just around the corner was Stegosaurus which happens to be my most favorite dinosaur ever. Stegosaurus is also from the Jurassic Period.

 

Before heading back downstairs to learn about Nanotechnology, we visited the Air & Spacecraft exhibit and the Meteorites exhibit. Interestingly, there have only been three meteorites found in Louisiana. Unfortunately, there was not a Planetarium Program for us to watch during our visit; however, the museum’s website does have a section under Planetarium called “Observe the Sky.” There are handouts, checklists, guides, and star maps available under this tab that will allow the astronomer in you to explore the night sky right from your backyard. Andrew-virtual realityOur last activity at the museum was another virtual reality encounter. It was about the evolution of the Internet. As you can see from the picture above, there was a television screen showing you what the person (Andrew) with the headgear was experiencing.

Andrew & PigUpon the recommendation of the receptionist at the museum, we decided to eat lunch at Dwyer’s Café which was within walking distance of the museum. Leaving the museum, we encountered a man walking his pig. Yes, a pig! And, it was adorable. After we all petted the pig, my hubby, Andrew, and I walked over to the restaurant. Our lunches were delicious and quite filling, so we walked around the downtown area for a little bit before heading back home.

Dear reader, we had an enjoyable day not only learning about different areas of science, but also exploring another part of our state. If you happen to be in the Lafayette area and have a couple of hours to kill, check out the Lafayette Science Museum. The admission is reasonable, it has a small store to purchase science related items, and you might just find yourself running into a man walking his pig. Happiness!

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~ Edwin Hubble

 

 

 

 

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