State Fair 2015

Our annual pilgrimage to the Minnesota State Fair. This year we were all a bit crankier than usual, but that didn’t stop us from staying for nearly 12 hours (and 17,000 steps, according to my trusty fitbit).

Fair food included (basically covering all of our meals today):

  • hot waffle ice cream sandwiches (just as good as last year!)
  • chicken in waffle cones (another favorite from last year)
  • mini-donuts
  • strawberry rhubarb milkshake from the dairy barn
  • hot dogs and pronto pups (verifying that regular corn dogs beat pronto pups)
  • samosas from the midtown global market
  • gyros from holy land
  • cotton candy

Favorite discovery this year was the play area outside the Eco Experience. Sand + water + building supplies = infinite fun.

As a postscript, in the interest of keeping things real, I should mention that shortly after putting this post together, Griffin puked all over his bed. Besides being gross, it was a good reminder that fair food, though fun, isn’t really what a growing body wants.

(But man, those waffle sandwiches were awesome.)

Metamorphosis

Sarah picked up two wild monarch caterpillars and an egg this summer and we’ve been raising them and releasing the butterflies. Below are some pictures of the process, though not all pictures are of the same individual. (Click on the pictures to see larger versions.)

Monarch egg (from wikipedia because I couldn't get a good shot of our egg)
Monarch egg (from wikipedia because I couldn’t get a good shot of our egg)
Hatchling caterpillar (first instar)
Hatchling caterpillar (first instar), with nearby egg casing
Mature caterpillars munching their way through some milkweed clippings
Mature caterpillars munching their way through some milkweed clippings

Metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis (pupa):

Over the next few hours, the chrysalis assumed its final form:

The final chrysalis
The final chrysalis with gold flecks
The chrysalis darkens and reveals the orange butterfly ready to emerge
The chrysalis darkens and reveals the orange butterfly ready to emerge
Empty chrysalis
Empty chrysalis
Monarch with dry wings, ready for flight
Monarch with dry wings, ready for flight
Emerging
Emerging
Freedom
Freedom
Brief rest on a tree in the yard before flying off over the house
Brief rest on a tree in the yard before flying off over the house

Cousins!

Raven and Max, and their parents, came for a glorious visit during the last week of July. Many adventures were had, some of which are documented below. Click on any photo for a larger version (and a slide-show interface, if you’d like to flip through all of them).