Thursday, November 15, 2007

a science and art lesson

Got some new pictures of niece M! Here is my favorite one:

Hello, little smiley! Can't WAIT to see you!

It was fun to see the kids in Big Girl's class so excited to see her again on Tuesday morning. I think she enjoyed that very much!

Here are some photos from the last time we went to the Gardens (Nov. 1):

Surprisingly enough, we found something there we had never noticed before:

You drop rocks through this thing, and they bounce off all the metal nails and it makes a beautiful chiming sound. The Boy spent lots of time on this. What could be better than picking up a handful of rocks and dumping them, then being rewarded with a beautiful, musical sound?!

We had to go do the experiments again, which we so enjoyed last time:

First, you put a drop of nectar (from one of three types of flowers) on the sensor plate of the refractometer.

Then, you look through the eyepiece, and read the number corresponding to the boundary between blue and white zones. This tells you the concentration of sugar. (Doesn't this look like a lovely museum? It really is.)

Lantana = 20%, Salvia = 25%, Lavender = 30%.
Butterflies prefer nectar with 15-25%, hummingbirds prefer 20-25%, bees prefer 30-50%.

Here are some of our favorite artworks from that visit:

Pinkie and Blue Boy, mounted across from one another
Blue Boy is by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1770. The outfit is a costume of 1630's style dress, as Gainsborough painted this as an homage to the works of Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck (1559-1641).
Pinkie is by Thomas Lawrence, c. 1794. Sarah Barrett Moulton (called "Pinkie" by her grandmother) was 11 at the time of the painting. Her younger brother, Edward, was the father of poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Children playing (there was another one of two sisters that we liked as well)
This is Clavering Children by George Romney, c. 1777.

I have always loved this one by Mary Cassatt of a mom and her toddler daughter.
Breakfast in Bed, c. 1897
Mary Cassatt was an American expat living in Paris, and was a close friend of Edgar Degas. She often depicted women and children.

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