Bug Camp at UF 2019

I just loved bug camp so much this year. I learned a lot and really want to keep learning more and more. We were happy to have Dr. Baldwin back at camp this year. I love all the staff but she is my favorite. What a great group of people! We had a big combined age group this year. There were lots of college student helpers as well.
I really enjoyed the Santa Fe River trip. The water was so wonderful because it was super hot outside! We caught a lot of hellgrammites again this year. The bees were so much fun for me. I didn’t like the bee suit at first but then realized how much it protected me. So excited to work the hives. We got to see several hives in action. I loved working with Sebastian to see the bees. I wasn’t brave enough to hold the frame but he was, so I got a good look!  I learned how to hot knife the honey. YUM! I think I ate my share and more! Learning how to use the decapper too. It was fun in the urban pest lab as well. We learned all about cat fleas with Professor Koehler, the cat flea god! Look alt all those egg casings for fleas!!!! I loved holding the hissers.

Dissection was NOT my favorite but I did enjoy it. The smell was a bit overpowering for me.  I did a great job but ick! We walked over to the Florida State Collection of Arthropods for a tour. It is just about 3 blocks from the UF campus. We got to tour the facility and get a sneak peak into the collections. What an amazing day! Sadly, cam came to an end. I had my ups and downs at camp but I learned a lot, made friends and had a blast! I can’t wait for next summer! 

Random stuff since we got home

My night blooming cactus bloomed! It only blooms ONCE a year! We just happened to get home from the trip a few days before it bloomed. I had 2 beautiful blossoms!  I think I am still 2 sometimes. I love to ride in the giant Costco carts. Thunder is loving having his people back. I insist that I need a hat rat/coat rack. This is my serious pitch as to why I need one! The cats have taken over the house! I am enjoying making my baseball I bought at Custer State Park in South Dakota. I hope to finish it…someday! It is a LOT of work!

Amarillo, Texas

Since we left Page early we got to break up the drive with a stop in Amarillo, Texas.

We had some seriously frightening weather coming in to town and when we were hooking up at the campsite but it calmed down quickly. We had a nice pizza dinner out and avoiding the famous steak place.

We started out with a very muddy trip to Cadillac Ranch. It is an art installation with 10 Cadillac’s planted nose up in the ground. One night it was secretly moved to a new location because tourists were kind mistreating someones property. We stomped through the mud to get out to see the cars. We stopped at the “Cadillac Ranch Museum”took a few photos and left. Everything was so expensive, t-shirts were at least $30! Up next was the RV museum! This was a total hit. We loved seeing how the old RVs looked and all the fun things that they had on display from each time period. The highlight of the stop was the Gornicke bus from the movie RV starring Robin Williams. Checking out a few more before the need to explore nature set in. We stopped at the Amarillo Zoo. FYI mom got stunk by a Tarantula Hawk Wasp after pumping gas on the way in to town. This is now how she feels about them! The zoo was small, the animals didn’t look great and I felt it wasn’t a healthy place for them. We wandered around for 20 minutes and left. We also took a trip out to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. We drove through the parka nd took a few small hikes to see the overlooks. It was really pretty but we are currently jaded after Black Canyon and Grand Canyon on this trip. The rains were coming and we needed to kill more time while Dad worked. We ended up at the Don Harrington Discovery Center for the afternoon. We had a fun time playing in the hands on exhibits and participating in a robotics class. Back to the motorhome, laundry and bed! We all are ready to get home!There was a delay in laundry since the campground lost water for a while. Mom and I hung out int he laundry room to make sure we got first shot when the water came back. I played with all the quarters for a long time until we were done! B was back in the motorhome working on his SPC classes, he has had to work in the evenings and odd hours to keep up all summer.

Page, Arizona with a trip to Grand Canyon North Rim

I love fry bread. That is all!  We toured the Glenn Canyon Dam again. We had the same tour guide as 4 years ago!  I love looking down on the grassy field. It is huge! They have to mow it since it is real grass! The water in Lake Powell is realy low right now. They are expecting a 30 foot rise in the next few weeks from the snowmelt coming down river. Just for laughs.

On Dad’s birthday we were going to go see the Colorado River but somehow ended up at the Grand Canyon North Rim. Not in our plans but always an adventure. We had a nice lunch at the lodge and then went and explored and hiked a little.

Relaxing before our trip back to Page. B is learning about rocks and Earth’s history right now for his summer SPC class. So of course he is teaching me everything he is learning. We earned our Jr. Ranger badges and headed out.

We took this scary off road trail near Page that led us (in the Jeep) up and over the entire landscape. We passed over rivers, coal fires, and so much more. A coal fire is when lightning strikes the ground igniting the coal burried below. It smolders forever using the vein of coal runs out.  It was interesting how the landscape changed so much on our drive. FOor Bs birthday we visited the slot canyons. I enjoyed Lower Antelope but it was hot and stinky.  We had a ice cream pie for Bs birthday and went out for really good Mexican food. Next day we did the Upper Antelope. It was much cooler and way less stinky! I loved taking the photos and our guide helped me take many amazing photos.