The Golden Paddle

Quinn's taekwondo studio offers all sorts of incentives for the kids to bring their friends to class as they get most of their new students by personal referrals.

Quinn has brought 2 friends to try out the class and both have signed up for the program.  When the most recent friend signed up Quinn earned a Golden Paddle and he was so excited!  They use these paddles to practice kicking and punching.  It should be fun to have around the house.


Quinn and Master Stolsig

Webelos!

Another year of cub scouts is done and tonight Quinn bridged over to a Webelos.  Did you know that Webelos stands for 'We'll be Loyal Scouts'.

The boys with all their achievements and Scout Master Eric.


And bridging over to a Webelos. 



And apparently boy scouts shake with their left hand.



Our Backyard Ecosystem

I captured images of some interesting species in our backyard today.  

We call this one lizard. 


And a Red Kirby Skimmer.  We see these flying around the pool quite frequently.  This guy stopped and smiled for me.  







A couple of other species spotted in the backyard.



Grunion Run

The Grunion Fish-tival was so much fun!  It was held at a smaller aquarium in San Pedro called Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.  

We made some aluminum hats to protect ourselves from the cosmic rays of the moon.  




You had to arrive by 9 pm in order to participate but the grunions wouldn't start 'running' until right after high tide at 11:05 pm.   The aquarium showed a really good movie from the 1960's that explained the whole grunion thing.


While we waited for the run we had time to explore the museum.


The Grunions:  Grunion are small sardine-size fish that are among the few species of fish that actually come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches. They are found from Southern California south to Baja California and arrive at night after the high tide around the new moon and full moon.

The grunions come ashore to lay their eggs and about 9 days later (at the next high tide) the eggs are ready to hatch.  The agitation of the water from the high tide is the signal that it's time to hatch.

We even got to hatch our own grunion eggs.  

9 day old grunion eggs.


Add some water.


Agitate.  


Voila!  Grunions.  You can see their little black eyes.  


All of our baby grunions.


Nerd is the new cool!


We weren't the only ones in foil hats.


11 pm, time for the show.  There were probably a couple hundred people participating.  We walked out to the beach with our flashlights and stood quietly in the dark waiting to see the grunions.  They would occasionally tell us to turn on our flashlights so we could see them.  But noises and light would discourage the grunions from coming to shore.

So once there were quite a few grunions on shore, they let us loose.   My pics aren't that great but it's all I got.

On the bottom of this picture right above "amy" you can see a female dug in to the sand.  The females dig their way in to the sand and then the males curl around them and fertilize the eggs.



Here are a couple of females.  The one of the left is shaking back and forth to lay her eggs.


A view down the beach.  There were so many people and as we approached the grunions they stopped coming ashore.


But what a fun experience!  We loved the whole thing.

Long Beach Weekend

We spent a couple of days in Long Beach over Memorial Day Weekend.  

A windy lunch by the water. 


Geocaching by the water. 


Looking cute by the water.


We spent a couple of hours in the Aquarium of the Pacific.  We opted to feed the lorikeets because the sign said the lorikeets were hungry.  They weren't kidding.




This one emptied Quinn's cup.



Quinn got a shark hat at our last visit but Sonic tore out the eyeballs.  So Quinn's new hat.


Our view at dinner.  Long Beach is the 2nd busiest port in the US so you can't escape the cranes and working equipment.


A view out our hotel window.


A look back at our hotel.  It was a nice, quiet spot away from the craziness of downtown Long Beach.


The next morning.  Hotel window light is so beautiful...as is our boy.



Swimming Fun

We are enjoying some warm weather that sends us right to the pool.




Our first year in the house we had a swarm of bees around the pool and we actively tried to splash and discourage them.  I called a bee specialist and he told me that they are just looking for water.  So now we respect them and leave them alone and they do the same for us.  We frequently rescue bees that have fallen in the water.  We decided we've rescued about 30 bees so far.


You can see them all over the waterfall looking for water.


Mr. Long Hair.  He's looking really cute with his longish hair.




And Don spotted this teeny tiny praying mantis on our outside table.  It was about the size of a mosquito.