Chalk Festival

These lovely drawings were part of a large piece drawn by Adam, Sarah, and Grace. Please excuse the poor quality of the images, they were taken with a cell phone.

Bell Jelly

The bell jelly is not a true sea jelly, but a hydromedusa. They have over 30-100 small tentacles that extend form their bells, which are usually less colorful that those of true jellies. They prefer to live in areas with little disturbance, including the ocean floor and calm harbors. On the ocean floor they eat benthic animals and often rise to the surface then sink back down collecting plankton to eat as they descend. Some species have light sensitive organs around the base of their bell which make a red ring around the base. The one found in California, Polyorchis haplus, does not. It is sturdier than the Polyorchis penicillatus and has 30 tentacles compared to P. penicillatus's 100 tentacles.
The images are of a P. haplus found on the beach, it was in a tide pool and of a live jelly in the ocean.


Emily made chocolate and caramel pudding because she is amazing. The caramel was made by first making a salty caramel and then adding it to a basic pudding mix. The chocolate was made with baking chocolate.

Original Parrot Cake- Papageienkuchen

This is the original cake made by Nida. It started out as 5 colors that were poured into the cake pan. During the baking the cake developed a hump which turned out to be air, but it was amusing none the less. The end result was a very pretty cake covered in chocolate, always a good thing.


Last Chance to See

This book is a little depressing because it is about vanishing species, but that tone is offset by a couple of things. One being that many of the species in the book are being brought back by amazing conservation programs. The other is that it is written by Douglas Adams, the funny genius behind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Mark Carwardine an amazing biology writer. Between the two of them they get into all kinds of trouble and precariously funny situations in their attempts to find these rare animals.

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction

This is a wonderful book if you want to learn about island biogeography (note the title), but also just as a fun read for anyone interested in biology. It may be a bit long to count as a light read, it’s about 600 pages, but the author makes it funny and portrays the information in the form of stories and personal accounts. For anyone who is going into ecology, or is already in ecology, this is kind of a must read. It is a wonderful way to be introduced to some major studies and the people who conducted them. The author's other books are also wonderful works of biology writing.


Colorful Cupcakes

These cupcakes were inspired by a type of cake eaten in Germany called Parrot Cake, so called for its many colors. They are just a white cake recipe from America's Test Kitchen that I divided into 6 different bowls and added color to. The frosting is melted semi-sweet chocolate. These would be great for kids because they look plain until they are bitten into and the colors show through. For the same reason they are great for children with experience as well ( aka "adults").

Paper Cranes

This is a paper crane Sarah made using her feet, yes she folded the whole thing using only her feet. This event came about after she folded a number of them with her eyes closed.The pictures show the hardest set of folds to do with one's feet.