Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Bittersweet Day!

Today I had the privilege of performing at Caughman Road Elementary in Columbia, SC.  This was my 6th time performing for the school in the last 7 years.  The shows went great and I was able to meet with the local public librarians who were able to watch the program during the morning session.  What makes the day bittersweet was this will be my last time performing for Caughman Road Elementary's media specialist, Ms. Ann.  She is retiring after this year after, if my memory of our conversation is correct, right around 40+ years in public education in some way, shape or form.  From knowing her over the years, I have no doubt that she will be missed by not only her colleagues, but her students as well. 

Ms. Ann was always excited about my visits and she was always interested in whatever critters and magic happened to be in the show each year.  I will always remember cramming students into the media center until there was standing room only so that we could stay in the library and take advantage of the intimate atmosphere.  Eventually, the student body ended up outgrowing the space in the library and we relocated to the gym which could handle everyone with ease. 

Ms. Ann told me that she hopes to learn some new things during retirement as well as improve her gardening skills.  I hope that she has lots of new adventures as she begins this new journey at the end of this school year.  Thanks again Ms. Ann for all of your years of service, and for having me be a part of your school year over the past many years - I have had a great time performing for you and your students each and every time I was invited! What makes it more amazing is that you kept having me after seeing my show for...let's see...6 years times 2 shows per visit equals a total of 12 times!  And you still laugh at all my jokes - what more could I ask for! 

 Have a GREAT retirement!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What do YOU geek?!?

I recently performed at a public library in Covington, GA and was asked if I would like to be a part of their Geek the Library posters.  I said, "Absolutely!"  I love my "What do you geek?" t-shirt and was able to get a new one at the performance thanks to the great library staff.  Below is the poster they made with my "geeks."  You can find out more about Geek the Library by going to their website at Geek the Library.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Millipede Fun! Introducing Orthoporus ornatus!

Greetings Everyone! 
The newest addition to the Critter Closet and this summer's new reading program is none other than Orthoporus ornatus, better known as the Texas Gold Phase Millipede.  These guys are the largest species of millipede in America.  Our two are not yet full grown, but they are still several inches long and still have many more years to grow.  Millipedes are one of my favorite creatures to keep as pets.  They are decomposers which means they will eat almost anything - from rotting wood and leaves to dead crickets and left over fruit like apple cores, strawberry tops, or banana peels.  Besides that, they also get used to being held very quickly and will explore all around your hand after you pick them up.  There is, however, a slight chance they get nervous and secret some acid on you - but don't worry, it's pretty harmless as long as you wash your hands afterwards - although it can stain your skin and give it a yellowish tint.  My former millipedes almost never pooped acid on me though as they learn that you are not going to hurt them very quickly.

Below are some pics of the two of them up close, followed by Reagan and Grady helping me to make sure they have the proper humidity levels by spraying their cage.  Enjoy!  And I hope to see you all this summer so you can see them up close after a show - they will be right beside the Bird Eating Goliath Tarantula!

This guy at the bottom has burrowed down into the substrate (soil) and has yet to be seen again.  They prefer to be underground and they also molt (shed their skin) while underground. 
They LOVE some baby carrots!
Reagan had also just lost her first tooth the night before!
Grady is all concentration!