Monday, April 12, 2010

Rainy Recess

Man, alive, was it a wet day today.

Well, actually, it was a freakishly wet morning, and now that it's nearly supper time, the sun has come out.

But during the school day, the deluge was unstoppable. There was hail at times, too. Just not the kind of weather you wanted to be outside in.

So there was indoor recess in Nate's class. And the kids were going stir-crazy. Maybe the weather, maybe just a bad case of Monday. Who knows? Nate was sitting in a corner weeping, that's all I know. Something about not getting enough turns with the chess board...


Anyways, I've rented this pretty spiffy macro lens, and I'm trying to get my week's worth of rental money out of the thing, so I had it in the classroom this morning, and I wanted to photograph little things. So I asked the teacher if maybe it wasn't about time for the toads to earn their keep, and get passed around... CAREFULLY.

What a great idea! She was on board.

So I sent all the kids to go wash their hands WITH WATER ONLY. No soap. No hand sanitizer. No antibacterial sprays. None of that. Just clean water. And then keep their hands wet.

And I took them four at a time, and we had little toad-handling sessions.

I was quite pleased at how brave the girls were (except for one girl, who very politely declined to hold the toad. I had no trouble with that. I would've been standing behind her at age 7. peeking over her shoulder, I imagine).

Nate, of course, is an old pro, having handled the toads when they've come for their spa weeks at our house.

We used Toxanne for the most part, but when he jumped out of two different sets of hands, and then went scampering across the carpet, I thought it might be time for him to go on his break.

I've never picked up Poison. He just seems so much smaller and more fragile. But he was very robust with the children.

And while the groups-of-four were getting up close and personal with the toads...

The rest of the kids were checking out the praying mantis tank.

...and the one praying mantis that I put out on the rose bouquet. They're almost an inch long, now. Pretty speedy growth, if you consider that they just hatched 3 weeks ago, and were barely a centimeter long at that point.

Yes, it would appear that this 90mm macro lens does, indeed, have better tiny-thing-photographing capabilities than the kit lens that came with my camera. But I'm not in any great hurry to shell out nearly $500 for it. I'm happy to rent it, and take a metric ton of photographs while I've got it.

And then, next Saturday, I will return it.

I've already got my eye on a 500mm zoom lens... the birds in the estuary are calling out to be photographed...

ps. Cheerio says hi. She's about the size of a ping pong ball.

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