Monday, May 31, 2010

June Joy

This is a list of free and low cost events for kids all around the greater Portland area. I compile this list monthly for my homeschool group, which includes children 7 and under, so I look for events that I think will be of interest to this age group.  I try hard to exclude the lackluster. Mistakes are made, so please double check anything before attending.  When I find updates, I will post them on this blog as well.


Big news for berry lovers!  Around the second week of June, strawberries are ripening, and local pick your own farms will be opening!  Check your favorite farm for updates.  These websites can help you find one near you: http://www.tricountyfarm.org/  and http://www.pickyourown.org/  And of course many more local farmer’s markets will be opening in June.  Here is a pretty good list if you want to find one near you: http://www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org/index.html

"Make a Splash with Bend Magic’s Bill Mitchell" Wednesday, June 2, 2010   3:30-4:15 p.m. Fairview-Columbia Library, Thursday, June 24, 2010   2-3 p.m. at North Portland Library,  and Wednesday, June 30, 2010   4-5 p.m. at Kenton Library.  “Exciting, engaging, fast-paced and interactive, this show is the perfect blend of comedy, magic and, of course, books. Stories and characters are woven into an interactive magic show designed for children of all ages.”

"Bubble Painting" Thursday, June 3, 2010   3:30-5 p.m. Belmont Library, Sat., June 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at North Portland Library, Monday, June 28, 2010   3-5 p.m. at Holgate Library, and Tuesday, June 29, 2010   2-4 p.m. at Northwest Library.  “Bubble, sprinkle, splatter! Learn strange new painting techniques to create your own underwater pictures with artist Addie Boswell. Draw with water-soluble crayons and pencils and try blowing bubbles, rolling marbles, and shaking salt for different effects. These washable experiments are perfect for ages 4-8.”  Jasper and I went to one of these and found it was a very fun kid’s open studio!  What’s not to like? The event description at the North Portland Library says "watercolor painting" and does not include “bubbles”, but I suspect it’s the same presentation.

"The Fish That Swallowed the Sun" Thursday, June 3, 2010   3:30-4:15 p.m. Midland Library, Thursday, June 10, 2010   4-4:45 p.m. at Belmont Library, and Saturday, June 12, 2010   11-11:45 a.m. at Sellwood-Moreland Library.  An undersea story of a boy who tells a big lie by Celeste Rose Puppets.

"ZAP Team: Zoo Animal Presenters" Saturday, June 5, 2010   1-2 p.m. Sellwood-Moreland Library and Thursday, June 24, 2010   2-3 p.m. at St. Johns Library. “Meet some animals and learn about them with the Oregon Zoo ZAP Team.”  


June 5 is Oregon State Parks Day, featuring free admission and a free night of camping at selected campsites.  More info here http://oregonstateparks.org/events.php

"Legends of Mexico/ Leyendas de Mexico" Tuesday, June 8, 2010   2:30-3:15 p.m. Rockwood LibraryMexico is well known for its legends, myths and tales. They have had legends since the time of the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, as well as legends after the arrival of the Europeans to the American Continent. Mexican legends talk about love, nature, and everyday life. The group Nuestro Canto has gathered legends from all over Mexico and has composed music especially for the legends they narrate during their performances. This program will teach participants about geography, history and the different languages still spoken in Mexico. Presented in English and Spanish.”

“Zimba! Marimbas and the Sounds of Southern Africa” Wednesday, June 9th  12PM at Portland Center for the Performing Arts, free. “Portland’s own 8-woman marimba troupe, Zimba!, returns to Noontime Showcase for an outdoor performance (weather permitting). The artists specialize in the music of Zimbabwe and other countries of southern Africa, playing marimbas (similar to xylophones), drums, and gourd shakers. The rocking rhythms will get your toes tapping and your feet moving. Appropriate for all ages.”  If there is rain, the noontime showcases are performed in the lobby of the Antoinette Hatfield Rotunda Lobby at 1111 SW Broadway.

"Pedalpalooza 2010" will take place June 10- 27 with lots of free bicycle events.  Check their calendar here http://shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2010.php for family friendly events with times in green.


"Ocean Watch" Friday, June 11, the "Ocean Watch" is a sailboat on a mission to circumnavigate the Americas, a 28,000 mile journey that will end June 17 in Seattle.  On its way it will stop by OMSI.  All events are free!  "Dockside Open House: Noon-4:00 p.m.; boat at the OMSI floating dock, by the submarine.  Meet the crew, tour S/V Ocean Watch, learn about onboard research and participate in hands-on marine science activities led by the Around the Americas Education Team from the Pacific Science Center. The open boat will be accentuated by a visit from the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) who will also be on-site with fun activities for students.  All ages welcome, no cost to attend. Public presentation: 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium, Led by Ocean Watch Captain Mark Schrader and featuring photographer David Thoreson's images from throughout the Expedition. All ages welcome, no cost to attend. More info about the event here: http://omsi.edu/events and about the ship here: http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/

"Underwater Creatures in Origami" Saturday, June 12, 2010   2-3 p.m. Albina Library “Instructor Yuki Martin will teach you how to make various kinds of fish, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, clams, seahorses, whales, or sharks. Add a paper clip to your folded creatures and catch them with a fishing pole made from a chopstick and magnet.”

"Brick Buddies", Saturday, June 12, 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, at the Beaverton City Library “Come and make a monthly connection as we create, build and challenge with all things LEGO. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children’s Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration begins three weeks before each session. Suggested for grade one through grade five.

"Your World Rocks", Saturday, June 12, 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, at the Hillsboro Main Library.  More than six different minerals are added to Oreo cookies! Learn more about rocks, minerals and metals and do a fun experiment in this interactive hands-on geology program. Grades K through 6. Limited to the first 40 children.

"Lone Fir Cemetery Historic Tour",  Saturday, June 12 10:00 am - 12:00 pm “Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Metro’s Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery. Highlights include gravesites of Portland’s founders and pioneers, interesting monuments, mature trees on the 30-acre site and a very special rose garden. Suitable for all ages. Enter at Southeast 26th Avenue between Stark and Morrison streets; meet in the center of the cemetery at the Soldiers’ Monument. Suggested donation, $10. Registration not required. Hosted by Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery.”

"Bluegrass at the Library"- Every Body & His Brother Band at the Beaverton City Library-Auditorium, Sunday, June 13, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM “This band is great family entertainment with songs from bluegrass, western, and comedy.  Be careful, folks, you could learn something and laugh at the same time!”

"Zimbabwe Mbira Music",  Wednesday, June 16, 2010   5:30-7:30 p.m. Albina Library. “Musicians Njuzu and Nathan Beck play mbira music.”


"Wooden Train Playtime" Thursday, June 17, 2010   10-11 a.m. Gresham LibraryChildren ages 2 and up (with a favorite adult) who enjoy trains can put together and run wooden trains in the library. This fun-filled program connects junior train fans with creative and imaginative play activities.” I took Jasper to one of these and it was a blast.  They had oodles of wooden trains and tracks and just turned the kids loose.  It was surprisingly civilized!
"Night Creature Walk", 
Friday and Saturday, June 18th & 19th, 8:30pm-10:30pm, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. “One of the best times to experience nature is when the sun goes down. Come learn about animals and their adaptions to life at night. Discover for yourself the sights and sounds of the refuge after dark. The activity is free and family friendly, and reservations are required. Meet at Wildlife Center." To register, contact Jenna at 503-625-5944 x222 or jenna_mendenhall@fws.gov

Portland Parks and Recreation is offering free swimming lessons this summer!  “Learn to swim Mon-Fri June 21-25.  A week of free swim lessons so you can experience our swim program! You must register in person on Saturday, June 19, 8:00-11:30 AM at your neighborhood pool. (Sea Lion, Piranha, Dolphin, Park Shark, Park Shark II, and Diving are not offered during this special session.) For more info, call 503-823-5130. http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=52718

Portland Parks and Recreation will be offering their summer program of free concerts and movies in the parks again this year.  Most events begin in July, but there are a few movies scheduled for the end of June.  Check out the complete schedule here http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=50362

"Railroads in the Garden Tour",   Saturday, June 19, 10 am to 5 pm.  “The Rose City Garden Railroad Society showcases between 8 and 12 of the club’s member layouts at their homes each year on our annual “Summer Tour”. A booklet is published each year showing each railroad on tour with a pictures and description of the layout.  Directions to each garden railroad are included, along with maps and suggestions for a great fun-filled day.  The booklets are sold at participating outlets for $10 each and each booklet entitles a carload of people to attend all railroads on the tour for that price.  This is a very fun weekend activity for the whole family, and most people who go on tour have done it in prior years.  Please come visit us.”  We did this last year and it was really wonderful!  A complete listing of the hobby shops and garden centers where you can pick up a booklet, as well as pictures of the layouts, are on the Rose City Garden Railroad Society website here: http://www.rcgrs.com/index.html


Champoeg Bluebird Day, Saturday, Jun 19,  at Champoeg State Heritage Area, 1-4 p.m. "Celebrate the return of Western Bluebirds to the park with a variety of fun and educational activities. See bluebirds at their nest boxes. Build or purchase a nest box. Bluebird-related Junior Ranger program." Champoeg is a lovely park with a faithfully recreated 1860's  kitchen garden.  Naturally seeds were saved in those days, and you can purchase seed packets from the garden. We were there recently and saw LOTS of bluebirds! http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_113.php?eventid=2712&md=event


Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island will be having "Berry Jam" from 11AM-4PM. "The farm is open for u-pick during our regular hours (9 a.m. - Sunset).  
Special event activities take place during festival hours only."  http://krugersfarm.com/   
  • Free hayrides to our strawberry fields. 
  • Music from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. 
  • Great u-pick strawberries. No hard or tasteless berries allowed.($)
  • Farm Animals.  Matilda the pig and the roaming chickens await. 
  • Free kid's freezer jam-making workshop at 12 and 2 daily.
  • Face Painting ($)
  • Roasted Corn ($)
  • BBQ ($)
  • Captured by Porches Beer. ($)
  • Fresh Strawberry Shortcake ($)
"Mz. Pearl: the Under Water Revue" Saturday, June 19, 2010   11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Sellwood-Moreland Library, Wednesday, June 23, 2010   2-3 p.m. at Gregory Heights Library, and Wednesday, June 30, 2010   1-2 p.m. at Gresham Library.A solo clown show filled with FUNNY physical comedy, circus skills and clever—or at least odd—solutions to bizarre problems. Pearl is a skilled performer and captivates her audiences, a family favorite!”
Saturday, June 19 the Rose City Astronomers will be having a "Star Party" at Rooster Rock and Stub Stewart State Parks beginning at dusk to celebrate the Summer Solstice. “From beginners to experts of all ages, here’s your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. Viewing highlights may include planets, deep sky objects, and more. Sometimes we can even view the International Space Station passing overhead. There is no formal registration for the event itself, just show up and enjoy the evening. You don’t even need a telescope to participate; other members are enthusiastic to share their views. This is a good opportunity for beginners to get acquainted. Come and observe your favorite objects and spend a wonderful evening with friends, and friends you haven’t met yet.” If you are planning to go, be sure to call 503-797-4610 #2 after 3PM on the day of the Star Party to make sure they’ve determined that the skies are clear enough for this event to happen.” http://www.rca-omsi.org/

Sunday, June 20- HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 Tryon Creek State Park will be expanding their “Kids in Nature” classes in the summer.  In addition to their monthly Sunday classes, they will also offer weekly classes on Thursdays, also from 10:00- 11:30AM.  In June the monthly Sunday class will be on June 20.  The cost of each class is $10 per child, and they are highly recommended. Advance registration is required, and you can register online. “What’s In All Those Holes?” “Join Education Director Stephanie Wagner and explore the park to discover what lives in all the holes we see around the park.”  http://www.tryonfriends.org/adventures-for-children/icalrepeat.detail/2010/06/20/209/28/kids-in-nature-sundays-whats-in-all-those-holes.html and Thursday classes will begin on Thursday, June 24 with “Wiggly Worms”.  “Join Education Director Stephanie to explore the world of worms. Well find worm homes in the park on our exploratory walk, learn what worms eat and make a “Worm Hotel” to take home and continue our wormy observations.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/adventures-for-children/icalrepeat.detail/2010/06/24/206/28/summer-kids-in-naturewiggly-worms.html

"Steve’s Creature Feature" Sunday, June 20, 2010   4-5 p.m. at Holgate Library and Saturday, June 26, 2010   2-3 p.m. at Gregory Heights Library. “Explore the amazing world of reptiles with Steve!”  Previously reviewed in this blog.  Your child will get to see a lot of cool reptiles up close. A definite winner!

Dragon Theater Puppets Present “Underwater Adventure” at  Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A & B, Monday, June 21, 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM., at the Central Library downtown on Wednesday, June 23, 10:30AM- 11:15AM. and June 30th at 1:30pm and 3:30pm at Clackamas Corner Library in Happy Valley.  “Debuting in summer 2010, Dragon Theater Puppets launches an underwater adventure featuring puppets performed under real water! Learn about the sea, the animals in it, and what we can do to help our world.”  We are huge fans of Dragon Theater Puppets. You will be amazed! http://www.dragontheater.com/default.htm

"Summer Solstice Celebration" Monday, June 21, 2010, 06:30pm - 08:30pm at Tryon Creek State Park. “Mudeye Puppet Company presents Deepsy Diver” (see below for show description.)  “ Then join a guided walk through the woods on the longest day of the year. This is a free program – meet at the Jackson Shelter at Tryon Creek State Natural Area.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/family-events-and-activities/icalrepeat.detail/2010/06/21/208/77/summer-solstice-celebration.html

"Deepsy Diver, a brand new show from The Mudeye Puppet Company!Tuesday, June 22, 2010   2-2:30 p.m. and again at 3-3:30 p.m.,Woodstock Library, Wednesday, June 23, 2010   1-1:30 p.m., Gresham Library, Wednesday, June 23, 2010   4-4:30 p.m., Hillsdale Library. “The Mudeye Puppet Company presents an all new show for 2010 featuring the adventures of underwater heroine, Deepsy Diver. Join Deepsy and a colorful cast of aquatic characters as she journeys from the darkest depths of the oceans to the wondrous Willamette river. Interactive games and music abound in this educational tale of how we can protect and preserve our local watershed. Stick around after the show to meet Deepsy, Wesley Water Strider and many other marine puppets, all of which are made entirely out of recycled materials.” http://www.mudeyepuppets.org/

"Insects are Cool!" Monday, June 21, 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Hillsboro Main Library.  “Insects are cool! Learn what makes an insect an insect, solve insect mysteries and take a walk to see if we can find insects outside. Our hour together ends with the story of the Bugliest Bug. Registration is required.” Suggested for Grades 1 through 3.


"Musical Splashdown" Tuesday, June 22, 2010  2:00pm  and 4PM at West Linn Library, and 6:30-7:15 p.m. Capitol Hill Library, and Wed, June 30, 11:30am – 12:30pm at Oregon City Library.Popular kids/family entertainer Eric Herman presents a concert show that bursts with comedy, creativity, audience participation and outrageous fun! Eric performs his YouTube smash hits, “The Elephant Song” and “Dance Like an Animal”, and many other interactive and award-winning songs.”

"Family Concert With Recess Monkey", Tuesday, June 22, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Tualatin Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg Street, Tualatin, OR.  Seattle based internationally famous children's recording artists Recess Monkey are giving a free concert! “Tualatin Commons is located in central downtown Tualatin. The Commons can be accessed from both Seneca and Nyberg from both the east and the west. Boones Ferry Rd to the north and Tualatin-Sherwood Rd to the south ostensibly form the north and south boundaries."


"Mad Science: Spin, Pop, Boom!" Wednesday, June 23, 2010 3:30-4:15 p.m. "Hosted at the Fairview Park bandstand at the south end of N.E. Village St. near City Hall, Fairview, OR. Prepare for the weather; event held rain or shine." Also Friday, June 25, Lower George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, OR 2:00 - 2:45 PM. "How do you know that a chemical reaction has occurred? Start with a change of color in our chemically challenging “magic” trick. Move on to an assortment of experiments featuring both chemical and physical changes. Watch in awe as the Mad Scientist creates numerous versions of erupting science! Everything is guaranteed to be amazing!"  Mad Science rocks!  They have extremely entertaining presentations that actually teach scientific concepts. Previously reviewed in this blog. 

"Mr. Bob Eaton, Magician", Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A & B, Wednesday, June 23, 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM  “Mr. Bob Eaton will kick-off our Wednesday Summer Reading shows with his special brand of magic. A local favorite, Bob entertains with his sleight-of-hand skills and his gentle comedy. Please note there is a limit of 300 at this show. The doors for the 12:30 p.m. show will open at 12:20 p.m. Please form a line in the lobby of the library.”  We like Bob Eaton!

“Slightly Illusional: Set Sail” Wednesday, June 23, 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM, Hillsboro Main Library.  and Cornelius Public Library, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.   “Set sail on a high-seas adventure in search of treasure! Join Captain Curt and friends as they explore the world of books, magic tricks, puppets, storytelling and music. For all ages.”

"Rick Meyers’ Old-Time Music Show" at Garden Home Community Library, Wednesday, June 23, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. “Enjoy a delightful mix of historical information, playful dialogue, audience participation, and pioneer music played on the banjo, guitar, autoharp,spoons, musical saw, jews harp, noseflute, limberjack, harmonica,ukulele, washboard, and washtub bass. All Ages.”  Rick Meyers has a wonderful show, and kids really enjoy seeing these unusual instruments up close. Previously reviewed in this blog. http://www.rickmeyersmusic.com/

"komedy 4 da kids" Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:30am – 11:30am at Molalla Public Library, 1:30pm – 2:30pm and  again at 3PM- 4:30PM  at Clackamas Corner Branch Library in Happy Valley, 5:30-6:15 p.m. at Gregory Heights Library, Thursday, June 24, 1:30pm – 2:30pm at Oak Lodge Library in Oak Grove, and Saturday, June 26, 2010   3-3:45 p.m. at Rockwood Library. “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.”


"Big Rig Day" June 23, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at St. Helens Public Library.  "It's a heavy equipment petting zoo! In the gravel parking lot behind the library see a variety of heavy vehicles up close and personal."

"Bubblemania" at West Slope Community Library, Thursday, June 24, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM.  “Who doesn’t love to blow bubbles? Come and try your hand at creating huge bubbles, or blowing lots of tiny bubbles, or even making bubbles with your own two hands. All ages welcome.”

"Leapin’ Louie" Thursday, June 24, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Canby Public Library: “A high energy comedy show with cowboy rope tricks, juggling, and a six-foot high unicycle!”

"Penny’s Puppets" Thursday, June 24 at 2pm. at Ledding Library in Milwaukie. “Penny’s Puppets presents “Myrna the Mermaid and the Golden Key.”  All ages.”  Always a good time!

Mad Science “What Do You Know about H2O?” Thursday, June 24 in three shows: 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.  Wilsonville Public Library - Oak Room.   andWednesday, June 30th, St. Helens Public Library, 1:00 PM - 1:55 PM and again at 2:00 PM - 2:55 PM, plus "Super Structures Science Discovery Station" 1:15 - 2:30 PM.  “Come and shake it up with the Mad Scientist as you learn all about the amazing attributes of water!”  

"Festival of Balloons, Cook Park", 17005 S.W. 92nd Ave, Tigard, Friday, June 25- Sunday, June 27.    This looks to me like pretty much a typical fun summer festival, except, of course, for the hot air balloon mass ascentions that take place (weather permitting) at dawn each morning.  Very cool! http://www.tigardballoon.org/

"Ronnie Robins: Brazilian Music" Wednesday, June 23, at 3:00 p.m. at Lake Oswego Library and Tuesday, June 29, 2:00 PM at Sherwood Public Library. “Be a part of the lively rhythms of Brazilian music! Move, play percussion instruments, and make up your own creative sounds along with Ronnie Robins. You will learn about many different instruments and get to play along.” “Robbins’ children’s shows are guaranteed to get kids swinging and swaying, and they’ll also learn a thing or two about Brazilian instruments.”

"The Reptile Man" will be bringing his jaw dropping, awesome show to two Portland area venues this month: the Gladstone Children and Family Center, 18905 Portland Ave., Gladstone, on Mon, June 21, 9:30am – 10:30am, and the Forest Grove City Library on June 24 at 11AM.  In Forest Grove, free tickets will be given out 15 minutes prior to the show on a first come, first served basis.  This is their most popular show, and the librarian I spoke to recommended arriving early and waiting in line for tickets if you want to be sure you will get one. This is not on  the Washington County  Libraries calendar but they did confirm it. Previously reviewed on this blog. http://www.oregonreptileman.com/id14.html

"Rescued Pets" Tuesday, June 29 at 2pm. at Ledding Library in Milwaukie. “Meet Milwaukie Police Officer Ulli Neitch’s rescued pets.”  

"Mother Seuss Loves to Make Waves" Wednesday, June 30, 2010   11-11:45 a.m. at Hollywood Library. “Mother Seuss shares stories of raising her son, Dr. Seuss and his love for reading, rhyming and making up silly words. She uses ukulele, guitar, bells and loads of percussion instruments in sharing her love of books and reading. Lots of songs and fun round out this program designed for all ages. Brought to you by performer Cinda Tilgner.”


"Curtis Carlyle: Seriously Funny Juggling", Wednesday, June 30, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Garden Home Community Library, and 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM,  in the gym at Valley Community Presbyterian Church, 8060 SW Brentwood, Portland, OR. "Fusing world class juggling skills, side-splitting comedy, and audience participation, Curt Carlyle offers a stunning performance perfect for the entire family."


"Border Collies International Performing Canine Team" Wednesday, June 30, 2010   3-4 p.m.  Hosted by Hillsdale Library, but it takes place across the street in DeWitt Park. “This four-dog, four-kid team entertains and educates audiences with sports demonstrations, such as frisbee, soccer, football, baseball and basketball.”

"Interactive Music with Stephen Cohen" Wednesday, June 30, at 3:00 p.m. at Lake Oswego Library. “An award-winning songwriter, performing and recording artist, Cohen performs original songs and music using guitar and voice.  He uses original sculptured percussion instruments made from various metals, woods, recycled materials, and found objects.  Kids enjoy participating in his show by singing and dancing along, playing instruments, and even adding words and stories to one of the songs.”

"Zephyr Brown" Wednesday, June 30, 10:30am – 11:30am at Molalla Public Library:  “Zephyr Brown will be here with this juggling workshop. Come and learn how to juggle. All ages welcome”




Painting Summer Shirts

I've been keeping out of trouble, more or less, painting some new summer shirts for my Jasper.  As always they are filled with his favorite creatures. Here's a rabbit, before and after, with some mushrooms like the ones that really captured Jasper's imagination on a postcard we received from Finland.  (You can give and receive postcards from all over the world through this free postcard exchange http://www.postcrossing.com/ )  I love to find cool illustrations in old books of copyright free images.  Most of them are taken from very old engravings.
Jasper loved this turkey he met on a recent field trip to Dolan Creek Farm.  It followed the kids all around.  This turkey has been featured in many, many of Jasper's own drawings since then, which he made into books.  Except for some reason it's always red with green stripes.  So he wanted a shirt with a turkey like that.  
This little plastic lemur is one of Jasper's favorite toys.  It's always up to mischief.  
Jasper loves jellyfish, and I knew he'd appreciate one after our recent visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
After I finish painting them, the next step will be to dye them.  I used to dye them first, which definitely helped me to make sure my paints were opaque enough.  But I find I like the results better when I paint the shirts first and then think about which color I should dye each design.  
My hand painted and hand dyed shirts are for sale at:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/stagbeetlepower

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tidepooling Adventure

Spring is the time of year when the Oregon Coast has its lowest tides of the year.  I checked a tide table published by the Hatfield Marine Science Center which you can find here: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/weather/tides/tides.html and was thrilled to see a very low tide on a Saturday during daylight hours, so we made plans to go tidepooling.  Especially because the weekend in question was Memorial Day weekend, I was worried about crowds.  At the OHEN convention, a Hatfield Marine Science Center representative was on hand, and I asked her about my plan to go to Yaquina Head.  She highly recommended Seal Rock instead, because she said it was unlikely to be crowded and would be an easier place for a young child to walk around and see the tidepools without either slipping on rocks or crushing shellfish.  This was a great plan, as the beach was amazing and almost deserted.  It's located only 10 miles south of Newport. There is  more info here on this delightful park:   http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_207.php   We planned our visit to end around the time the tide table indicated the tide would be at its lowest, since we had no idea just how fast it would rise on that particular stretch  of beach.  This also  worked out well, because it rose rather quickly. Jasper loves tidepooling!  It really is astonishing how much life can be found in the tiniest tidepools.  He has learned that if he is patient and gazes for a while, he can spy all sorts of things: tiny flatfish precisely camouflaged to match the sand, snails of all sizes and shapes, things that upon close inspection turn out to be tiny shellfish in the strangest of shapes, crabs no bigger than a fingernail dancing sideways, and plants in alien shapes and colors.  Of course there were fascinating sea anemones and sea stars lurking all over.  Oregon is full of magic!

This is a corner of Seal Rock State Park.  It has a rather large stretch of beach, with literally thousands of tidepools, some large and some no bigger than a puddle.  When we arrived we could hear the joyful barks of seals, but they seemed to be coming from the other end of the park from the most approachable tidepools.  As we were leaving, we thought we would visit them, but they seemed to have vanished.  We were pleasantly surprised to find large numbers of them near the restaurant we picked for lunch.  If you visit, you may get lucky and see the seals at the beach.

What's under a sea star?  Why, tons of tiny sea star toes!

This would make a great math problem: computing the average number of shellfish per square inch.
After the tide began to come in, we headed to Newport to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium http://www.aquarium.org/, and then the Hatfield Marine Science Center http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/.  It turned out to be opening day for the Swampland exhibit at the Aquarium.  I thought the best thing about this exhibit was the alligator swimming in a very picturesque display.  But for the occasion, they brought in a really amazing array of live animals visiting from Brad's World Reptiles.  Kids had many chances to see and interact with all sorts of critters, and even a chance to pet an alligator!  
Jasper loves their jellyfish.  I have loved jellyfish myself ever since I saw a special jellyfish exhibit at the New England Aquarium, years ago.  It was very much like a surreal kinetic art show.  
It was nearly impossible to tear Jasper away from their Touch Pool.  This is one of his most favorite places ever.
We watched them feed a harbor seal.
Octopi fascinate Jasper.  We were delighted to find the octopus in residence at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in an outgoing mood!
Once again it was nearly impossible to tear Jasper away from Hatfield's Touch Pool.