Friday, May 15, 2009

Baptized by Blubber

Iris got to partake in a cool ritual last night, though some folks might think it's a bit out there. If you know me, you probably understand why I thought it was so cool!

Tuluk had brought home a huge bearded seal (mukluk) from hunting on the ocean, which he brought to his mom's house, and when the family called me to go help them work on it, they said that they would like baby to "swim through her daddy's catch". I think they thought I would be wierded out by it, or something, but I thought it sounded cool, like a kind of baptism.

So once the meat and innards were removed from the blubber and the skin, and then once the blubber was cleaned up and removed from the skin, it was nearly ten o'clock, and Iris was sleepy. I bet she would have been more open to the idea of crawling through cold blubber had it been a little earlier in the evening. So, she cried. But most babies do at their baptism! But it still accomplished the goal of the initiation if you will, even if she was in the blubber for only 30 seconds. Supposedly some babies love it and dive through it and rub their heads in it. Well, think about it, it probably feels just like jello wrestling, and a lot of folks love to do that! :) It was also the first time I'd seen how to take care of seal intestines. I really like seal intestine soup!With this big of a seal, you can see that it really takes the whole family to deal with the various parts. But it's a fun visiting/learning time... it's awesome:

It's a Moth!

Yesterday morning, May 14, I awoke to see fluttering in the long-silent caterpillar cage: the creature had emerged from its cocoon! And it was a moth, a black and tawny brown moth. I had almost given up on it, because it had crawled under the soil in its cage so long ago, and there had been no activity for weeks and weeks. I was thinking, "When do we know if it's dead? When do we just empty the cage and declare it a loss?" Well, I'm glad I was just waiting to see, because it actually worked! We actually gave a little caterpillar a chance at life on the tundra. And I'm pretty sure it will be bird food within three seconds of letting it go, since there are about a million birds on the pond near our house....oh well, feeding the food chain is a good thing, too! :)

Here is a picture of when we first saw it, when Esther and I first woke up (so she looks sleepy):Here is a picture of when we let it go, just seconds before it fluttered(too quickly to catch a picture of it!) away into the warm afternoon:Yay experiments!
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