Thursday, June 03, 2010

Future Paleontologists of America

We've been learning a lot about dinosaurs around here lately and the other day O Boy decided we should go dig for fossils at Sandy Beach. He'd looked at several dinosaur books from the library and figured out where "dinosaurs lived in Petersburg." So, after looking at more books to find out what tools we should take (good thing we have an old paintbrush we use outside as a toy!), we loaded up the car and headed out for Sandy Beach. I'd really wrestled with this, trying to figure out if I should bury some plastic dinosaurs ahead of time, bury some bones (we found a cool skeleton of some larg-ish animal on the ferry terminal beach), or something ahead of time. I was so sure he'd be disappointed. I fell into the "parent much control all variables trap." Finally, I asked him if he wanted me to bury some of the bones from the ferry terminal skeleton ahead of time. He confidently said, "No!" Wouldn't you know, we headed out the beach and sticking just barely out of the sand was this beautiful old piece of driftwood that looked for all the world like a huge dinosaur bone. Everyone set to work with shovels and paintbrush and dug it out. It was as exciting as I imagine uncovering the first T-rex bone must have been. Then, to top it off, Barb discovered another totally buried (and much larger) piece of driftwood that we had to turn our attention to. That one never got fully uncovered and is waiting for any other paleontologists out there to finish off our work. The best part about this whole thing is that O Boy still wavers back and forth between being fairly sure that it was really just a piece of a log and wondering...what if it really was a dinosaur bone??

Paleontologist O Boy sitting on his discovery. In his lap is a "gun" he also discovered somewhere else and brought along as a part of the Essential Equipment for this expedition. It is important that I note for future generations that he was wearing his favorite helicopter shirt (which, besides being his favorite, had some connection that I've forgotten to digging for dinosaur bones) and some shorts which look very much like shorts the scientists in the pictures of his dinosaur books wear.

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