Snakes!

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Everton meet Electra. Electra, Everton. That’s right, folks. This Wednesday we had visitors! Not just Electra, the ball python, but Frankie, the king snake, as well.

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Both Electra and Frankie belong to our fabulous Museum Educator, Marcy Engleman, who was with us to talk about the difference between venomous and poisonous and the many ways in which animal and insect venom is being used in modern medicine. It was a great class and we can’t thank her enough for helping us get ready for Deadly Doses, our new Museum exhibit set to go on display this June. Although, to be fair, snakes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

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By the end, though, almost all of the Karabots Junior Fellows got into the fun. Here they attempt a 5-way python pass off. Very tricky stuff.

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And I think some of us may well be on our way to getting a snake of our very own some day. See? Snakes are sweet like little babies! Awwwww.

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Fine as Wine

Do you know how wine is made? How it starts as grapes and thanks to a lot of science and a little art becomes wine in a bottle on the shelf? Thanks to Nicholas and Athena Karabots of the Karabots Foundation, we do. Mr. and Mrs. Karabots were kind enough to invite our Karabots Junior Fellows out to their vineyard, Karamoor Estate, on Saturday. In addition to being a lovely day in a beautiful setting, we learned a lot, too.

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Here we are listening intently as their viticulturist ( it means someone who studies the cultivation of grapes) showed us the new buds on the grape vines. Growing grapes is a lot of work and between bugs, animals, mold spores, and rain there’s always a lot to contend with. We hope they let us come back and pick some grapes during the fall harvest.

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After the grapes leave the fields, they are sorted and smashed (by machine, not by foot) and left to ferment before being barreled up to mature.  Here’s Ms. Jeanene keeping an eye on the barrels.

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Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Karabots and the entire staff at Karamoor Estates (Ali, Kevin, and Ryan) for educating and entertaining us on Saturday. It’s always a great day when our students get to spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Karabots, whose generosity makes this program possible.

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I think some of the students really enjoyed getting to see Mr. Karabots’ cool car, too. We have to admit, it was really cool.

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Thanks to Mr. Karabots for some of the terrific photos featured in this blog!