Tuesday 7 August 2018

Little Superheroes and Neil the Seal!

I love where we are living at the moment. The beach is within walking distance. School is within walking distance. There's an amazing Fish and Chips shop within walking distance. We get dozens of native bird species flying into the backyard. And now, for the time being anyway, we have a resident fur seal visiting the island.

From time to time, a lone fur seal decides to visit the island and lay around on the beaches for a few months. The little fella visiting the island this year has been here for a few weeks and moves from beach to beach. So late one afternoon we went on a beach walk to find said fur seal. Through social media - no, the little fella doesn't have an account, the locals have been tracking his whereabouts on the island - we found out where we might find him and we set off on a beach hike.

O and L had fun along the way - chasing waves, finding shells, weaving paths up and down the beach, asking every person heading the opposite way if they'd spotted the seal - until we spotted the little fella having a snooze on the shoreline.

Before we headed off on the beach hike, we gave both little superheroes strict instructions that if, and it was a big IF, if we found the seal that they weren't to go too close. There is an exclusion zone in place for the seal's safety and for the locals safety. When they spotted the seal, the both crept forward quietly and sat down to watch the little fella sleep. There were cries of "Oh, he's so cute!" and "Why isn't he moving!"

L was fascinated by the seal and kept trying to creep closer and closer to him. L just doesn't understand the concept of danger quite yet. At one point the little seal gingerly opened one eye and starred at L as if to say "What are you doing? Get away from me!" Just before we left to walk back to the car, O and L sat in the sand and drew pictures for the little seal. It was a great experience for both O and L. It's not often that you get to see wildlife like this up close in their natural habitat!

Saturday 4 August 2018

Sensory Souls Train Day!

Back in April, I wrote a post about a Sensory Souls event in which the little superheroes had a go at paddle boarding. This was our first sensory event since moving back to sunny Queensland and both O and L loved the experience.

Well just recently there was yet another Sensory Souls event - a model train day and seeing as though both O and L love model trains, we went along for the ride. Pun intended!

As I have previously mentioned, on numerous occasions, both O and L struggle on outings if there is much noise or too many people. The events that Sensory Souls organise and conduct are brilliant as the number of participants are limited so hence the noise and busyness of the event is also reduced.

Prior to the event I was told by the lovely ladies from Sensory Souls that the little superheroes were going to love this event and boy were they right. It was a truly amazing day. We took one of the little superheroes friends along for the day and all three had a ball. We started the day by finding a few playgrounds to explore on our way to the model trains location. They were a little excited so burning off some energy was much needed as was getting a little proprioception input!

When we arrived at the trains, all three didn't know where to look first. There were steam trains, electric trains, tunnels, bridges, stations and more as well as park areas to explore.

Our first stop was being a train driver. Those who were attending the event were given the opportunity to drive a small electric train, under close supervision of course! L's favourite part of driving the train was having his finger on the horn the entire way round!

After three trips around the small track as all three little superheroes wanted to drive the train, we went and joined the queue for the big track. The big track is just amazing - to see all of the track, which is four times around, takes anywhere between an hour and an hour forty five minutes. It was huge.

I spotted the grand old steam train and convinced the three little superheroes that we should ride on it. They were all enthusiastic about it until we went through thefirst tunnel. Faces full of soot and steam equals three unimpressed children!! Ah, what's a bit of soot between friends! All three quickly learnt as when we went through the next tunnel, heads went down and eyes were closed!

So once again, thank you Sensory Souls and all of your train loving volunteers, it was a great day out. L is already counting down the days until next years train day!

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Lunar Eclipse July 2018

As you know, O loves everything and anything to do with space. In January 2017, she researched eclipses as she wanted to find out all about them. Her goal for last year was to watch a lunar eclipse but alas we were never in the right place at the right time to watch an eclipse. Her highlight though of last year was getting to meet Dr Scott Parazynski, a former NASA astronaut who also happens to be the only person to have both flown in space and climbed to summit of Mt Everest.

So when she worked out that there was a lunar eclipse this year that we would be in the right place at the right time to view, the alarms were set.

As O said "It's going to be the longest lunar eclipse THIS century and the moon will turn bright red during the eclipse. We HAVE to watch it. Please!" How could we resist!

The clouds in the sky prior to us trying to catch some sleep eye were rather ominous. But to our surprise and delight the skies were clear in the early hours of the morning on Saturday the 28th of July. The moon was magnificent and to O's delight we were able to spot Mars very clearly.

It still amazes me every time we gaze at the moon through our telescope. The sight of the moon never gets old!

The eclipse began at 3.14am. This was the Penumbral stage when the earths penumbra, or shadow, began to touch the Moon's face. The spectacular part of the show started about an hour later and oh my gosh, I don't think I have ever seen O so excited! Lots of bouncing and stimming!!

L got up, saw the eclipse and then prompted decided to go back to bed! O on the other hand wanted to stay up and watch the eclipse for as long as we could. Unfortunately for O, the moon dipped behind the trees and we weren't able to watch it turn red. However it pays to have friends who were able to watch this phase of the eclipse!

So, where were you when this eclipse occurred?