I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham.
I am sure this would suffice as an add on to the coloured egg experiment post but we had so much fun with this I felt it deserved a post all to itself!
We repeated the experiment but this time on two eggs, one of which we coloured red as before and the other one we coloured green… because the children (especially the BIG ones) couldn’t let it go without trying to make “green eggs” and ham!
The first day we dissolved the shell away in vinegar and then yesterday we transferred the eggs a cup of coloured water and left them overnight. We had the fun of checking them out when we got up this morning… and they didn’t disappoint!
The colouring step definitely worked, but we still wanted to cook a coloured egg.
We snipped the membrane of the green egg and scrambled it, and finally we had our “green eggs and ham“!
Doesn’t look too appetizing, does it? But I persuaded the Science Wows team to try it out…
And how does it taste?…
It tasted awful!!!
But we had fun!
I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
We waited a long time for the return of our friends, the House martins, this year. We were so pleased last year when two pairs built nests on our house, in fact, they inspired my first blog! House martins tend to repair and re use their nests each year so we were sure they would return. By the end of May though they still had not arrived and we began to give up hope. Finally, just at the end of May we spotted the familiar flight of their small bodies outside the window and the household celebrated!
Last year we had two nests under the eaves on our house. This year, as well as repairing the old nests, more couples arrived and built adjoining nests and one more on the South facing end of our house… so now we have five nests… more rejoicing (you get the idea – we REALLY like House martins in this family).
The first nest built on our house!
One pair of nests is literally built over a door into our kitchen so we get to enjoy the cheery little guys every time we come in and out. My nine year old daughter has inherited her father’s obsession with them and took to checking on them every morning as soon as she awoke. They make a really chatty, cheery sound and always seem to pop their heads out and greet us as we pass, like gossiping neighbours chatting over a garden fence!
The big excitement this week was when we spotted the ejected egg pile below one of the nests. The first batch of chicks have hatched! Eight egg halves in total so four chicks which is in keeping with the norm. The eggs are tiny as you can see below. Hard to imagine how small the chicks are. The will be fed by both parents for the next couple of weeks and then will fledge about 22-32 days old. The young fledglings usually return to the nest for another week or so and will be fed by the parents during this time.
Evidence of four hatchlings!
Look how small the eggs are!
As amazing as it is to realise how small the hatchlings are, it is an equal marvel to wonder how the whole family fits into the nest after the chicks have grown. It is an amusing and charming site to see so many little heads beeping out of such a small space.
How did you do with this week’s mystery creature? Did you like the little twist this week… can you name this EGG? So what common back garden bird laid these eggs?…
This week’s mystery creature… robin eggs!
It was a Robin! These six beautiful speckled eggs were laid by a robin right outside my kitchen window. I have been charmed watching her gather the nest materials and then “sitting casually” on the fennel plant to distract any threatening on watchers of her ultimate path to her new home. She prepared her nest on the ground alongside my herb garden, in a clump of scutch grass. As we do not wish to disturb this nest in any way the possibility of grass cutting or weeding in that area of the garden has been put on hold…. can you hear my husband’s sigh of relief?
The female does all the nest building and then lays four to six eggs (one a day); the male helps out by helping to feed his mate during these busy times. The incubation period is approximately 13 days and, judging by the haggard look of the birds over the last few days, I would say their little brood have hatched….. I remember that stage in my own life!
Following on from this weeks blog about all things eggy – today’s thought is …”Why DO hens lay unfertilized eggs?”
It seems like quite a wasteful process, don’t you think? All that protein, fat, nutrients, calcium that go into the making of one hen’s egg – what is the point in going to all that trouble if there will be no offspring at the end of it?
Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter…
Firstly, we are looking at the fairly recent domestication of the species; in the wild it is likely that roosters would be naturally part of the flock and all eggs produced would be fertilized. In the domestic situation roosters are often not present but the evolution of the hen has not (as yet anyway) been modified!
If we look at egg production in any species we will notice that eggs are usually released and developed in a cyclic manner (we humans are no different). If you see this cyclic process as being wasteful at times then the label will fit for most animals, not just the humble hen!
Finally, you could suggest that it is a downside to the evolution of the egg shell! Animals that produce soft shelled eggs usually have a requirement for water in the reproductive process. In fact, for many of these species the eggs are fertilized outside the female body. Although the addition of an egg shell removed the dependence on water for reproduction, it also removed the possibility of fertilisation once the egg is laid!
So there you have it, these are some of my thoughts on the subject. I am not suggesting that any of these points are backed up with scientific findings…. the are just the random thoughts of this simple scientist! Maybe you have your own theories to add?
…just a thought!