The Scientific Birthday Party

Recently, my wife, Christa, decided to offer her knowledge and skills as a professor of biology to kids’ birthday parties. Don’t laugh, it’s for real, and all at the request of parents and children. Last weekend, she brought sheep’s eyeballs and frogs for dissecting at a party here in Magnolia (again, by special request). We also brought our tarantula, who demonstrated her feeding techniques, and our whip scorpion, who mostly hid.

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Christa gives children instruction on proper dissection techniques.

While this might sound like the scariest, grossest birthday party ever, the kids had a blast and were fascinated by Christa’s scientific explanations. They dissected eyeballs and frogs, even examined the contents of their frogs’ stomachs, and not one of them barfed up birthday cake.

I was on hand to photograph the event, of course, and I shot pretty well, despite being somewhat under the weather. Using the 35mm lens, I simply circled the dissection tables repeatedly, focusing on the facial expressions of the children, Christa’s lectures and hand-gestures, and, of course, on the animals and specimens. Not the most challenging photographic assignment, but we did have a lot of fun — and even lined up another birthday party.

Christa displays the lens from a freshly-dissected sheep’s eye.

Christa displays the lens from a freshly-dissected sheep’s eye.

This little girl reacts with thinly-disguised glee as she dissects a sheep's eye.

This little girl reacts as she dissects a sheep’s eye.

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