Emma’s Ants, Eggs and Things

I have a friend, Emma.  She is 6 years old, soon to be 7.  Emma is the granddaughter of a close friend of mine, Mikee.  Thanks to Mikee, Emma and I are very close.  I even call her my granddaughter.
Emma is bright, funny, sweet and loving.  I don’t know how to describe Mikee, except to say he is also smart and funny and clearly loves Emma very much. He is also a computer geek.  And he’s the only grown man I know who goes by “Mikee”.

Mikee and Emma have projects.  The first project of the summer was to build an ant farm. Mikee ordered everything online. The ants and the frame and the sand arrived. Then the trouble started.

The frame didn’t quite work out, for some reason that was never fully explained to me. Then, the ants would not behave and go in the very small hole in the frame. Not giving up, a plan was made to use picture frames and a small rotary tool to build the next ant farm. All the supplies were acquired and the farm was ready for the ants. By the way, these ants traveled all the way to Alabama from Nebraska or somewhere, in a tube. Finally, they arrived. The next time I see Mikee, he tells me the story of getting those ants into the farm. Ants bite. So, if you are smart, you put them in the freezer for a bit to make them sluggish. One ant was just a little feistier than the rest and bit Mikee. If you knew Mikee, you would know he can make any story funny and he always has a joke to share. As you can now imagine, he had me in stitches ( that is laughing uncontrollably to those of you not from the South) while describing his efforts to get the ants into the farm and the one that bit him. Of course, he wanted sympathy for his ant bite, but anyone who plays with ants…well, what do you expect?

I think I mentioned that Mikee is a computer geek. Emma’s ants have their own website. They have a live web cam. Who would have imagined this? Now, sad, but true, the ants have died.

But wait, just as seen on TV, there is more!

Mikee and Emma have a little quail egg incubator.  This required much research on Mikee’s part to find the perfect eggs and all the information needed to be sure the eggs hatch. ( I still don’t know what they plan to do with 10 baby quail in an apartment!).    Mikee and Emma had to build the incubator and the egg turning apparatus, which gave Emma many real life science and math lessons.  Then Mikee added the eggs to the website so we could watch the quail eggs in real-time.  There is a lot of scientific information about humidity, temperature, timing, turning, etc. that I don’t really remember and so you’ll have to ask Mikee if you want to know.

Now for the good stuff, Mikee texted me shortly before 7 am, CDT, to tell me the eggs were hatching.  I replied that it was too early for eggs and tried to go back to sleep.  But, no, he texted again and then called me to tell me to go “see his babies”. I asked if he also woke up Emma.   He texted me a picture of Emma, who was sound asleep, apparently not too worried about the baby quail.  I think Mikee is having more fun with this than Emma.  Like a child at Christmas.

If you want to see Emma’s eggs, please take a look.  I will have to keep up with these”babies” and their antics for a while.  Next, there is some plan for betas?  Who knows?  I know one thing, Emma is having a fun summer!



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