I'd been envisioning a little glass box, or maybe a large goldfish bowl with a screen placed over the top ... I don't know. I DO KNOW that I was NOT expecting what we were blessed with when he brought his "terrarium" home from school last Friday.
Every. Fifth. Grader. In. The. School. created one of these and took it home to their loving families.
Internet. CAN YOU EVEN.
Ima let you finish, but that's clear packing tape holding the (many) seams of that thing together.
Let's take it from the top, shall we?
We begin with the top quarter of a two-liter bottle, which is the portal, IF YOU WILL, to our terrarist world.
In the top layer of potting soil lives a roly poly -- or so we believe. A cricket began his life there, but it ended unfortunately and prematurely before I even met him. RIP, Jiminy.
The soil layer is embedded in another quarter of a two-liter bottle -- this time turned upside-down with its mouth covered by a screen (the screen I envisioned as part of my idealized terrarium!) -- which leads to the water feature.
The water feature is home to a plant and a guppy. Do you see him? He blends in well.
He's a friendly little guy, and very active.
I have to say, the water has stayed remarkably clear, considering. What this terrarium is NOT, is odor-proof. That open top allows Nature's Perfume to escape.
Now. From a SCIENCE perspective, I'll tell you that it's mighty impressive. It's its own little ecosystem, yes indeed-y. Nathaniel can explain it better, but basically the water from the bottom moistens the soil in the top section, which dampens the air in the top section, which creates condensation in the top section. Then the moisture on the sides of the top section runs down the sides of the walls and through the soil, down through the screen and back into the bottom section again. Or so I THINK. I'm not sure I have all that right.
Also, I don't know what that fish eats.
What I would GIVE to have been a fly on the wall when a hundred-and-something fifth-graders walked through their front doors with these things. MOMS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!
Oh, and in case there's any question -- of COURSE we're keeping it. It's fascinating. As much as I make fun, we're having a great time observing it.
Every single one of you should go right out and get yourselves a ghetto terrarium.