ArchivedLogs:Between the Storms
|Between the Storms|
Is time for Sunshine!
16 June 2013
Father's Day picnicking! Also...an impromptu science lesson.
Less than an hour from the city proper, Westchester is accessible by train but far enough removed to play home to extensive sweeps of farmland, as well as enough parks, reservoirs and riverland by the Hudson to make people feel like they have gotten away from urban life.
The rains have passed, for now, a lull in between storms that leaves the /weekend/ a brief spell of glorious weather sandwiched in between downpours. That's OK. It can downpour all it /wants/ on the weekdays. Today the twins are taking /advantage/ of the sunshine.
Taking advantage of it /far outside/ the city, for sure. Far outside /people/, even, leaving little to no chance of current hostilities ruining their /very determined/ plans to have /one/ Happy Day.
There was quite a /bit/ of planning involved. Morningtime sneaking around to redecorate (with Shelby's assistance) Jax's apartment with a /swarm/ of jewel-bright colourful dragonflies now gracing his living room walls. Breakfast prepared for both Jax /and/ Micah (berry-laden vegan French toast, grits with a splash of coconut milk and brown sugar). A drive out (... with Micah's assistance, most likely!) school-wards to PILFER some horses. A long ride past lake and through trees and past some of their favourite climbing spots!
And now here. With picnic lunch carefully packed (or, now, unpacked! the horses loosely tethered to a nearby tree with nosebags of their own for munching) -- /this/ part they've likely /also/ received assistance on; the breakfast pretty much tapped out the twins' meagre COOKING skills but Liam's much more deft hand is evident in the current wash of goodies. Spring rolls wrapped in soft rice paper, stuffed with cilantro and mint and mango and sprouts with sweet chili sauce for dipping; small black-bean-patty veggie sliders, salad with balsamic dressing (and no iceberg lettuce in sight), a box of raspberry bar cookies, thermoses of lemonade.
Spencer has flopped himself down on a corner of one of the blankets brought for picnicking purposes. He is currently not eating food, instead steering Jerusalem around to investigate the food /for/ him. "He wants a raspberry bar," he announces.
"You didn't give him a /mouth/, how's he going to eat that?" Shane objects.
"Osmosis," Sebastian answers; he's not sitting but tucked into a crouch that seems like he might spring /out/ of it at any moment. Peering down over the edge of the sort-of-cliff they've commandeered the top of, looking off over the trees spread out below.
"What's osmosis?" Spencer wants to know.
"I -- don't know," Jackson is forced to admit, with a deep blush; he glances first to Bastian and then to Micah for help with this question! "What /is/ osmosis?" Out here he is looking -- kind of better than he has in days! And without the help of illusion, either; the scars spread down his arm and face and neck are clearly visible in his short-sleeved blue t-shirt. But there's colour in his face and no shadows under his eye and he's even smiling, small but warm. "... /I/ want a raspberry bar." Dessert first /and/ dessert last. He only takes one, though! And /splits/ it with Spencer.
Micah is sprawled out on his side with a plate settled on the blanket in front of him. He is wearing his technology-upgraded Darwin finch sketch T-shirt, jeans, and boots appropriate for riding. "Spontaneous diffusion of solvent across a selectively permeable membrane," he textbook-answers Spencer's question before clarifying in more kid-friendly terms. He sets a half-eaten spring roll back on his plate so he can talk with his hands while he explains. "It's like...if you got water with salt in it on one side and water with no salt on the other, an' the thing in the middle lets water through, but not salt. Water will fill up on the side with salt until it's less salty. We can run a pretty simple experiment so y'can watch it happen sometime."
Spencer listens to this explanation intently, both the textbook-answer and the layman's answer that follows. "We can?" He brightens, here. He takes the raspberry cookie to down it in two quick bites! Jerusalem walks his way over to Micah instead, as, apparently, the next most exciting thing around now that cookie has been had. "Like what kind of experiment?"
"What kind of experiment do you think would show that well?" Sebastian wants to know.
Shane is joining him in his crouch, watching the trees below, as well.
"Um --" Spencer frowns, fiddling with his remote. Jerusalem creeps one leg up Micah's shin. Then another. "Putting -- something -- in salt water. Something -- with less saltwater." Creeeep. Second leg. Micah is getting CLIMBED.
"Huh." Jax listens to this explanation, too! Prooobably getting less out of the textbook-explanation and more out of the kid-explanation than his seven-year-old does, even. He does not bother with silliness like /plates/, just nabbing a tinyburger to eat it plate-free. "Will that just happen till everything equalizes?" His head turns to watch the twins, curious. "S'out there?"
Munchmunch, Micah has to set the spring roll down again. He had apparently thought this out already, however! "Could get a tiny bit of dialysis tubing from one of the hospitals I work at, t'act as the membrane. Couldn't use salt, 'cause the molecules would be small enough to pass through. Need somethin' bigger, like a carbohydrate maybe. So, you fill a glass up with fresh water, put in tied-off tubing with water and starch, and can watch the tubing pump up with water. Then, if you fill a glass with starch-water, put in the tubing full of fresh water, and you can see the tubing shrivel as the water goes out. Kinda like watching red blood cells in hypertonic and hypotonic solutions..." He nods at Jax's question, though he is eyeing the robot-creep as he continues his explanation. "In the absence of added energy to drive things in another direction? Pretty much, things proceed naturally to a state of equilibrium."
"What's a hypertonic solution?" Spencer wants to know next.
"It's -- when it has a higher concentration of the solute outside the cell." Sebastian is answering this a little distractedly, attention still turned outward.
"-- What's hypotonic," is the next question.
Bastian doesn't answer this; he turns to squint over at Spencer. "What do you think it is?"
"A -- lower. Concentration." This pause doesn't so much come from having to think about it much as from Spencer sticking his tongue out the side of his mouth so that he can navigate Jerusalem up the uneven plane of Micah's legs to perch victoriously on top! The spider even lifts his front two legs. In triumph.
"You've been conquered," Shane says. He glances towards Jax, then back down. "-- lunch," he answers.
"What kinda added energy makes things not-osmo..." Jackson hesitates a moment on the proper ending for this word, finishing a little uncertainly, "... te? Or osmote faster, I guess. Uh." His nose crinkles. He polishes off his slider, reaching for a roll next to dip it in sauce. "... what happens to blood cells?"
"Oh no! Jerusalem has come for my lunch!" Micah exclaims in mock dismay as the robo-spider seems to declare victory over his /legs/. He nabs his discarded spring roll and pops the remainder into his mouth. Ha, spider! None for you! "S'accountin' for things like active transport. Cells can use chemical or electrochemical energy to drive molecules from low concentrations to high concentrations... Blood cells can be fun to watch in under a microscope! If you put them in really saline solution, they shrivel up. If you put them in enough fresh water, they'll take it in until they explode."
"Can we do that, too?" Spencer looks up at the two adults eagerly. Jerusalem's legs wave! And then are set back down so that he can inchinchinch up further towards -- oh no falling. The spider tumbles down to land on his back on the blanket again. Wallcrawling upgrade provides little traction against /clothes/. "You can have my blood. For a microscope."
"You just like making things explode," Shane says with a smirk; it doesn't sound much like a criticism.
Spencer /beams/ at him.
The twins get up nearly as one unit, rising in tandem at some unheard (unsmelled?) signal from the trees. "Gonna eat," Sebastian says; Shane darts in to peck Jackson on the cheek. And then, after only a small hesitation, Micah, too. "Don't go home without us."
"That don't sound like the /explodey/ kind of explosion. But we could get you a microscope. Or -- borrow one from Liam," Jackson muses. The kiss brightens his smile; his arm lifts to give Shane a quick squeeze. "Oh, I don't plan on movin' nowhere for a /while/. There is still a whole afternoon of sun to soak up."
"Uh-oh! Spider down!" Micah chuckles as he reaches for Jerusalem to turn him upright. "Pretty much. If we can get our hands on a microscope with 400x magnification...oughtta cover it," Micah speculates, just above a murmur. He smiles and pats Shane on the shoulder at the tinykiss. "Wouldn't dream of it. Terrible ride-etiquette to leave people behind."
"They're Southern," Sebastian reminds Shane, "they'd never do something that's a breach of /etiquette/."
Shane chuffs at this, a quiet laugh. "Happy Father's Day," he says, and this comes with a hand clapped firm to both Micah and Jax's shoulders before he rejoins Bastian.
"Can I come?" Spencer asks this so hopefully!
"Nope." The twins answer this in tandem, too.
"Maybe once you've grown claws," Shane says with a flash of very sharp teeth towards his little brother.
"And can beat Shane in a race," Sebastian adds, ruffling Spencer's hair.
And then the twins drop to all fours, loping off down the path they just rode up. Probably to return in an hour or so. A little bloodier. A lot more satisfied. Enjoying their brief spell of sunshine in between the storms.