A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

La Bella Luna (The Beautiful Luna Moth)

When I was walking with Mom to the mailbox, I spied something flitting on the grass.  It was a beautiful Luna moth.

Mom gently scooped the moth onto a leaf and took it into the backyard.  She put it on a branch, then ran into the house for the camera.  Here's a picture of our luna moth:

Luna moths have become very rare.  We have not seen one in two or three years.  Luna moths come into our yard because we have sweet gum trees.  They like to lay their eggs on the sweet gum leaves.  They lay about 200 eggs at a time.

Green caterpillars hatch from the eggs in about ten days.  For the next three to four weeks, they eat and eat and eat.  They like to eat our sweet gum leaves.

When the time is right, the caterpillar will spin a silk cocoon.  It will stay inside for two to three weeks.  When it comes out, it is a beautiful Luna moth.

Luna moths only live for one week.  They do not eat when they are in the moth stage.  They don't even have a mouth!

We think that this Luna moth was a female.  Male Luna moths have thicker antennas than the females do.

Luna moths are very big.  Their wing span is about 4-1/2 inches wide.  They are one of the largest moths in North America.

For more information about Luna moths, just follow these links:





Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Need Rain!

I am a water dog.  I love water.  I like to swim.  I like to play in the rain.  I even like to take a bath!  

Here's a picture of me after a swim that I took in Alaska.  I am very happy!  

When we were in Alaska last year, they had the most rainy days on record.  It rained every day for 31 days!

Now, Texas is having just the opposite problem.  We need rain!  March was our driest on record.  We only received .67 inches of rain.  Normally we get 3.36 inches in March.  April isn't looking any better.  In fact, we haven't had a good rain since January!

When it doesn't rain, it is called a dry spell.  When the dry spell lasts a long time, it is called a drought.  

Droughts are hard on animals.  Creeks and ponds dry up so animals can't find a drink of water.   It is also hard for them to find food because plants don't grow without water.  

Without rain, farmers can't grow crops.  Trees get sick.  Grass dies.  When plants get dry, they catch fire quickly.  

Everybody must help by saving water.  

How do we save water?  Mom and Dad take quick showers. They don't let water run unless they are using it.  We never run the dishwasher or washing machine unless they are full.  

They also don't give me a bath very often.  We need some rain!

If you would like to learn more about saving water, check out the fun activities listed below:





To understand droughts better, just click on the link below:




Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Day

Next Friday, on April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day.  Our town will hold an Earth Day Fair.  It will be a very fun day.

Earth Day reminds us that we need to take care of our planet.   The first Earth Day was held over forty years ago on April 22, 1970.  It began when Senator Gaylord Nelson worried that people did not know that our earth needed our help.  We needed to learn how to take better care of it.  Today Earth Day is celebrated all around the world.  

Are you going to go to an Earth Day celebration?   Our Earth Day Fair is all about learning how to help the environment.  We will learn how to recycle.  We will learn how to save water and electricity.  We will learn new ways to take care of our planet.

When we recycle, it helps our earth in many ways.  How?  We have less garbage in our trash cans when we recycle.  That saves room in landfills where they dump the garbage.  Things made from recycled products use less energy.  Recycling is a small way to make a big difference.

We found some fun Earth Day activities that will help you learn more about recycling and saving energy.  You can make a difference on Earth Day and everyday!  Just follow the links below:





Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring is here!

Spring is here!  Flowers are blooming.  The weather is warm.  Our bird friends are nesting.

This week we have been planting flowers and watching all of the new babies in our yard.  A pair of tiny chickadees are nesting in a box in our backyard.

Bird, our squirrel friend who lives in our woodpecker house, brought out her four new babies to play.  (To learn more about Bird, check out our February 8 and March 22, 2010, posts.)

Our dove friend has a new nest.  (We posted about Lovey Dovey on March 10, 2010, and again when her babies hatched on April 9, 2010.)

We have some friends who live in Illinois.  We feel sad for them.  The weather is still cold there.  We are lucky to live in Texas where spring comes early!

Below are some links to some great spring activities.  Have fun!

Just click here for a great bird activity book:  http://www.bu.edu/scscb/programs/Program_resources/kids_bird_supplement.pdf

Below are four great spring flower activity books: