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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Swim Party

It is already hot in Texas.  Since I am a water dog, Mom and Dad got me a new swimming pool to help keep me cool.  Yesterday, I had my first swim party.  It was so much fun!

I love to lay down in my pool.  I also like to dive for my golf ball.  I can even dunk my head under water.  Can you do that?

I wanted Mom and Dad to join me.  They think the pool is too small.  What do you think?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiders are Orbiting the Earth!

There are spiders circling the earth!  REALLY!!!

When space shuttle Endeavour launched yesterday, it carried some very special cargo.  Two young spiders were on board.  NASA calls them spidernauts.

The golden orb spiders (Nephilia clavipes) will be part of an experiment.  The human astronauts want to know how the spiders will spin their webs in microgravity (little to no gravity).

Golden orb spiders build very beautiful webs.  Will their webs look the same in space?

The spiders live in special boxes on the shuttle.  Once the astronauts dock with the space station, they will transfer the spiders and their habitat boxes onto the space station.

Part of Endeavour's cargo also includes food for the spiders.  They will eat fruit flies.  Fruit flies don't sound very tasty to me, but my spider friends love to eat them!

If you would like to learn more about the spidernauts, just click here:  http://solarsystem.jpl.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=2378

By the end of the week, you can see the spiders in their new home on the space station.  Just click here:   BioEd Online 

The BioEd site also has lessons and other activities for you to use.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Space Shuttle News!

Dear Friends,

Today the space shuttle Endeavor launched into space.  It was so exciting to see it go!

If you would like to watch the video, just click here:

The Endeavour astronauts have lots to do.  During this mission, they will bring spare parts for the space station.

They will also install a new scientific tool.  It is called an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.  It will help us to study cosmic rays and other kinds of matter.

If you would like to follow Endeavour's mission, just click here:

It is hard to believe that the United States will only have one more space shuttle launch.  Atlantis is scheduled to launch in July.  I am trying not to be sad.  I wanted to be the first dog on the space shuttle!

NASA has some very fun space shuttle activities for you.  Just click on one of the links below and have fun!

Space Shuttle Activity Book:

Space Shuttle Glider Kit: 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sad Day

We have had a very sad day.  We lost one of our favorite trees.  He was a red oak that was nearly two stories tall and about two feet across.  Mom always called him our "grandpa tree."

Over the past few years, he has been losing limbs.  When spring came around this year, the entire middle was bare.  We called in a tree doctor.  The doctor said that our old red oak had a canker, which is kind of like cancer in people.  He said that trees are like people.  They get old and sick and die.

The tree doctor said that we needed to take the tree down.  He was afraid that if a hurricane came that the tree would fall on our house.  Today some men came and cut down our old friend.  Mom cried.

Already the squirrels are playing on the stump.  But it isn't the same as having our old friend.  The back yard looks so empty without him.

Dad says that we'll plant a new tree this fall.  We will plant it behind the stump.

We have been reading about how trees age and why they die.  If you would like to learn more about trees and why they are important, just visit one of the following sites.