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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Found an Acrobat Bat!

It has been a very special day.  We saw something that we have never ever seen in our yard... a bat hanging upside down!  We call him our acrobat bat because he was hanging by one foot!

An Eastern Pipistrelle bat

I found the bat.  Mom and Dad were sitting on the deck when I smelled him.  

I went to take a closer look.  He was hanging upside down in a little tree.  He looked like a big cocoon hanging there.  When I touched him with my nose, he moved.  And I jumped!

Mom came over to see what it was.  She was very worried at first.  She was afraid that the bat had bitten me.  Bats can carry rabies.  But the bat didn't bite me.  He just opened up his wings and startled me.

Mom rushed into the house to get her camera.  She wanted to take some photos.  She was so excited!

We have been trying to find out what kind of bat he is.  He is very tiny.  We think that he is an Eastern Pipistrelle bat.  These bats are the smallest bat in the eastern United States.  

Dad measured the bat by putting a ruler close to him.  The bat was only about 3 inches long.  He was much bigger when he opened up his wings.

We have been learning a lot about bats today.  We discovered some very interesting things about them.  Bats are the only mammal that fly.  When they sleep, bats hang upside down.

Bats may look scary, but they are very helpful.  Most bats are insectivores.  That means that they eat lots of bugs.  We sure hope that our acro-bat stays around our house!

Just remember that you should NEVER pick up a bat.  He may bite you.  The bat also may have rabies.  Rabies is a very bad disease for both dogs and people!

If you would like to learn more about bats, we found some really wonderful activities for you.  Just click the links below:

Here are some bat fact sheet:

These are bat puzzles:

This is a fun book about Frankie the Free-tailed Bat, written by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tippy Canoe and Water Safety

I love the water.  When we went camping last weekend, I spent a lot of time in the water.  Our campsite was right on the lake.  It was wonderful!

Mom and Dad brought my blow-up swimming pool to keep me cool.  

We also brought our canoe.  A canoe is a boat with pointed ends.  You use paddles to make it go.  

Mom and Dad have a rule.  When anyone uses their canoe, they must wear a life jacket.  In fact, every person in the boat must wear a life jacket.    

Why is it important to wear a life jacket?  Canoes are very tippy.  If the canoe tips over, you will get very wet.  A life jacket will help to keep your head above water.

It is important to learn about water safety.  Just click here for some great activities about water safety:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Seatbelt and Your Seatbelt

 Every time we ride in a car, we need to wear a seatbelt.  Do you remember to wear your seat belt?  I do! 

Because I am a dog, I wear a special seatbelt.  It is called a safety harness.  The harness goes between my front legs, up my chest, and around my shoulders.  Mom clips my harness to the car's seatbelt.

Here are two photos of me in my harness.

There are many kinds of seat belts for dogs.  Little dogs normally ride in pet carriers.  Medium size dogs and big dogs need to use a harness.  

I am a very big dog.  I weigh nearly 100 pounds!  A harness is the safest seat belt for me. 

The same is true for children.  If you are very little, then you need to ride in a car seat.  When you get a little bigger, you can use a booster seat.  When you get to be a "big kid," then you can ride in the car with a regular seat belt.

If you would like to learn more about seat belt safety, we found some great activities and coloring books.  Just click on one and start to have fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Road Trip!

This coming weekend we are going camping.  I am very happy.  We will be camping with two of my favorite people in the whole world, Alex and Derek.  Alex and I are the same age.  Derek is just two years older.

We are going to sleep in our little camper.  We are going to go fishing in our canoe.  I know that Alex and Derek will also play ball with me.  It will be so much fun!

Since it is already very hot in Texas, Mom and Dad want to make sure that I am safe when we camp.  I have a very heavy fur coat.  We must be careful that I don't get too hot.

They will bring my blow-up swimming pool.  Sometimes they even put ice in the water to keep me cool.  The ice makes me cool down fast!

If it is too hot at night, they put an ice pack on my tummy to help me cool down when we sleep.
They have a special pouch that they fill with ice.  They put the ice pack on my belly because that is where my fur is the most thin.

I need to drink lots of water when it is hot.  So Mom and Dad pack a big jug of water just for me.  They bring my food, my bed, and a toy for me.  They also bring my leash.  When we go to parks, I must always be on my leash.

They also make sure that I am safe when we travel.

When I ride in the car, I wear a safety belt.  A dog seat belt is different than people seat belts.  I wear a special harness.  Then Mom clips my harness to the seat belt.

Cars get very hot in the sun, so Mom and Dad never leave me in the car alone.  If we drive a long time, they stop every few hours so I can get out and stretch.

Do you travel with your dog or cat?  Here are some great activities to help you learn more about traveling safely with your pet: