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 12, 2012

I'm Bored!!!

Do you ever get bored during summer vacation?  I have a young friend who does.  She says she is bored because there isn't anything to do.  

Mom and I decided to help my young friend.  We found all sorts of fun things for her to try.  

We want to share our list with you.  Hope that you have fun!

This is a great place to start... a list of 101 things to do!

Fun Crafts to Make:

Outdoor Fun:

Reading and Writing Fun:

http://www.learningforlife.org/exploring-resources/99-720/x08.pdf  http://www.wg.aegee.org/enwg/Environmental%20games%20and%20activities%20booklet.pdf

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Transit of Venus

One of our photos of the Transit of Venus taken with the NASA OWN MicroObservatory telescope.
Wow!  Did you see it?  The planet Venus orbited between Earth and the Sun yesterday.  When a planet crosses in front of the sun, it is called a transit.  Venus will not transit again for another 105 years!

We couldn't see the transit from our house, but we logged on to NASA OWN and set the telescope to take photos from the MicroObservatory.  (To learn more about how you can take free photos from NASA OWN, just check out my November 5, 2009 post, Beautiful Moon.)  

We also watched NASA's video of the transit.  It is amazing and so beautiful to watch!  If you would like to watch the video, just click below.

The video was taken from the NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.  It is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed by scientists.  It was built to study the sun.  The spacecraft was launched on February 11, 2010.  It was designed to have a five year mission.

During its mission, the spacecraft will discover information about the sun's atmosphere.  It will help us to understand the sun's magnetic field.  It will help us to understand how the sun and Earth work together.  If you would like to learn more about the Solar Dynamics Observatory, just click here:  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/main/index.html

Video of Venus Transit courtesy of NASA.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How Do They Do That? This lizard is green... brown... green

Leaping Lizards!!!  We have a funny new friend in our flower pot.  He is a lizard.  He changes colors!  Some times he is bright green.  Some times he is brown.  Wow!  How does he do that?

Our Anole lizard is brown.
Mom and I decided to do some research.  We thought at first that he was a chameleon.  Chameleon's are lizards that change colors.  But this little guy isn't a true chameleon.  He is called an anole.  He is actually a member of the iguana family!

Our Anole lizard is green!
Anoles are about 5 to 8 inches long.  They like warm weather and moist, shady areas.  In captivity, they can live about 7 or 8 years.  In the wild, they live in South Texas and the southeastern states.

Anoles like to change color.  They change color because of the temperature.  They change color when they feel good or bad.  They change color when they are happy or afraid.

How do anoles change colors?  These lizards have a transparent outer skin.  The skin layers underneath have special cells that contain sacks of color pigment.  The secret to these lizards turning green or brown happens in these special layers of skin.

The anole's tail is another interesting part of this little critter.  When they feel threatened or caught, their tail falls off.  The neat part is that their tails grow back!

Male anoles are easy to tell from female anoles.  Males have a special pink half circle under their chin.  This pink half circle is called a dewlap.  The males flare the dewlap when they see a female anole.  The males also flare the dewlap when they feel their territory is threatened.  They bob their head up and down to scare away other males.

Female anoles lay eggs.  They bury the eggs in leafy compost.  The eggs hatch in 30 to 45 days.  When they hatch, the little lizards are able to take care of themselves.

If you have anoles in your yard, it is a very good sign.  It means that your yard is healthy!

For more information on green anoles, click here:

Here is a coloring page for anoles:

You can also check out this great book from your library:  Anoles, Those Florida Yard Lizards by Steven Isham