Tag archives for Animals
You may have seen a dog accompanying a passenger on your local bus, but some wild animals have been spotted hitching a ride on public transportation! In 2002, a coyote climbed aboard a Portland, Oregon, light rail train and snuggled into a seat. Wildlife specialists removed the coyote before the train started moving. Cats, pigeons, and even rhesus monkeys have been spotted on buses and light rail trains!
Most humans eat three meals a day, yet the Dolly Varden trout can go up to a year without eating anything! This fish can expand or shrink its stomach, depending on how much food it can (or can’t) find.
Dolly Varden trout eat the eggs that salmon lay during their spawning season. However, since food can be scarce, they must conserve their energy. By shrinking their intestinal tracts, they can use less energy until they are able to find more food. When they finally get a chance to eat salmon eggs, they can expand their stomachs. Imagine how helpful that would be when you want to finish a banana split!
Simon’s cat is a rather complicated book. It’s about… a man named Simon and his cat. Hey! I guess it’s not so complicated after all!
The book tells the story of Simon, a young man with a big cat, who finds a kitten in a box in his backyard. Feeling pity for the kitten, Simon brings it into his home. But without his knowledge, the kitten gets into quite some trouble. It begins to fight with Simon’s other cat, and destroys everything in the home! Yet Simon always comes at the wrong times- when it looks like his cat is the culprit. This sparks a lot of arguments and competitions between Simon’s cat and the kitten.
The kitten is constantly playing tricks on Simon’s cat and getting itself into dangerous situations, such as playing with the hedgehogs or releasing the rabbits. It also ruins the cat’s litter box, and rips Simon’s pants and shoes! The fights are endless! It seems like the cat and the kitten will never be friends! But towards the end of the book, the cat and the kitten learn to get along. They begin to get used to each other, and they even become friends.
I enjoyed this book. It really gives you an image of what the story is trying to tell! I would recommend it to anyone, even young children. Through silly pranks and stupendous surprises, the story of Simon’s cat and the kitten is truly a great one. And the greatest surprise yet? The entire book is in pictures!
You may have heard that roosters crow when the sun comes up, but scientists at Nagoya University in Japan have discovered that roosters don’t even need to see the sun to know when to crow! Their internal clocks let them know when the new day is beginning. The scientists first exposed the roosters to two weeks of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dim light. The roosters would begin crowing two hours before the light conditions began. In a second experiment, the roosters were kept under dim light for 24 hours a day for two weeks. The roosters began crowing at around the same time every day when they thought it was dawn.
Kristen Navara, a hormone specialist in poultry at the University of Georgia in Athens, had noticed that sunlight didn’t appear before the roosters began crowing. “We have definitely noticed in our own roosters that they begin to crow before dawn and have wondered why that was, but just never thought to test whether it was a circadian rhythm driven by an internal clock rather than an external cue.”
Just looking at our Land Cruiser made me excited, it was the perfect open air safari truck and how we would be traveling through Botswana’s best game parks for the next week. Our guide William was a wealth of knowledge with everything from birds and antelope to the traditional food (which he ate an extraordinarily large amount of)!
Our first sighting was a herd of elephant just steps away. We thought we were hearing lions off in the distance but William told us that it was just the sound of the elephant’s stomachs digesting their food.
Speaking of digestion you should know that while all of this was happening I was curled up in a ball with a case of African belly. But it was my fault for trying all these new yummy African foods.
Even though I felt awful we still had an epic game drive. We saw loads of impala, warthog, elephant, and monkeys with blue butts (they are called velvet monkeys, although I think they should just be called blue butts). As we were setting up camp a herd of elephant walked right by, it made my heart beat soooo fast! We spent all of our nights enjoying braii cooked meals and gazing at the stars.
That night while we slept hippos danced two feet from our heads, lions walked through our camp and monkeys got into our trash. It’s a good thing that I am a sound sleeper.
We saw hundreds of elephants throughout our next day and they always brought a smile to my face.
We then experienced a giraffe fight. There were two males fighting over a female and they would swoop down with their heads and bang the other guy in the belly. It seemed like this was all happening in slow motion and made it very funny to watch. I wasn’t sure who was winning but I knew the next day they were going to have some serious stomach aches (just like me.)
Each of our games drives had been so incredible that we couldn’t imagine things getting better, but they did… guess what we saw? Ya… you are right it, was a male lion walking down the road… wait no he wasn’t walking he was strutting his stuff just as if he were a runway model. He had all kinds of scars all over his face so we realized he wasn’t the kind of cat you wanted to cuddle up with.
Then something even more amazing happened we came across a leopard and her fully grown cub lounging on a dead tree. They didn’t have a care in the world all that mattered to them was their nap. After we watched them lounge for a while it started to rain cats and dogs… no not latterly but if you keep listening we saw more of each!
Next a lion spotting even more amazing than the first. He was in the high grass and you could tell the thunder and lightning really freaked him out. Whenever it would boom his eyes got really big and he would yawn giving us a great view of those massive canines. Right then William got close enough that in one little bound he could be on my lap but luckily that didn’t happen! Phew!!!!
Now you want to hear about the dogs? Okay, I will tell you. On our way back to a swamp of a camp I spotted something frightening two wild dogs trying to get a yummy impala dinner. We were really lucky to see these wild guys because William told us there are only 4,000 in all of Africa.
To end our epic day we saw a black mamba getting a drink from a puddle. Just so you know black mambas are very poisons and my mom doesn’t like snakes so it absolutely freaked her out.
On our final day in Chobe National Park we completed our sightings of the big five with a cape buffalo off in the distance. I heard they can be very ornery for no reason at all so I was fine by me that they were far away. Their horns look like someone used a lot of gel in their hair to make a silly hairdo.
Sadly all of the excitement in these incredible parks was coming to an end, but there are still loads of adventures to come. Talk to you next week!
The hippo and crocodile infested waters were just outside our front door at the Old Bridge Lodge. It was a little unnerving knowing they could just crawl into bed with us, but we decided to stay a few nights anyway. Although the water is full of all kinds of creepy creatures the riverfront is gorgeous.
On our first day in Maun we visited the local village and an empowerment program where woman and men from that and many other villages nearby sell their handicrafts.
We had the opportunity to learn how the beautiful Botswana baskets are made and let me tell you it was not easy. I spent three hours on mine and the inside was just a little bigger than a quarter. It made me realize the amount of time, energy and focus that goes into these baskets that they sell for little or no profit.
After spending a few days in civilization we realized we were ready for the wilderness again and a different kind of safari. This time we were going into the wild by way of boat along the Okavango Delta.
The wind blowing our hair, the water glistening and our first HIPPO!
There he was three feet from our boat and ready to tip us at any minute. Our guide Phaladi steps on the gas and rides right over this massive creature and into the next channel before we become his lunch.
Our next spotting was a baby crocodile lurking in the murky waters just inches away. He was so close I thought he would crawl into our boat but fortunately Phaladi assured us that would not happen. Phew!
Our next morning we took scary to a new level and walked out of our tent and into the animal filled savannah with nothing but Phaladi to protect us. My heart felt like it might just jump out of my chest. Within minutes we saw dozens of different antelope and my dad kept saying, “Where there are prey there are predators”, but to be honest I had no interest in seeing any predators especially lions. AHHHHH!
We finished our walk a few hours later in one piece without seeing any predators and got back into the canals of the Delta. The reeds in the water form a massive maze. Fortunately Phaladi grew up here and knew where to go because I would have been totally lost in about two seconds.
Everest was excited to go fishing and we were excited to have grilled fish for dinner so Phaladi took us to an island where we cast out our lines and put our feet in the sand (hoping they didn’t get bitten off by a croc). After an hour of trying we came to the conclusion that the crocs ate all the fish and didn’t leave any for us.
As the sun was setting we road back to camp and saw six more hippos, all just as frightening as the first especially because we had heard more stories about boats being tipped by hippos. We arrived back to camp and listened to the low moans of a lion off in the distance and enjoyed our fishless dinner under the stars.
Our final day in the peaceful Okavango Delta was spent speeding down the reed canals and keeping a lookout for hippos and their bubbles.
We had an amazing time and didn’t want our Okavango adventure to end but there are sooooo many more great things to come!
The spotted beauties were pacing back and forth in anticipation of our arrival, actually their yummy lunch, just as we pulled into the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The ravenous cheetahs welcomed us as they devoured their horse and donkey meat.
Their meat is surrounding a big bone to slow them down. In the wild they have to eat extremely fast, if they don’t vultures or jackals will take their kill away from them. The only problem is, if they eat super fast they might choke. The six in front of us had very good manners.
We spent the day wandering the 60,000 hectare property and shared dinner with all of the remarkable staff and volunteers. CCF is an amazing project leading the world in the conservation of cheetahs. The project is home to 46 orphaned cheetahs that will never be able to go back to the wild. They have done extensive research on the cheetah and taken injured cheetahs found on the land of local farmers and released them back into the wild after healing injuries or illnesses.
On our first evening we had the honor of meeting the person behind the entire project, Dr. Laurie Marker. She is such a humble and extraordinary lady. We could have talked for hours. She is known as one of the world’s leading cheetah experts. She came to Namibia in 1977 and found her love for these gorgeous creatures. She learned that they were in serious danger. Instead of waiting for someone else to help she decided to BE that someone. In 1990 she founded what is now the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
She has inspired people all over the world to start projects to save the cheetah and other endangered species. One day I hope to do something as incredible for this world of ours as she has.
Dr. Marker and CCF have done some other things to help make our world a better place. They are now taking an encroaching acacia bush and turning it into a slow burning organic wood logs. This is creating jobs and restoring the cheetah’s habitat.
Our next day we watched three cheetah siblings devour their lunch and were told this incredible story:
There once was a mama to be cheetah wandering around a farmer’s property. He didn’t want the cheetah to harm his livestock so he shot the mama. He then realized the cheetah was pregnant. Luckily the babies were developed enough that when he cut her stomach open he saved three of the four cheetah cubs. The farmer tried to care for them but didn’t really know how so he took them to CCF and they have been there ever since.
At sunset we took a beautiful drive through the CCF game park and the Waterberg Plateau. Kudu, eland, warthogs, springbuck and Oryx were roaming around us as the sky turned orange and purple.
Our final morning Dr. Marker wanted me to hear her babies purr so she let me go in and watch an incredible cheetah run. It was epic! They were so close that I could feel the wind as they ran by. I had the once in a lifetime chance to sit down with them and hear them purr… my heart stopped!
I learned so much the last few days and have a new found love for these creatures. Leaving was SO hard I could have stayed forever, but I know that one day I will return and be reunited with my spotted friends and my new role model, Dr. Marker.
Let our African animal adventure begin!
Etosha National Park or “Great White Place of Dry Water” is a world renowned game reserve; it is also where we spent our next epic week! Fun fact… Etosha covers an area of 22,912km.
Within minutes of entering the park we spotted an oryx catching some shade under a tree, from then on the excitement continued. At our first campsite there was a beautiful watering hole filled with all kinds of game; zebra, springbok, kudu, dik-dik, oryx, wildebeest and my favorites… a family of giraffe coming for dinner and a drink. There were four of them so they reminded me of our family. As the sky started to turn purple we watched a lone elephant come for a bath and a drink. Did you know that over 12,000 elephants now live in Namibia thanks to the help of animal conservationists?
Just as the sun was waking up the next morning we left for a sunrise drive.
Coming across the savannah were different kinds of antelope, zebra and then the most amazing of all, can you guess what it was? It was a lioness and her two fully grown cubs. They had just killed a zebra for breakfast and they were gorging themselves on his tender organs. You could hear them tearing his flesh to pieces with their razor sharp teeth. It wasn’t a pretty sight. They couldn’t have been any closer; if I stuck my hand out the window I could nearly touch them. They definitely are not vegetarians like me!
After a yummy breakfast and a successful hunt they were tuckered out so they said goodbye and were on their way. We couldn’t have started the day with anything more incredible.
The watering hole at our next peaceful amazing campsite was beautifully natural and also full of wildlife. Our best sighting was of four rhino coming for an evening splash. They are so prehistoric looking with their wrinkly skin and crusty horn. I had never seen a rhino before so it was extra special.
Our next radiant morning was unbelievable; we saw another elephant, a group of three giraffe just a few feet from our car and last and certainly most amazing a leopard pacing in the bush. That made four of the big five. What is the big five? The big five is denoted as the hardest animals to hunt on foot. We aren’t hunters but seeing those animals was pretty special. We had seen lion, leopard, elephant, and rhino all we need now is a cape buffalo.
Each of our evenings in Estosha was spent by the campfire cooking dinner, gazing at the brilliant sky and sharing stories about the animals and our adventures with my family. We were really lucky to have seen SO many beautiful animals.
Namibia is an extraordinary country full of natural beauty and wonder!
The Namibian sand was calling our name so we grabbed our Kalahari Ferraris (sand boards) and hit the dunes. My heart was thumping in my chest as I was hanging over the slip face. I didn’t even have time to catch my breath and they pushed me over the edge. Each of our seven runs was steeper and faster than the last.
After our adrenaline buzz we wandered the beach and streets of Swakopmund and came across the world’s largest quartz crystal cluster. It is estimated to be about 520 million years old and weighs 14,100 kilograms. Namibia is home to some of the world’s most fine gemstones.
Our next stop was Cape Cross, home to over 100,000 cape fur seals; half of them were one month old pups. The moment we saw the seals our mouths dropped open. Many of the adorable pups were taking their first swim in the ocean and you could tell they were having a ball.
Then something awesome yet scary happened, we were charged by a seal. He was trapped in the pathway and thought we were in his territory. At first it was kind of fun having the seal be so close to us but when he bared his teeth we ran as fast as we could to the truck.
Next we were off to
Brandberg, home of the desert elephant. On our way we visited a local Himba village and learned about their culture and purchased some traditional crafts. The Himba people rub their bodies in a red ochre and fat to protect them from the harsh desert climate. Arriving in Brandberg we were greeted by Bonnie the meerkat and Peanut the talking bird.
The next morning we set out for a sunrise game drive. “ELEPHANT!” is what Everest screamed when he saw a massive bull only ten feet away from us. We drove on and saw another 30 incredible elephants; Moms, Dads, and lots of little calves.
After an epic elephant experience we went back in time 6,000 years to when the local Bushmen roamed the land. There were ancient rock engravings that they used to inform the other tribes what animals were in the area, what animals they were hunting, and to teach the children about the animals. The engravings at Twyfelfontein were very stark but had a beauty about them. My favorites were the engravings of the giraffe. Did you know the Bushmen never killed the giraffe because they thought the giraffe had long necks to speak to the sky gods who brought the rain? Africa couldn’t be more amazing!
How good are Adelie penguins at fishing? Amazingly good, according to new footage taken with cameras mounted to the backs of 14 penguins. The penguins never missed their prey on their recorded dives. The Japanese researchers who worked on the study found that the penguins could catch two krill per second, and could catch as many as 14 fish every 20 seconds.
BOOK NAME: Animal Farm
AUTHOR: George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell depicts true events through a group of animal’s fight for power.
Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm shows apathy towards his farm animals. Soon, Old Major, a respected pig on the farm gathers all the animals on the farm and brings about the idea of rebellion. Even after Old Major dies, the rebellion continues and the animals overthrow Mr. Jones. Three pigs, Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer, expand on Old Major’s preachings and come up with the Seven Commandments of Animalism, stating that all animals are equal and that humans are enemies. At first, all the animals are proud to follow these Commandments. However, Napoleon and Snowball soon get into heated arguments and Napoleon expels Snowball from the farm. This is the beginning of Napoleon’s absolute power and torturous rule over the animals. Slowly, the Seven Commandments change and the pigs begin acting as humans, thus betraying Old Major’s principles.
Animal Farm is an amazing book for all ages. The animal story will touch the hearts of young kids. But, actually this book uses animals as an allegory to depict the Russian Revolution of 1917. All the characters in the book have actual human counterparts such as Napoleon who represents Joseph Stalin and Snowball who represents Leon Trotsky. I enjoyed comprehending the events to understand the Russian Revolution. For example, when Snowball is banished from Animal Farm by Napoleon, it symbolizes Trotsky’s exile from Russia by Stalin. To thoroughly enjoy this book, I suggest keeping a list of all the characters’ human counterparts.
Africa started with a bang! When the 4X4 showed up at our door and they told us how to set up our roof top tents I could feel the excitement in the air. We were all busting to hit the road.
Our first stop was Naukluft National Park where the baboons stalked our camp, but we were surrounded by spectacular canyons, natural pools and waterfalls perfect for swimming. The next morning we saw a herd of mountain zebra galloping through the bush.
In the trees there were these giant birds’ nests created by birds called sociable weavers. We also spotted springbok playing around. Our next stop was Sesriem, home to some truly enormous sand dunes. We woke up with the moon still high in the sky, the stars glistening and we started out for Dune 45. The color was a radiant red.
We hiked up the dune’s spine, and sat down in the warm sand just in time to watch the sun rise. We later drove our speedy 4X4 to Big Daddy, perhaps the largest sand dune in the world. Do you know the reason the sand is red? The sand has iron in it and when it rains the iron rusts and turns the sand a reddish rust color. Well now you know!
Later we went deep into the desert and saw the dry remains of an old lake basin. Crazy right? Actually the entire desert was once believed to have been an ocean. That night our campsite was incredible. We slept under our own acacia tree. When the sun was setting we made our brai (African barbeque) and watched the sun slip below the horizon. As darkness fell we could hear the animals crunching in the bush just a few feet below us. While we were driving through the park we saw our first oryx. The oryx has the most beautiful horns I have ever seen. Another spectacular stop was Mirabeb, a campsite in the middle of absolutely nowhere. There was nothing in sight for miles. We slept under a rock escarpment (over hang). While we were hiking we found mica, a rock with thin pieces of translucent papery material running through it like a mirror. Later in the day we visited the local people in their village and delivered a bag of clothes, toys and school supplies. The children had big smiles on their faces. How about that for another epic week… wow, I am SO lucky!
Let the planning begin. This crazy week was spent preparing for our awesome trip to Africa. We started by narrowing down the countries that were the highest on our list. After hours of studying travel books, maps, and websites our heads were spinning but our current plan is to start in Namibia and travel on to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and finally Mozambique. There are tons of incredible things to do in Sub Saharan Africa. I was only five when I came to Africa the first time so I am super excited to go again. Have you ever been to Africa?
I still can’t believe we have been to 27 countries already in the past 18 months and that this is our last continent. I could travel forever. I love everything about our journey but maybe not the packing. We spent an insanely busy weekend packing our one carryon suit case with school books, a very small amount of clothing, cameras, and binoculars. On Sunday morning we said a sad goodbye to my grandma and grandpa and hopped on the train to Chicago. In Chicago the temperature was four degrees and we nearly froze our fingers off, but we ended our day with piping hot Chicago style pizza.
We left Chicago the next morning and started out on our four day journey to Africa. Within the first five minutes of our drive from the airport to our hotel in Windhoek, Namibia we saw two gorgeous giraffes grazing in the bush.
When we arrived at our hotel we jumped in the pool and started talking to travelers from all over the world. They shared their stories and confirmed that there is an endless list of amazing things for us to do and see. Our first day we toured the city of Windhoek. We visited the handicraft center and saw handmade creations from the small villages throughout Namibia. The indigenous people use things that we would just throw away and turn them into beautiful creations. There were picture frames made of bike chains, boxes made of computer keys, African animals carved from old wood, they even took old radio parts and made solar powered portable radios. It just makes you realize our trash is their treasure. I am so excited to explore the rest of this awe inspiring African continent!
Although lions are known as the kings of the jungle, their numbers have been dwindling due to a loss of habitat and prey. Humans have been encroaching on the lion’s home turf by cutting down trees to create farmland and other developments. This causes the lions to lose both their home and favorite foods.
Any amount will do, but five dollars can buy a lion guardian to protect the big cats.
Photograph by Beverly Joubert
BOOK NAME: Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist
AUTHORS: Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young
A cryptid is a creature that can’t be proven to be 100 percent real. The most famous
cryptids are perhaps bigfoot and aliens, but there are many more out there. Are you familiar
with the Kraken from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series? It turns out that it is a real
creature, except not the way you think it is. It is actually a giant squid that sailors would call
the Kraken. It wasn’t proven to exist until 2004.
Reading this book, I learned that things really can be misinterpreted. One of the cryptids
that has been spotted near Loveland, Colorado, is the Loveland Frog, which is apparently
a giant walking frog that carries a wand that sparkles. This may sound stupid at first, but
most of the sightings occurred at night, so the witnesses may have seen silhouettes from
two different figures overlapping each other. The sparkles that people say they saw from the
wand may come from the stars in the background. Because of the many possibilities that
the witness could have seen, that makes it hard to prove whether a cryptid is real or not.
There was cryptid called the Dover Demon, which looks like a classic alien from the movies
with large eyes and an oversized head. The thing is, it has only been spotted twice, both
on the same weekend. One of the witnesses took a brilliant photo of it. But if that only
happened one night, there are two ways to interpret it. First, an alien might have visited but
only for that weekend. Second, someone went a little bit crazy that weekend.
Overall, my favorite cryptid described in the book is the giant squid because they
eventually determined it was real and it’s large enough to kill a whale. I found this entire
book very interesting and highly recommend that you read it.
BOOK NAME: Chomp
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
On the day I received Chomp in the mail, I stayed up until after 11pm
reading it. It wasn’t Carl Hiaasen’s best book but it was definitely a good book,
The book is set in a Florida swamp with Wahoo and his dad, an animal
wrangler, as the main characters. They are working for a television show much
like Man vs. Wild. The show’s star goes missing and Wahoo, his dad and the
camera crew need to find him. I liked the plot, even though it’s a little confusing
in some places, and the characters in this book, especially Wahoo. He has a lot of
guts. When he was little his thumb was bitten off by an alligator and yet he still
plays with and feeds alligators and other swamp animals. Wahoo’s backyard is a
zoo of the most dangerous animals in Florida, and Carl Hiaasen gives great
descriptions of them. I’m a big animal lover so this was a big plus for me.
Like I said earlier, Chomp is not a GREAT book, but a good one. If you like
reading about animals and adventures in general, I would recommend this book.
I’d probably get it from the library though instead of buying it.
The 2012 BioBlitz is coming! The event will be held on August 24 and 25 in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Teams of volunteers will help scientists identify as many different species of plants, animals, and other organisms as they can during the 24-hour event. If you’re interested in signing up with a parent, click the link below to get more information.
Photograph by Richard Hahn, My Shot
Ben: Today was our first day waking up on the west side of the Rockies. We had lunch on the edge of a small cliff that had a great view of Hidden Lake. Since Hidden Lake’s water is glacial runoff, the water was a teal blue from the glacial “flour,” which forms as the glaciers crush the rocks to a fine powder. There was a chipmunk that would crawl on our boots looking for food.
After lunch, as we started hiking back down the mountain, we saw a female mountain goat with twins, which our guide said was very rare. (I named the goat Georgina the Jumping Goat! I like to name all the animals I see, so I named the grizzly bear that we saw earlier in the week Benny the Bounding Bear!) The mother was still losing her winter fur, so it looked like she had a ripped coat on. I wanted to go cuddle with the babies, but I doubt their mother would have appreciated that. As I was passing a grove of trees, I saw some snagged goat hair, which I stuffed into my pocket.
Thanks to everyone who is following our adventure! We love seeing your comments.
During the boat ride St. Mary’s Lake I learned a lot about Glacier National Park. Some of these things include that St. Mary’s lake is the 2nd biggest lake in Glacier National Park. Another is that there are 25 glaciers remaining Glacier NP. The boat was surrounded by tall mountains and the water was a really dark shade of blue.
All of a sudden, as we were cruising along, someone yelled “BEAR!” I dropped my notebook and rushed over. It was a male grizzly bear (called a boar) climbing down a funnel of big rocks toward the water. Then the captain slowed the boat while we all took pictures and looked through binoculars. Now everyone was on that side of the boat and it tilted. There was a lot of excitement. The grizzly looked so strong and his claws and teeth were enormous–it was simply amazing!!!
Those were the highlights of the boat ride.
Today we went to the First People’s Buffalo Jump. First thing when we got out of the bus we had to get back in because they wanted to drive us to another part of the park where the cliffs were. When we got to the cliff we hopped out of the bus and a park ranger told us a few safety things like “Watch out for rattlesnakes.” or “Don’t step in the prairie dog holes.” So about halfway through our walk the park ranger said, “Who’s the fastest male runner?” So I raised my hand and he said “Okay, what’s your name?” And I said “Jackson.” Then he said “Okay well you’re the young man chosen by the elders, you have to lead your group.” Then we had to assemble into three groups, a group in the back that wore wolf suits [not really], and two groups on either side that had to hide behind rock walls [again, not really]. And then there was me. I had to dress up in a buffalo calf suit [I know that the "not relays" are kind of getting predictable so let's say I pretended]. The idea behind this is since I’m dressed in a calf suit and I’m making noises like I’m hurt, the alpha female [the males are off partying], will come try to rescue me and when she goes all the other buffalo follow. So I have to gradually pick up speed and then the buffalo start running and they eventually run off the cliff. So that’s kind of the concept of the buffalo jump. Thanks for reading!
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BOOK NAME: Oogy
AUTHOR: Larry Levin
Oogy, by Larry Levin, is a true book about the author’s special dog. The moral of this story is that
be it animal or person, looks don’t account for love.
Oogy, a bait dog used in dog fights, loses his ear and suffers life threatening injuries in one of
the fights. He is brought to an animal hospital and is surgically treated even though his chances of
survival are very minimal. However, Oogy slowly recovers, and is adopted by Larry Levin and his family.
They love having Oogy as a pet. Passersby fear Oogy because of his distorted face, but after seeing his
playful self, they fall in love with him. For the Levin family, Oogy becomes the fifth member of the family
because he needs more care and because he is very affectionate. The Levin family and Oogy have a
loving and protective mutual relationship.
I would recommend Oogy for kids of all ages. The author really brings out his dog, Oogy, as a
symbol of hope. I like how the part about the surgery process is very descriptive, yet not gruesome and
disgusting. Also, there are many pictures at the end of the book, which help readers visualize and
connect to the different scenes. Oogy is an interesting book in which readers will experience the
different emotions and feel pity, happiness, joy, and comfort. This book really brings out the
phrase “dogs are a man’s best friend”.
Pasado del Jamon. We pulled in to The Ham Hotel happy to be there. This was one of the coolest hotels in Argentina. There was a big playground, a soccer field and vines to run and play in. There were also all kinds of animals; dog, cats, horses, guinea fowl, puppies, peacocks, and parrots. Mom and dad had fun touring the beautiful wineries and Everest and I had fun playing at the hotel.
We pulled up to San Antonio, our refuge in the high country near Aconcagua, the western hemisphere’s highest summit and stood in awe of the magnificent Andes Mountains. We were ready to do some hiking.
We started our first morning with our new guide, the montana perro (mountain dog), the best guide on the mountain. We hiked up the river bed and down the snail trail. It was gorgeous. The sky was sapphire and the wind was blowing, it was a fantastic day for a hike. The vast mountains took our breath away. We saw so much wildlife, from stallions and cows to colorful birds and foxes.
We went back to a delectable dinner in the refuge after our big adventure with a really big appetite.
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From riding horses like the wind to riding water slides as fast as can be… Our next stop was Salto, the land of thermals in Northern Uruguay. Thermals are pockets of hot water that bubble out of the earth because of uneven heating under the earth’s crust. We spent hours each day relaxing and playing in the water. Since we were in the land of the thermals there were lots of hot springs and water parks.
On Valentine’s Day mom and dad surprised us with tickets to the biggest water park ever. There was a lazy river, pirate ships, rafts, a flying fox and awesome water slides. My favorite was the one that took us slowly at first and then dropped us strait down from 0 to 100.
It was insanely fun.
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