Tag archives for Nature
We all know that there are some people who are vegetarians, but did you know there are plants that eat meat? These plants eat unsuspecting insects that land on them. Like any good hunter these plants tend to lay traps to lure their dinners. They do this through appealing smells, bright colors, and yummy nectars. However, it has been discovered that some plants also glow under ultraviolet light! This blue glow is invisible to the human eye, but insects can see it and are attracted to it.
The plants have special cells that help them produce their glow. Scientists note that carnivorous plants tend to grow in poor soil, so they trap insects to get more nutrients.
Professional cartoonist and environmental activist Drew Aquilina is bringing fun and laughter to the 2011 Earth Day project “A Billion Acts of Green” with his new collection of nature cartoons in his book “Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up.”
Aquilina uses his cartoons to teach respect for nature by reconnecting with it. Aquilina’s message focuses on the idea that the more people go outside to learn about the world from nature’s perspective, the more they’ll understand and want to protect it.
Click to enlarge cartoons:
NGKids: What are your plans this Earth Day?
Aquilina: I am planning on going to a local childrens hospital to donate some Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up cartoon books and light tables for use at the hospital’s classroom. Many of our local hospitals have classrooms for kids to help them stay academically current with their studies during their hospital stay. During my visits, I will be teaching kids how to draw cartoons by using the light tables and to talk about the environment.
NGKids: What are five fun Earth Day activities that kids of all ages can enjoy?
1. Plan a camping trip in your own backyard, this can be a test run for future camping trips at local camp sites.
Identify what plants and animals live in your yard. Try to discover
what is living right outside your house and get to know your local
plants and animals. Make a list. If you cannot identify each species,
take a photograph or notes and check your encyclopedia, local library,
or online research source to try and identify them.
3. Sign up for
a local Earth Day event. Check local listings for habit revitalizations
or clean ups and help your local environment.
4. Build a friend a
home. Put up or build a bird house to attract nature to your yard. Try
to attract hummingbirds: With the help of an adult, boil one part sugar
to three parts water. Place in a cup.
5. Plant a plant! What
better way to celebrate Nature than to add to it. Plant native trees,
shrubs, or wildflowers. Have fun researching with other people to
discover which native plants exist in your area and enjoy your efforts
long after Earth Day.
NGKids: What’s one thing every person can do every day of the year to help the planet, not just on Earth Day?
Aquilina: There are so many activities that are not only fun but helpful. The main ideas that can be applied every day include recycling, reducing trash, and disposing of it properly. If you see trash anywhere outside, take the time to put it in its right place. We wouldn’t want people to leave trash around our own homes, do think of the outdoors as Nature’s house and keep it clean.
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BOOK NAME: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Kelly
Do you like to explore in your own backyard? Well, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a book about this hobby. This science fiction novel, written by Jacqueline Kelly, encourages you to pursue your interest.
Calpurnia is an eleven year old adventurous girl who lives in Austin, Texas in 1899. Rather than doing household chores, Calpurnia loves to explore the woods. She goes to her lonely, grumpy scientist grandfather to get the book, The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin to learn more about nature. Thus begins Calpurnia’s relationship with her grandfather. Grandfather and Calpurnia discuss about many scientists and their accomplishments. They go to the river and observe animals like baby foxes, squirrels, and bears. They watch a moth’s life cycle and make liquor out of pecans. Together, they realize how a gold grasshopper is the same species as a green grasshopper; they just have different colors because one gets less water than the other one. Grandfather and Calpurnia even discover a new species of plants called Vetch. Calpurnia has a keen interest in science and is a young naturalist!
I loved reading this book and would recommend it to others. It received a Newbery Honor which it truly deserves. It is hard to believe that in 1899 it was difficult for a woman to become a scientist. Incorporated into the story are many tips for a young naturalist. It is interesting how each chapter begins with a Charles Darwin’s theory that relates to the event in the chapter.
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the fourth annual Rachel Carson Contest. The “Sense of Wonder” contest is open to teams made up of two or more people from younger and older generations. There are four categories: poetry, photography, essay, and dance. Teams should create a work that reflects how the team feels about the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful. The deadline for entries is June 16, 2010.
Rachel Carson was an important figure in the birth of the environmental movement. Her book Silent Spring, published in 1962, alerted people to the dangers of the pesticide DDT, which was widely-used at the time.
Get more information on the contest on the EPA website.
Get green tips on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Troy Lim, Your Shot
Holiday decorating is a fun activity for the whole family. This year, bring nature inside and create some table centerpieces, wreaths, and swags from the forest or your neighborhood.
Take a winter walk with your family and gather nature’s bounty to create your own decorations. Fill a backpack or canvas bag with pine cones in all different shapes and sizes. They can be added to mantels, wreaths, or to dress up a table.
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