Time to Explore
A Luna Moth at the Front DoorOne morning in the Hills of Charleston, WV, my daughter discovered a beautiful moth in her front walkway. It turned out to be a Luna Moth - also known as a 'moon moth' or 'giant silkworm moth.' Her daughter, Madison (10), was intrigued and did research on it. The following description was taken from her notes.
The life cycle begins with an egg on the underside of a leaf. It then morphs into a caterpillar that immediately eats leaves of trees - its favorite are nut trees such as walnut or hickory. It creates and sheds its 'exoskeleton' 5 times as it grows, finally spinning a silk cocoon where it stays about 2 weeks.
The Luna Moth emerges on an early spring morning. Its wings are short, stubby, and soft. It climbs some place safe until the wings fill with body fluid and become larger and solid so that it can fly away. It's wing span is approximately 4 and 1/2 inches.
It lives approximately one week in early spring or summer and is active at night (nocturnal). It has no mouth to eat with. It's solve purpose is to mate and lay eggs. Their predators (enemies that eat them) are owls, bats, and hornets.
Book Reviews for KidsDog Diaries, Togo by Kate Klimo
(Middle grade readers)
Togo, a Siberian husky, narrates his own true story. The vocabulary, emotions, and loyalty to his master, are 'dog like.' His communication with other dogs - and his own thoughts - are italicized. Barks, nips, and yelps make it even more realistic.
The Appendix elaborates on the facts of this amazing story of Togo and his role in transporting serum to patients during a dreadful diphtheria outbreak in Alaska during the early 1900's.
Other wonderful true dog stories in the series include: Ginger, a golden retriever 'dog mill' survivor; Buddy, a German shephard eye-seeing guide; and Barry, a St. Bernard rescue dog in the Alps. A 5th book in the series will be coming this summer: Dash is about an English springer spaniel during the Mayflower era.
At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin
(Challenging for younger readers without knowledge about countries in the world, but appropriate for all ages)
Characters are introduced in different parts of the world at specific times in 24 different time zones with daytime or nighttime activities for each. This book brings awareness of how complicated time zones are as well as an extremely brief introduction to various countries and their people. I believe it is a great catalyst for triggering interest in countries featured and viewing the 'big' picture of our world. A colorful time zone map with the countries and its characters is very helpful in connecting the dots.
Eye to Eye How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
This book was the 2014 Caldecott Honor Winner. The wonderful illustrations of animals eyes, beginning with the simplest and describing the evolution of four types they became more specialized in their purpose, was an 'eye opener' for me.
What a wonderful introduction to research on differences in the animal kingdom. I will never take an animal's eyes at 'face value' again. Some can see patterns in ultraviolet light or body heat - or have pairs of eyes with specific purposes. Can a snake sense movement - or a crab see 360 degrees? Even cats have overlapping vision to improve nighttime hunting.
Angel Island Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman
(Middle Grade Readers)
We all know about Ellis Island, but who knew about California's detention center for immigrants coming into America from Asian countries?
It began with a shed at the end of a wharf where Chinese were sometimes kept and interrogated for weeks in the late 1800's. In 1910, the Angel Island Immigration Station opened as the immigrants' gateway to America on the Pacific coast. Over the years, frustrated Chinese detendees wrote on the walls - particularly poetry - which is what led to the writing of this book.
It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1997 after a long fight. It is not easy to read about this part of our history, but it is an important piece that all should be aware of.
In My Backyard
Last year at this time I wrote about bluebirds and their houses. Clemson radio talk series mentioned today how many backyards now have bluebird houses. We did not put one up, but I will definitely consider it another year. We took down the winter feeders, and tomorrow I will put up feeders for goldfinches and hummingbirds.
I would love to hear which birds are attracted to your backyard.
Until next time . . . . . .
By Joan Bock
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