Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Dear Yakov,

Congratulations on your admission to Your Favorite College. We hope very much you will choose to come here. To get you started and give you a taste of the program, I have enclosed a copy of Homer's Iliad, the first book we'll be reading together if you come to YFC."

They know how to schmooze him. Send him a copy of the Iliad. Putty in their hands. PRM

Monday, February 16, 2009

Making a topographic map

We have been trying to do this activity for a few weeks without success. Finally we were able to complete it. We have been reading the Galore Park geography book and this activity fit nicely with this text. I used a National Geographic lesson plan, Contour Maps with DOGSTAILS, as a guide.
First we made a mountain from clay. We chose to make 2 mountains with a shallow valley between. North/south and east/west lines were made on the mountain and drawn on the paper to orient the subsequent slices.
Then we sliced the mountain in 1 centimeter thick slices, using fishing line held tautly.
Each slice was oriented carefully and traced around.
Here is a picture of the final product. Well, not really final, as we added a compass rose and legend. PRM

GBBC, Last day

I completed another hour of bird counting this morning. Prior to my last trip to Tennessee, I was seeing many birds at the feeders but not so since I returned. I don't know why that change occurred. The feeders were empty when I got home so the food is fresh. It only takes a few days after refilling for the birds to return usually. The weather was quite warm for several days but has cooled a bit today. Also, I have had Starlings at the feeders for the first time. Could they be chasing away the other birds?

The tally for today
House finch 2
Goldfinch 2
Cardinals 2
Carolina wren 1
Starling 1
Carolina chickadee 1
Mockingbird 1

This is my favorite photo. We had about 10 minutes of snowing. PRM

Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count

Day 1, 3:30pm - 3:45pm

Carolina Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 1
Brown-headed Nuthatch 1
Eastern Bluebird 3
Northern Mockingbird 1
Northern Cardinal 2

That was fun. I hope we do it each day at different times of the day. And now, 10 minutes after finishing the count, there are wrens and finches. Maybe I'll do 30 minutes tomorrow.PRM

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"That was one of the best family gatherings except

DeDad wasn't there." That was what my 18yo son said as we left the lunch prepared by my mom's neighbors after my dad's funeral. We all missed him and will continue to do so for quite some time.

I can't begin to write a tribute. There is too much to say. But he lived 91 years, enjoyed most of them and was loved by many. PRM

Monday, February 2, 2009


After a long weekend to visit my ailing father, followed by a long week of ailing myself, I am back to blogging and other things.

After finding this site, My Science Box, and especially the Genetics and Evolution Box, I altered the way I planned to do DNA and genetics with my 10 - 14yo lab kids. In fact, the organization is almost the opposite of how I had planned to do it. But I like this new way.

And it started well today. But I forgot to get pictures. Just let me say that the kids all enjoyed filling out the traits sheet. Each had one parent and most had a sibling hanging around so they could fill in the form about other relatives. Next week we will make babies. PRM

**link fixed, I hope