I have seen so many kinds of Wisconsin birds this winter.
I started my bird watching project January 1st a day after my best friend Raita did in Tuvalu. She is in a different time zone them I am.
I would really like to see one of the cutest birds this winter, the Snowy Owl. I know we will see lots and lots of tourists from out-of-state walking around Kickapoo Valley with their thick winter coats and binoculars if the Snowy Owl comes here again.
Two years ago when I was by the Great River Road I saw cute group of American White Pelicans floating by in the Mississippi River.
Kirby said birds are slobs but I think he is just being difficult with me because he likes me. That’s what my friend Raita thinks.
I think Kirby has his merits but birds are cute and
very organized not slobs.
Max and Baxter were working today! They are so cute and furry.
I like petting them a lot when they are not pulling old logs
out of the forest. Today, Kirby’s Dad was harvesting more dead wood
from his forest. His Dad makes birdhouses, furniture, and
wood flooring from the old logs he finds.
Kirby told me his Dad never removes dead logs that
are homes for animals, or non-diseased trees. He only
selects dead trees that have either been
blown down by the wind and could cause harm.
Max and Baxter like Myles but sometimes he barks at them.
He is partly to mostly terrier and terriers like to bark
for fun sometimes. Max and Baxter are so huge Myles is barely taller
than their big hooves so they probably don’t hear him anyway.
On Monday, I have gym class with Mr. Burkminor. Some kids in my class call the gym teacher, Mr. Burpminor. That is not appropriate, but it is funny.
Today our gym teacher took our class outside to the school’s prairie.
Mr. Burkminor taught us about cross-country running. After he talked to us he had us run through a course in the school’s prairie. He told us to run along the trails in the prairie that have green flags. “Only run on the trails that have flags. The trails without flags are flooded.” That’s what Mr. Burkmeyer told us. But did Kirby listen?
I think you know the answer.
Anyway, I don’t care about Kirby’s problems. What I wanted to tell is that when I was running I saw THREE, three birds I can add to my GREAT YEAR list. The THREE PERCHING birds are:
1) The American Goldfinch
2) The Tree Swallow
3) The Red-bellied Woodpecker
And Kirby’s total today 0.
Today I saw in the river by our house, a black and white duck. I thought maybe it was a lost bird from the North Pole. But when I moved in closer to look I saw that the duck had a big, black and white head! I knew right away it was a BUFFLEHEAD my newest addition to my Great Year project.
I know Kirby did not see the Bufflehead! He lives in the forest on the top of the bluffs. There is no lake, river or stream any where near his house.
I know I am must be ahead of Kirby now with the Great Year total.
I think I have the world’s largest vinegar library. I have all kinds of vinegars in jars from A to Z. Now Kirby says he has a bigger vinegar library than I do. What he doesn’t know is that during the winter my forest friends helped me create 24 new recipes! I now have 137 different vinegars to choose from.
Some of the new recipes I think animals would like better than humans.
That is not surprising since some of the newest recipes come from muskrats, woodchucks, and a black bear. Maybe some people will not like ants in their vinegar.
Anyone one in my hometown can borrow any vinegars if they want to use a jar for dinner or lunch. My friends also borrow my recipe cards if they
like a vinegar in the library.
Today I looked out my window with my nature periscope and counted bees flying from apple tree to pear tree, to cherry tree. The bees float across the sky around the beautiful flowers like little bright flashes of light. The bees make me smile when I see them, I know some of honey bees are probably from Kirby’s bee hives. Bees help fruit trees make fruit by pollinating the flowers, that is why they are so important to farmers.
Have you heard of permaculture? Apple trees are a good example of permaculture.
Can you think of other examples of permaculture?
Happy Earth Day! Yes, it’s Earth Day which was started in WISCONSIN and is now celebrated all over the world. People in Wisconsin, in Vermont, in Puerto Rico, in China, in Japan, every where on our planet are planting trees and cleaning rivers and streams to protect and honor our home called Earth.
For Earth Day, in the prairies on my farm we made trees out of old horse yolks and water pumps. At the end of each branch on the tree we tied box kites with very long kite string. These box kites are very special because they use the wind to lift into the sky above all the trees around, and collect energy from the sun. Each side of the box kite is a solar panel made from old camera film! Not only does the box kite make electricty from solar but inside each box kite is a small propeller which turns as the wind blows. The spinning propellers also create electricity! We tried to make these box kites last year but we could not find enough old camera film. We were so excited to launch 24 box kites in celebration of Earth Day!
Can you think of something small you would like to do to honor the planet we call Earth? Maybe you can start a compost program at your school with your class mates.
Today after dinner the doorbell rang. My mom looked at my dad, my dad looked at me and I looked at Myles who was on the floor by my feet. “Who could that be at this hour?” my mom asked my dad. My dad got up from the couch and went to the front door to look. “Hmm it looks like it is someone for Beatrice” he said.
I jumped up from the couch and Myles ran with me to the front door. When I opened the door I saw Kirby’s steam powered, robot named Watt standing with a arm full of flowers. “Happy Varen..ti-n-duh” Watt said. “I am sorry Watt I don’t understand what you are saying.” I said to Watt. Watt was quiet and then repeated the same thing “Happy varen ti-n-duh.” My dad walked up to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said “I think Kirby’s robot is saying happy Valentine’s Day.” “Ooh how sweet.” my mom said. “Thank you” I said to Watt as he handed me the flowers and said “no thank you.”
Kirby wanted Watt to give me the flowers today because he knew that it is already Valentines day in Tuvalu. Since Tuvalu is in the Oceanic time zone it is already Tuesday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day. “How clever and thoughtful of Kirby” my mom said I turned my face away from her because I was blushing.
WATT THE ROBOT is a steam robot that gets energy from the sun via solar panels and mirrors on his back, arms and head. The sun hits the robot’s solar panels & then heats the water so hot in Watt’s metal stomach that the water becomes steam! The steam then goes through metal pipes and pushes pistons which then turn the gears of Watt’s engine creating electricity! The electricty powers Watt’s brain, arms, legs and voice.
A solar powered steam engine first premiered at the Paris World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle) in 1878! Inventor Auguste Mouchot’s solar powered ice maker made quite a stir for the crowds visiting the fair that year!
Do you like robots? Send Beatrice your favorite robot story. If she posts your story you will get your very own Beatrice sticker set.
I love my home in Wisconsin. The pretty hills, and crooked rivers, the big blue lakes, and giant green forests, I love my home in Wisconsin. The crazy animal friends, my even crazier, human friend Kirby and his stupid robot, my town, and my school mates, my neighbor Isabel and her family,
I love my home in Wisconsin.
Today, my friends and I made mobiles from the recycled papers we found at the paper co-op in our town. The mobiles are so cute, and easy to make. To start, find six sheets of recycled colored paper that you like. Next, begin by drawing flowers, or trees or birds, on your colored recycled paper. Now draw some circles that are large enough to surround your cute flowers, or trees on a piece paper.
Make sure you have two pieces of paper paired together for each circle and the cute drawing you made. Now use mom or dad approved scissors and cut out your flowers or trees out. When you are done cutting you will have two flowers or trees. Cut out your circles so you have six circles. Finally, glue the two circles together and two cute flowers to each side of some used or recycled black string.
And now you have your own mobile that you made yourself!.