Blubber, blubber, between gloves of rubber!

Today, I did the messiest experiment!  Dad got Vaseline all over himself. Our experiment was to show the benefit of a layer of blubber to sea creatures, particularly those who spend a lot of time in cold water like  whales, sea lions, seals and walruses.   We had to put an inch of Vaseline or shortening all over a gloved hand, and it was really messy!  Then we were to put a second glove over top of the Vaseline.  We were using medical gloves, which fit super-tight!  When Dad tried to put the second glove on me, the Vaseline oozed out, so he had to try to … Continue reading Blubber, blubber, between gloves of rubber!

How water temperature affects deep ocean currents…

Our Swimming Creatures of the Sixth Day curriculum kicks off with information about the ocean itself, and one of the neat activities demonstrates how water temperature affects water movement.  Thermohaline currents are deep ocean currents, caused by temperature, or salt content or both.  In this experiment we were only working with water temperature. Our question:  Which is heavier – hot or cold water? Grace decided that hot water was heavier. The procedure is as follows:  First put a few drops of blue food coloring in a clear container of hot water.  Then put a few drops of yellow, in a cup of ice water.  Pierce the cup, … Continue reading How water temperature affects deep ocean currents…

New Zoo – fun photo from NASA

After a WONDERFUL Christmas break, Grace and I headed back up to the school room last Monday! We started a few new things – one of which is the second book in the Zoology series which focuses on sea creatures.  The first chapter discusses salinity, tides, the continental shelf and abyssal plain and also phytoplankton and zooplankton.  I was so excited to receive this timely photo from NASA of a plankton bloom – it’s quite lovely!  The NASA description is below the image. Stirring Up a Bloom Off Patagonia Off the coast of Argentina, two strong ocean currents recently stirred up a … Continue reading New Zoo – fun photo from NASA

The Hawk

My office, and Grace’s schoolroom, is the former sleep porch perched upstairs in the back dormer of our 1919 Bungalow.  When we look out our windows, we are surrounded by trees.  In the summer, it is a cool green leafy tree house.  In the fall, we watch a squirrel cirque du soleil performance, as they run, play and leap with total abandon in search of pecans from my neighbor’s pecan tree, often sporting nuts hanging from their mouths or clustered in their cheeks!  In the winter, it is a study of bare branches on two sides, and evergreens on the other with the swooping of bird wings … Continue reading The Hawk

Farming ants…

 Yes!  and it was actually pretty fun! Setting up and maintaining an ant farm in order to watch the behavior of social insects was one of the projects in the Flying Creatures curriculum we worked on this fall – and so you are asking – why are ants in a flying creatures curriculum?  Well, Grace informs me that the Queens fly in order to establish a new colony, with the male ants who have emerged from their pupa stage (conveniently) at the same time.  They swarm, mate, and then the males, well, they die (sorry!) and the Queen begins a new … Continue reading Farming ants…

Beautiful Bugs!

Sometimes not.  Yeah, I know.  But we really enjoyed the section on insects in the Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, Zoology 1 book.  We started this study in mid-summer as we were dipping our feet into homeschooling.  It is actually the second section in the book, but author Jeannie K. Fulbright suggests working through these later chapters when insects are out and about!  The initial  “ick” factor has almost been dispelled by knowledge (interesting how that works!) and an informed appreciation of God’s creatures and the amazing way they fit into God’s design! We developed an increased awareness … Continue reading Beautiful Bugs!