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Showing posts sorted by date for query birds. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Shark Fun Facts & Craft Round-Up with an Emphasis on Great Whites

 


As I mentioned in my last post I am visiting Cape Cod. Our house is on a marsh, and I shared a bit about saltwater marshes earlier this week. The other big thing in the news on Cape Cod is great white sharks. In fact, on this trip, we visited the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Shark Center in Chatham. I learned quite a bit about great white sharks and sharks in general there, but I also got a few books out of the library and did some searches for fun facts for you. There are more than 500 species of sharks and over 100 of them are endangered! Yet sharks have survived all five of the Earth's major extinctions. July 14th is Shark Awareness Day so this post will have you all set for it!

Learning About Salt Marshes

 


I have spent much of my life visiting a house on Cape Cod that is on a salt marsh. I never really looked into what a salt marsh is or its value as an ecosystem, but lately have been thinking about it. Today I am delving into a salt marsh, and we will start with what it is and why they are important.

What Is a Salt Marsh?

A salt marsh is a wetlands ecosystem that is flooded and drained by the ocean's tides. They are formed where rivers or creeks meet the ocean. They are composed of deep mud and peat. Peat is a spongy, root-filled material composed of decomposing plant material. They can be low on oxygen which allows certain bacteria to grow, and this bacteria can give off the smell of rotten eggs often associated with salt marshes. I found this interesting since I have early memories of coming to visit my grandparents at night and the awful smell of the marsh always made me hate arriving. Then in the morning the smell was usually gone. 


The marsh has creeks that run through it, but they can change over time depending on tides and more. The marsh also filters out pollutants and provides places for oyster reefs as well as mussels to live. The salt marsh can take the carbon dioxide and sunlight and create carbon and new life. It cleanse our world and provides essential places for fish, shellfish and birds to begin their lives and live. There are also salt-tolerant plants that grow in the marsh. There are two parts of salt marsh: low marsh and high marsh. The low marsh gets flooded every day whereas the high marsh only a couple of times during a month. 

Low Marsh

In the low marsh there is cordgrass or Spartina alterniflora. This grass grows in deep mud that has low oxygen levels. It has strong roots and is flooded and drained of salt water twice a day. The cordgrass does many things important to the ecosystem as well as the surrounding environment. It actually protects the mainland from storms. Yep!! That salt marsh actually helps protect our house. It also helps collect more sediment (from the ocean) and build more marsh. It is also food for some of the wildlife and provides habitats. 

In the summer the marsh is nice and green. However, cordgrass is a perennial and dies off in the fall and winter.

The low marsh is where the creek is and provides a home for crabs as well as a nursery for some fish. 


High Marsh

In the high marsh there is more diverse life. It is only flooded about twice a month. Saltmeadow cordgrass or Spartina patens (commonly called salt marsh hay) and salt grass or Distichlis spicata grow in the high marsh. Many of the plants can store the salt and help with the habitat. 


There is not as much about the high marsh available as it has more dry plants that can handle the salt but not as often as the low marsh plants. More plants can grow here.



Our marsh is surrounded by phragmites. Phragmites also called common reeds are an invasive species. Phragmites can grow up to 14 feet tall by summers end. They can grow thick and take over some of the marsh. I have also seen they can have positive effects on the marsh. There are actually laws about cutting them here. 


Our phragmites serve as a landing place for many of the birds and especially the red-winged blackbirds. 

When I was young my grandfather took me into the marsh. It is hard to walk in and you really need boots on as the mud is messy. Now we tend to stay out of it since it is a breeding ground for deer ticks and yes, there is Lyme disease out there. My parents and I have all been treated after finding ticks on us. In fact at one point my parents' doctors would put them on the antibiotics right away when they found a tick on them because Lyme disease was so prevalent. 


Climate Change and Threats to Salt Marshes

Salt marshes are found around the world. They are on every coast of the United States. There are threats to them due to climate change and how people have interfered with them in the past. In Massachusetts as well as elsewhere there are groups trying to protect these important ecosystems. People's desire for land, farming, and more is slowly destroying them. When my grandparents built this house, they were told they had to build it along the edge of the marsh. Today the town realizes that is a mistake and tries to protect the marsh more and would not permit the house to be built as close as it previously demanded. As we worry about the eroding coastline we worry about our closeness to the marsh. Our house is in a flood plan and had it been built farther back it would not be. But we love the views and watching the changing marsh. And of course we love the sunsets!


To learn more about marshes check out this video.

To learn more about the wildlife check out this video as well. And to learn about the high marsh you can check out this video

Sources:

Books & Other Resources:

I found a few books about salt marshes at the library if you would like to go that route.


1) 24 Hours in a Salt Marsh by Christy Peterson shares about a day at a salt marsh on the Oregon Coast.

2) Marvels in the Muck: Life in the Salt Marshes by Doug Wechsler shares about the life found in northern salt marshes (New Jersey is mentioned). Some of the wildlife shared I do not see (or know about at least) at Cape Cod.

3) A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz takes the reader hour by hour naming various wildlife found in a marsh. It has some activities and more information at the end including why salt marshes are important and information about spartina and its adaptations.

4) Salt Marsh by Paul Fleisher shares about a salt marsh in Chesapeake Bay. 

Activities, Crafts & Lessons

Teach your kids more about salt marshes with these lessons, activities and crafts.

The Magic Sea Turtle -- Book Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Kathleen Welton to bring you this post and giveaway.

When Hazel was young, she loved magical things. She loved fairies and unicorns. We made fairy gardens, and she had a magical fairy door where I would write her notes from the fairy. She loved magical stories. The book I am sharing with you today she would have loved!! It is The Magical Sea Turtle by Kathleen Welton and illustrated by Chau Pham.

Origami in the Geometry Classroom

 



Disclosure: I was sent these packages of origami paper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Last week was a stressful and emotional week at school and home, so I wasn't able to post. I have realized when I'm not in the right mindset my reviews are hard to write. For a while I have wanted to share some ideas I use in my geometry class with origami paper. I will be sharing four new packages of origami paper with you in this post. I keep a box of origami paper in my classroom and students come and get some when they are feeling creative or need to relax. I also use it in my geometry class. I have the kids do a project using geometric terms project using geometric terms, but I also use it for some easy discovery and illustrating properties. I have been wanting to share these ideas with you. May is the perfect time to introduce it since origami is a Japanese art form and ties into Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

If I Promise You Wings -- YA Book Review with Craft Round-Up

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This week I am sharing a young adult novel instead of a Crafty Sunday post. I am still making my paper beads but haven't made anything different yet. Plus, I did a small craft with this novel and am including a craft round-up for teens to go with the book. The book is If I Promise You Wings by A. K. Small. 

Bear Finds Eggs -- Spring Picture Book Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring is upon us. Easter is early this year. It is hard to believe next week is Holy Week. Now that Hazel is older, I don't do as much for Easter. When she was younger she loved hunting for Easter Eggs. We did a word hunt for an activity with a book and she made me hide those eggs over and over again! Well today I am sharing a book about another kind of egg hunt although there is a part that can be tied into Easter if you want. It is Bear Finds Eggs by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Now we have shared books by Karma Wilson before since she was one of the authors in our Virtual Book Club years ago. We even have shared a Bear book before. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Women's History Month Picture Book Round-Up

 


March is Women's History Month. Over the years I have shared many books about amazing women. Some are biographies and some are books based on their lives. There are even some that feature more than one woman. I share these books all year long and not just in March. Today I thought I would do a round-up of books about women that I have reviewed in the past. I also have checked to see that the books are still available for the older ones. Some books are about famous women and others may be a woman you haven't heard of. Each has a story that is worth learning about and I hope you will consider checking out the book and sharing it with someone this month! Full disclosure: I was sent copies of these books at some point in time to review. The links provided will take you to my review of the book. These books are recommended for ages between 4 and 10. Next week I will share a round-up of books for older kids.

New Board Books for the Spring

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring is basically upon us and as everything awakens, I am noticing I know several people who just had babies or about to have babies. It is the perfect time to look at board books to read to little ones or gift!! Today I have four new board books (one being released tomorrow) to share with you. The first is Hey, Little Night Owl by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz. 

Maybe It's a Sign -- New Middle Grades Novel Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The lunar new year began last week. In the Chinese zodiac it is the year of the dragon. With the celebration of the lunar new year there are many different superstitions that people of different cultures hold. I shared some fun facts a few years ago about it in particular in the Chinese culture. Today I am sharing a book about a Chinese American girl who is dealing with the loss of her very superstitious father as well as being in middle school. The book is Maybe It's a Sign by E.L. Shen. Lunar new year seems like the perfect time to share this book. It is recommended for ages 10 to 14.

Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones -- Book Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with Sherry Ellis and The Children's Book Review to bring you this post and giveaway.

Today I get to share a fun short mystery book for the early middle grades. It is the third book in a series of books and to be honest I want to read the fourth book now because it ends on a cliff hanger!! The book is Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones by Sherry Ellis. It is recommended for ages 8+ and since this post is part of The Children's Book Review Book Tour for it there is a giveaway at the end!

Books about Winter Climate Animals

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Winter begins in a few days. Of course, in New England we feel like it has been winter for a while. However, I often think of winter books in January. Today I am sharing two new books--a board book and a nonfiction book about animals in the winter. The board book is Whose Prints? by Kari Allen and illustrated by Kim Smith. It is suggested for preschool and up. 

2024 Wall Calendars for Different People

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these calendars in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you still use wall calendars? I love having them. We actually use quite a few. I have one in my classroom, one near our desk computer, one in my sewing room and my husband hangs one in our bedroom too. Plus, he has one next to his desk. I always love seeing what different calendars are offered and I also think of them as great gifts. The pictures are often beautiful or fun and it helps to have the paper calendar to check dates, appointments, etc. Last week I shared two Page-A-Day calendars that I will use in my classroom, but today I am sharing two wall computers based on some of my favorite things: birds and teapots. The first calendar is Audubon Kids Birding Calendar 2024 by National Audubon Society, and the second is The Collectible Teapot Calendar 2024 by Sarah Archer with photos from Betty Shin Binon. 

Pop-Up Birds -- Fun new book for young ones

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you have been reading Crafty Moms Share you know that during the pandemic I fell in love with birds. I even did a series about the wildlife in our backyard which is mostly birds. I have done quite a few posts about birds and books that involve birds over the years. Today I am adding another one. It is a beautiful pop-up book from Usborne. It is Pop-Up Birds by Laura Cowan, illustrated by Giulia Lombardo and design and paper engineering by Jenny Hilborne. It is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Saving the Sun -- Book Review with Craft Round-Up and Giveaway

 


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As fall is upon us, the days are getting shorter which means that the sun is shining for less each day. Today we are sharing a sweet book about the sun deciding to take a dip in the ocean, and it needing saving to light the world again. The book is Saving the Sun by Emma Pearl and illustrated by Sara Ugolotti. Along with my review there is a craft round-up to go with the book and a giveaway!

The Wisdom of Solomon -- Book Review with Crafts and Activities

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I haven't shared a Christian themed book in a while. Today I thought I would share one about King Solomon. You may remember Solomon is the son of King David and becomes the third king of Israel. He is known for his wisdom which is a gift from God and building the temple in Jerusalem. The book I'm sharing today is The Wisdom of Solomon by Demi. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8. I am also sharing some crafts and activities to go with the book.

Fun Facts About Spiders with Craft Round-Up

 


Last week I shared a fun book for the summer about riding a dragonfly and included fun facts about dragonflies as well as a craft round-up. I have two books to share soon about spiders and thought I would do the fun facts and craft round-up first and then share the books over the next week or so. With one book the dragonfly post got rather long, so I wanted to do this as three posts. The first book is shared!! The second book is shared!

The Bears Shared -- Fun Lyrical Picture Book Perfect for Spring

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring has sprung! The weather is slowly starting to warm up here. I am seeing more seasonal birds in my yard. Today I am going to share with you a fun new picture book that teaches about birds and sharing. It is The Bears Shared by Kim Norman and illustrated by David Walker. It is recommended for ages 3 to 6. 

The Sunbearer Trials -- Latinx Novel Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am sharing the second new book for Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a Latinx mythology book that will have Percy Jackson and other Rick Riordan fans seeing a new culture. The book is the first in a duology. It is The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas. Not only does it take place in Latin America but it also has quite a bit of talk and characters who are transgender. The book is recommended for ages 13-18. 

Before Music: Where Instruments Come From with Musical Instrument Craft Round-Up

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Music is such an important part of life. We hear music everywhere. Listen to the wind blowing or the birds singing. It is musical. Today I am sharing a book that takes a look at music from across time and around the world. It shares where musical instruments come from and I'm sharing a round-up of diy musical instruments for kids. The book is Before Music: Where Instruments Come From by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Madison Safer. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

This is 52

 


This past week I turned 52. Fifty-two is not one of the benchmark years. I turned 50 in the summer of 2020. It was when we were afraid to be indoors with too many people and were still wearing masks often. Yet it was one of my best birthdays ever. My sister came for the day and she and Hazel made a delicious meal topped off with a homemade birthday cake. They did all the planning, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning. They even decorated our patio for the party. Yes, we ate outside. My sister works with newborns and their moms in a hospital setting and has taken being cautious to a new level. She wore her mask whenever she was in our house. It was truly the perfect birthday for me because I didn't have to do anything. It was small, intimate and simple. It certainly wasn't the ball my girlfriend went to for one of her friends who turned 50 this year. My girlfriend and many guests caught Covid from the ball. My girlfriend who is a nurse on a Covid unit in a local hospital. My girlfriend whose kids got Covid last summer and her oldest was truly sick for weeks. He could barely move off the couch, and she didn't get it. But she went to a 50th birthday ball and got it. No, my 50th was simple and fun and perfect and best of all we didn't get sick from the celebration!