Archive for May, 2009

Weekly Winners – May 23rd – May 30, 2009

This week’s Weekly Winners once again come from Elizabeth City, North Carolina and focus on the neighborhood kids. On Saturday, Ryan and I did the Pasquotank County Relay for Life. Three neighborhood kids came with us and stayed overnight. They had some misconceptions about cancer, so the event turned out to be educational as well as fun. The boys had a blast walking, playing football, playing basketball and competing in the various games throughout the evening. Even the rainstorms did not deter their enthusiasm.

Relay for Life - Ryan Teaches Kids about Cancer
Ryan Clears Up Misconceptions About Cancer

Relay for Life - Jacal in Poncho
Jacal Still Smiles in the Rain

Our backyard is now home to a badminton net. The weeknight evenings have been filled with impromptu “tennis” matches. I have been amazed at how rapidly the boys have improved. In just a week of playing, they hit consistently and have no problem winding me. It’s also impressive how hard they hustle. Six year old Tykee has to work particularly hard as he is smaller than the rest of the players.

Hunter Street Badminton - Jacal with Racquet and Birdie
Jacal Gets Ready to Play

Hunter Street Badminton - Dontori, Tykee, Jacal
Evening Match – Dontori and Tykee vs. Jacal

Hunter Street Badminton - Tykee Follow-thru
Tykee Follow-thru

Hunter Street Badminton - Dontori and Tykee
Dontori Watches as Tykee Concentrates on the Birdie

Hunter Street Badminton - Tykee Jumps
Little Tykee Jumps for a Birdie

On the subject of badminton, earlier this week a kid I had never met before came over to play.  After about an hour of wacking the birdie around with the other boys, he got thirsty.  As I escorted him inside to get water, he asked me a question.

“Is this a daycare?”

More pictures of the Pasquotank Relay for Life and our Badminton Matches can be found on my Flickr site. Also, be sure to check out more of Weekly Winners out at Sarcastic Mom!

May 31, 2009 at 1:30 am 10 comments

Silo Tree Updates – May 30, 2009

Three more trees have been added to the Silo Trees of the U.S. listing. Kansas’ count went up by two and solely holds the lead once more!

southdakota

Entitled “Reclaimed”, this photograph captures a silo tree in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Photograph courtesy of Dakota Dave. Reclaimed

kansas

This tree is located on Highway 24 between Lawrence, Kansas and Perry State Park. The photograph won a juror’s merit award in the 2008-2009 Hays Five State Competition and is courtesy of A. Scott Mccauley
Another find by Ken Wolf! This tree is in Douglas County, Kansas. Photograph courtesy of Ken Wolf.

More photos can be found in the Trees in Silos Flickr group. If you spot a silo tree you’d like to share, let me know!

May 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Google Doodle Trees

In her book, Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connection to Trees, Nalini Nadkarni dedicates an entire chapter to “Symbols and Signs”. A small part of that chapter discusses business logos. A few years ago, one of Nadkarni’s students, Jade Leone Blackwater, collected and analyzed tree-related logos. Within only a few days she found over 200 logos. Trees, it turns out, are common in corporate branding.

Last week, Google unveiled their Doodle 4 Google Winners. School children were asked to sketch a Google Logo representing “What I Wish For the World”. Just like professionally designed logos, trees make frequent appearances. Out of this year’s 400 State Finalists, 90 artists, including this year’s winner Christin Engelberth, incorporated a tree into their design.

Nadkarni and Blackwater spotted trends in the tree-related logos they looked at. Some of those same themes can be seen in the Doodle 4 Google entries. Many of the young artists used trees to support messages of sustainability, taking care of the environment, green living and recycling. Sometimes a tree was used to identify a place, such as a beach in paradise or an African Savannah. But most telling are the remaining entries. They used trees to convey a myriad of messages– Love, Safety, Friendship, Peace, Happiness, Fun, Hope, Completion, Longevity, Harmony.


Let the War Leaf
Elijah Griffin


One Happy World
Jessica Hsueh


Gavins Google Respect & Renewal
Gavin Raitt Hughes


Happy World
Aravind Arunachalam


Untitled
Grace Para


Beautiful Land
Kelly Majid


Keep Our Animals Alive
Claire Yuka Bellas


Love Peace Harmony Joy & Happiness
Eshia Rustagi


Treat The Environment Better
Maredeth Steever


Simple Life
Ally Grimes


Creation
Sarah Cook


A World Full Of Pets
Alaina Beaver


I Wish For Love
Brooklynn Leary


I Wish For Safety
Kennedy Zufelt


Untitled
Natasha Marko


Its Good To Be Green
Dakota Brooke Young


Recycling Doodle
Steven Leal


Keep The Earth Clean
Evelyn Larson


Care For The Flowers
Elyse Larson


Recycle For Beautiful Green World
Harshitha Kosaraju


Go Green With Google
Conor Kiely


Helping The World
Galila Lingo


Go Green Recycle
Angeline Faieq


Recycle For The Future
Alyssa Ruehlow


For World Friendship
Elizabeth Boulet


Peace:GR8-4-EARTH
Taylor Hope Mcgraw


Help The World Be Green
Sabah K Islam


I Want The World
Gabrielle Smith


Feed Our Animals
Nicole M Dowling


The Better World
Carli Marie Lynch


A Green Peaceful World
Annie Tsai


Peace Love Hapiness
Jessica Sandler


Conserving Nature
Ashton Brashier


Go Green
Nick Amann


Peaceful World
Logan Stephens


Conserve The Earth
Carlos Lopez


Purple Pants?
Loey Gregory Wiley


Caring Does Matter
Jocelyn K Lee


Endangered Species Matter
Courtney Bodine


Wishes For Peace
Abbigail Barber


Happiness For All
Marissa Schuldheisz


Cleaning Up The World
Adam Cowell


Going Green
Sherry Lambert


Always Having What You Need
Hayden Furman


A New Beginning
Christin Engelberth


Sun And Fun
Austen Westenskow


Electric Tree
Abigail Pearl


Saving More Endangered Species
Arizza Santos


Cleansing The World
Ryan Gielow


Possibilities
Katherine Seeman


Beauty And Peace
Ines Slomic


Untitled
Haley Pontius


Save The Planet
Tiffany Patmon


Unite The World
Ally Weaver


Hope
Camille Saadia Hancock


Live Life
Anna Kapton


Put Things In Perspective
Bridget Johnston


Going Green
Cally Nielsen


Save The Rainforests
Kathleen Stanford


Untitled
Autumn Ibach


Google Green
Sarah Cozzens


World Happiness
Celeste Herrera


Peace And Happiness
Angelica-Eeva Melissa Digiulio


Ideal World
Sarah Mcnaughton


A Day In Paradise
Callie Roberts


Our Common Home
Kathleen Hazleton


Beauty Of Our Envinronment
Abigail I Ray


An Original World
Janae Mehlhaff


Be Seen Being Green
Jadon Mann


Fading Away
Victoria Wolf


Things That Can Change
Yedi Han


Google For Green
Camille Ohman


How The World Can Connect
Lydia Stevens


United We Stand
Amy Muser


If Everyone Lends A Hand…
Charlotte Markle


Peace For The World
Kelsey Carpenter


What A Wonderful World
Josh Voshell


A Wish For Vitual Reality
Natasha Gemine


Change For The World
Keolamaikalani Ahina


Outside Technology Clear Your Mind
Kelsey Driscoll


The Elements Of Completion
Alexandra Olivier


Facing Humanity
Britteny Hudson


Power Plant
Kyle Butterhof


Untitled
Amanda Kehoe


I Wish
Meaghan Parker


A Peace And Love World
Joseph Park


Google Doodle
Jose Alexander Vazquez


Long Lasting World
Jamayra Ortiz


Google Go Green
Jourdan Stallknecht


Beautiful Harmony
Stephanie Georgeson

P.S. If we counted tree-related products such as fruit and leaves, the tally would be even higher!

May 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm 5 comments

The Hubble Telescope and my Underwear

When the Hubble Telescope was first launched by NASA, it infamously had a bad mirror. It produced nothing but blurry images and the project became a national joke. But three and a half years later, the telescope was repaired and since then has produced 570,000 images, crisp images, capturing the beauty of wonder of space.



Before and After Hubble Repair (Hat Tip, Ryan Somma)

A few weeks ago at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens I got caught in a rain storm. Sadly, my camera got a few droplets on its lens. Wiping it with my soaked shirt just made it worse– and putting the lens cap complicated the matter even more, adding fog into the mix. All my pictures were coming out blurry. Like NASA, I had to make some corrections. And like NASA, I had some complications. Their telescope was 350 miles above Earth. And me– every garment I had was wet from the storm.

Except one.

Insulated by denim, my underwear was dry.

And like the Hubble Telescope, once attended to, my camera, started to produce crisp images. Luckily, my operation was a lot less expensive than NASA’s. : )

Norfolk Botanical Gardens - Before Cleaning Lense with Underwear (Cropped)
Before Cleaning with my Underwear

Norfolk Botanical Gardens - After Cleaning Lense with Underwear (Cropped)
After Cleaning with my Underwear

In case you are skeptical of my claim, Ryan Somma did catch a “Behind the Scenes” moment of my blog.

May 21, 2009 at 11:42 am 13 comments

Arbor Day: Alaska


Bald Eagle and Sitka Spruce
(Photo by DCSL)
Happy Arbor Day, Alaska!

Alaska celebrates its Arbor Day the third Monday of May, so Happy Arbor Day Alaska!

Alaska’s State Tree is the Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). The needles of the spruce trees are high in Vitamin C. In the 1700’s explorers and sailors found spruce beer to stave off scurvy. In fact, before an 117 day voyage past Antarctica, Captain James Cook ordered spruce beer to be brewed.

The pleasures of spruce beer were not lost to history. You can make your own, or if you prefer– you can purchase Alaskan Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. It’s made with tender Sitka Spruce tips.

To find out when your state celebrates Arbor Day, check out Arbor Day Dates Across America at ArborDay.org.


Alaskan Winter Ale
(Photo by faeryboots)

May 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm 3 comments

Arbor Week: Maine


“Pining” for Lower Taxes
(Photo by faegirl)
Happy Arbor Week, Maine!

Last month, on April 15th, protesters convened on various metropolitan areas to conduct “Tea Parties“. They wanted to make a statement about taxes and decided to name their events after a famous 1773 protest – the Boston Tea Party.

The tariffs on tea imports weren’t the only controversial good of the times. Maine’s State Tree, the Eastern White Pine, was also a source of great unrest and “a major motivating factor for the American Revolution“.

The Eastern White Pine grew tall. It’s wood was strong. It was light and rot resistant. This made the tree perfect for the masts of great ships and it just so happened the British had a formidable Navy they wanted to provide for. All Eastern White Pine trees with a diameter greater than 12″ were claimed for Great Britain. It didn’t matter where the tree was or who lived on the land. The tree was marked with a Broad Arrow and just like that, it was property of the king. Valuable material was snatched away. The trees became souvenirs of injustice and “weighed heavy on the minds and hearts of the colonists desire for independence“.

In the winter of 1772, sawmills were caught violating the law and using the marked trees. That spring, a sheriff and his deputy arrived in the town of South Weare, New Hampshire with orders to arrest the leader of a sawmill. As the two men rested in a local inn, they were assaulted by a group of twenty men. The sheriff and his deputy were lashed. Their horses were disfigured. Then both men and their horses were driven away in disgrace, heckled by the townspeople.

This community’s uprising is called “The Pine Tree Riot“. The date was April 13, 1772– more than eighteen months before the Boston Tea Party.

As rebellion grew into revolution, the first Continental Flag was conceived and was reportedly present at the Battle of Bunker Hill. A reminder of what they were fighting for was included in the design. It wasn’t a teabag on the flag, it was a tree.

An Eastern White Pine.

The Continental Flag at Bunker Hill
Jonathan Trumbull’s Battle of Bunker Hill

To find out when your state celebrates Arbor Day, check out Arbor Day Dates Across America at ArborDay.org.

May 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm 3 comments

Weekly Winners – May 10 – May 16th – Baby Opossum

This week’s photo inventory was sparse. I was sick all week. But I did snag a couple of shots and I didn’t have to travel far. I went briefly to Elizabeth City’s Potato Festival. Even closer to home, a baby opossum with a head injury (don’t worry- injury not pictured) wandered into the yard. He’s currently sleeping in a box and waiting to be claimed by a wildlife rehabilitator.

Potato Festival - Clowns
Clowns at the Potato Festival

Baby Opossum - On Street
Baby Opossom

Baby Opossum - with Ryan
Baby Opossom and Ryan

More pictures of the baby opossum can be found on my Flickr site.

Also, be sure to check out more of this week’s Weekly Winners out at Sarcastic Mom!

May 17, 2009 at 8:14 am 13 comments

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