Friday, September 26, 2014

Texas Waterfowl Brigade

A few weeks ago, I attended the third battalion of the Texas Waterfowl Brigade. The Texas Brigades is  a four and a half  day camp where you learn almost everything you need to know about five different topics. Those topics are Buckskin Brigade (deer), Bass Brigade (Bass), Bobwhite Brigade (quail), Ranch Brigade (cattle), and the Waterfowl Brigade(ducks and geese).
This building is where the cadets slept.

The stomach/gizzard contents of a duck
The first day that I was at camp I took my hunter's education quiz and attended a short orientation. We also broke up into flocks. Then I participated in a get to know each other activity, which was very fun. After that we went outside and took a quiz on ducks, wetlands, feather types, hunting laws, plant species and much more tricky information that I did not know about. If I was scored on the test, I would not have passed. Luckily for me though, that test was just to show how much you didn't know and at the end of the camp you would retake the quiz to show how much knowledge you gained.

After that, each flock went out on the porch and performed necropsies on ducks. The importance of this was to study the duck's anatomy, learn what they ate, and their age. The duck that my flock and I worked with had been eating seeds, millet, and small pebbles. Other ducks had eaten corn, peanuts,and fish. The purpose of knowing what they eat is so that we know how to attract them and how to help them survive. After that each flock took turns visiting different stations. One station talked more about duck anatomy,one about duck breeds, one about wing identification, and so on. My favorite station was when we got to learn  about the bones and skeletons of ducks. After that, we listened to a few presentations inside and ate dinner. After we ate, we cleaned up, and went outside to participate in team building activites. After that we listened to
another talk, and went to bed.

Even though the Waterfowl Brigade was only four and a half days long, it covered too much information to explain day by day. Instead I have posted more of a summary of what I did on my 1st day at the camp. If you are interested in attending any of the Brigades you can go to their website at http://www.texasbrigades.org/  

I would highly recommend this camp to anyone who enjoys nature, animals, biology, ecology, watefrowl, public speaking, or hunting.
Colton, my assistant flock leader and I. 



Being mocked interviewed for media practice.




Car Show

My thoughtful mother knew that I have an interest in older cars and trucks, so she found where there would be would be an antique car show; which we recently attended in a neighboring town. I really enjoy vintage vehicles because of their unique style and background. If you enjoy antique cars the next car show is October 20th at  5 to 8 o'clock pm at the Seven Points Dairy Queen. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Humane Society.



My favorite antique model is either a 1954 Chevrolet truck or a 1948 Cheverolet truck. I like these model since they are both rounded on the roof, fenders, and hood. Also, they are not "rare" trucks and you can still find them for sale.

Thanks for reading this post, and feel free to comment.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Free Rice

In this post, I am going to tell you how you can feed hungry people and supply people with a daily meal, all while learning and improving your grades. All you have to do is go to freerice.com. Once, there you can choose from 8 different school subjects and it will start asking multiple choice questions for that subject. For every question you answer correctly, 10 grains of rice will be donated to people in need. For an example, I answered questions for about 45 seconds and won 120 grains of rice. That rice will go to whoever needs food. Currently, Free Rice is aiming to feed 2.5 million people in Syria each month. It doesn't get simpler than this, do you want to help feed the needy of not? Don't make any excuses for yourself, help the hungry today.

Dallas World Aquarium


Recently, we drove to Dallas and ate at one of the Pappadeaux restaurants.
 After that we went to the Dallas World Aquarium. I don't know about you, but when I think about an aquarium; I picture fish and other aquatic animals. If you come to the D.W.A. just wanting aquatics then you're in for a surprise! As you walk up to the entrance, there are cages that hold exotic birds, fish ponds, and turtles. When we got to the entry booth, we were in for another surprise that wasn't so good. This surprise was the price; it was seventy-five dollars for two adults and two children. After my family and I walked up a set of stairs felt we were transported to a whole different country.
The room we were in was huge and there were several stories. There was a waterfall going all the way down and a pond that housed a manatee, fish, and turtles.  


The first stop was kind of like the canopy of a rain forest; we could see all the way up and down. In the trees we got to see monkeys that were playing and grooming each other. You could see all types of  exotic birds which were flying around.

As you walked down a little way there was a station where you could feed birds blueberries and on the other side you could see a small type of monkey.

At the second station there was an enclosed area that had different types of birds and Golden Tamarinds. Next to this enclosure, they had a little store where you could buy inexpensive food for an expensive price. In front of this little store there was a tree that a sloth was sleeping in.
Before you got to the third station there was a insect area, and an otter pool with no otters inside.

The third station was at the bottom or the waterfall and you could see crocodiles and turtles in the pond. You could also see ducks, swans, and other birds.

When we had reached the bottom of the rainforest  we followed the map down to a different part of the aquarium. Before we walked down to our destination, we got to see below the rainforest's pond. Here, there was a full glass wall where we could see fish and a white manatee.

As we continued our walk we passed the restrooms and a theater that was not active. Next, we entered a room that had large aquariums on the walls that held  the fish from different countries. Each tank had the name of a country above and the fish that lived in that country below. In a large corner of the room was a cafe area where you could eat and watch the fish.
It was kind of hard to take pictures in here because of the lighting, so I apologize for the quality of fish photos.


After touring the Fish of the World exhibit, we moved on to the penguin exhibit. The penguin exhibit was in an outside area that had a pond with a stream for the penguins to swim in. There were only three to four penguins out so we didn't spend a long time over there. Next to the penguins was a large group of reptiles that we observed. 

Our next destination at the aquarium was the shark tank. The tank that held the sharks was a huge pool which had a tunnel that was going through the middle of it. It was an extremely neat opportunity because there were many different types of sharks that we could watch  up close but safely. The exit of the aquarium came out at the gift shop, so we looked around a little before we left.

Some of my favorite parts of the aquarium were the signs that they had telling in sharks and the open rain forest area.

Advice- 
If you are homeschooled I would recommend not visiting in the summer because it was busy the day we went. Also, I would look for discounts or coupons before going.




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Garden


 I realized that I had not done a garden update recently so that is what this post is about. Here in East Texas the weather is as unpredictable as the future. Due to late spring freezes,we had to replant our garden so it's a little behind than other gardens. The produce that we have been harvesting include Collard Greens, radishes, jalapeno peppers, and soon zucchini. Some of our friends who have gardens gave produce to us so we have a wide variety of fresh produce. Mr. Doc, a former Marine has given us red onions, garlic, and spinach which we are eating in soup for lunch today.  

Two of the main benefits I enjoyed of raising a garden include fresh produce and good picture opportunities... 










Friday, May 2, 2014

4-H District Photography Contest

 At Round-Up this year, I found out how I placed at the 4-H District Photography Contest.
This year the specialty theme was 4-H so I used a picture I had of my sister's team Window Wow display last year. I took a picture of a fire my mom made for the catch-all category. A picture of my chickens in their nesting box was entered in the domestic animal category Orange roses from Fresh won in the Dominant color group. A picture of bread also at Fresh placed in the food category. I entered a picture of a petrified fish in the marine aquatic category to be different than the competition. An owl at the zoo was entered under Night Photography group. Next year if I place 1st with my pictures I will be able to advance to State with them.















Kittens

Paws's litter
After our kitten bonanza last year I thought that we spayed all of our female cats. We weren't able to catch two of the mother cats at the time we spayed the others mothers;so now we have twelve kittens. Spot one of the original cats who is now tame had five kittens. One is a tabby and the others are orange. The mother had her kittens in the hay so that she could have easy access to food. The next cat who gave birth is Paws. She had three kittens, one gray, one black and white and later one that was a tabby. she conveniently had them on Mom's patio set. Mom is letting them stay there until their eyes open. Lastly, Grey baby who is Spot's untamed child from last year had three kittens in the horse trailer. She delivered three tabbies one which has a calico face. In an ideal situation we will keep two kittens and give away the rest. We plan on reducing our cat population down to eight by rehoming a few full grown cats. 

My advice to you is to spay or neuter your cats. If you want kittens adopt them from the shelter or a neighbor.



Andrew with his favorite cat.
Spot's litter