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Hello, everyone! You might want to know more about Christmas. Thank you for visiting my blog! Christmas is my favorite holiday. In Argentina, the weather is almost always warm at Christmas. Preparations for Christmas begin very early in December and … Continue reading

Books I Recommend: The Weight of a Mass by Josephine Nobisso

Hey there! This is my 27th book recommendation list. Please note that near the end there are Amazon short links and I’ll be using them instead.

1. The Weight of a Massby Josephine Nobisso
2. Decemberby Eve Bunting
3. The Telling Stoneby Maureen Doyle McQueen
4.Tink, North of Never Landby Disney
5. A Summer of Sundays by Lindsay Eland
6. Cinderellaby Disney
7. Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley
8. Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris
9. Antastia’s Secret by Suzanne Dunlap
10. Four Clues for Rani by Disney
11. Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
12. The Seven Tales of the Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
13. The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
14. The Magic Finger by Ronald Dahl
15. The Games Book by Huw Davies
16. The Spotted Dog Last Seenby Jessica Scott Kerrin
17. A Single Shardby Linda Sue Park
18. Unhooking the Moonby Gregory Hughes
19. Who’s in Chargeby Courtney Sheinmel
20. Sprinkles & Surprisesby Coco Simon
21. Get Into Gear, Stilton!by Geronimo Stilton
22. The Secret of the Maskby Gertrude Chandler Warner
23. Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley
24. Bailey the Babysitter Fairyby Daisy Meadows
25. Changes for Julieby Megan McDonald
26. Happy New Year, Julieby Megan McDonald
27. Van Goghby Ernest Raboff
28. Yeh-Shinby Ai-Ling-Louie
29. The Boy Who Found The Lightby Dale De Armond
30. The Story of Noodlesby Yang Ching Compestine
by Ying Chang Compestine

(amazon affiliate links)

Books I Recommend; The Green Dog by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Hey there, everyone! This is my 26th book recommendation list!

1. The Green Dog by Suzanne Fisher Staples
2. The Honeybee Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
3. The Garden Thief by Gertrude Chandler Warner
4. The Year Sherman Loved Me by Jane St. Anthony
5. Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
6. Midnight on the Moon by Mary Pope Osborne
7. Hawai’i by Deborah Kent
8.
Louisiana by Allison Lassieur
9. California by Tamra B. Orr
10. The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
11. Princess Aasta by Stina Langlo
Ordal
12.Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann
13. Braiding Hair by Diana Meachen Rau
14. The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween by Ruth Sawyer
15. Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead by Judy Goldman
16. It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder
17. As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
18. The Outer Space Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
19. The Whale by Cynthia Rylant
20. Phillipa Fisher and the Fairy Promise by Liz Kessler
21. T The Pizza Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
22. The Princess Bride by Barry Denenberg
23. Fortunately, the Milk Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
24. Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons by Tomie dePaola
25. Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing by James Weldon Johnson
26. I In the Heart by Ann Turner
27. How to Draw Nevada’s Sights and Symbols by Eric Fein
28. Lala Salama by Patricia MacLachlan
29. Where the Sunrise Begins by Douglas Wood

(amazon affiliate links)

Latest News: California Quail

Hi there! My mother, Camilla, suggested that I write a series of posts about birds on my blog since I’ve been talking about them and learning about them. Please let me know if you have any bird books, CDs, or a website you’d recommend! Here is the part about California Quail.

California Quail are plump, short-necked game birds with a small head and bill. They fly on short, very broad wings. The tail is fairly long and square. Both sexes have a comma-shaped topknot of feathers projecting forward from the forehead, longer in males than females. Adult males are rich gray and brown, with a black face outlined with bold white stripes. Females are a plainer brown and lack the facial markings. Both genders have a pattern of white, creamy, and chestnut scales on the belly. Young birds look like females but have a shorter topknot.

California Quail spend most of their time on the ground, walking and scratching in search of food. In morning and evening they forage beneath shrubs or on open ground near cover. They usually travel in groups called coveys. Their flight is explosive but lasts just long enough to reach cover.

You’ll find California Quail in chaparral, sagebrush, oak woodlands, and foothill forests of California and the Northwest. They’re quite tolerant of people and can be common in city parks, suburban gardens, and agricultural areas. The California quail is a small, plump bird with a short black beak. The male has a gray chest and brown back and wings. It has a black throat with white stripes and a brown cap on its head. The female has a gray or brown head and back and a lighter speckled chest and belly. Both the male and the female have a curved black crown feather on their foreheads. The male’s crown feather is larger than the female’s.

The California quail is sometimes called the valley quail. The California quail eats seeds, plant parts like buds and sometimes insects. They feed in flocks in the early morning. The California quail can be found from southern Oregon to southern California and east into Nevada. The California quail lives in grasslands, foothills, woodlands, canyons and at the edge of deserts. It likes areas with lots of brush. The California quail lives in coveys of 10 to 200 birds in the winter.

They will stay in these flocks until they pair off during mating season. Male California quails will perch on a tree or post and call out to claim their territory. The California quail will roost in trees to avoid danger and to rest. Males often compete for a mate. They will mate with only one female. Females usually lay between 12-16 cream and brown speckled eggs. Their nest is a shallow hollow or scrape in the ground that is lined with grass. The female incubates the eggs for about three weeks. Both parents will care for the chicks. The chicks leave the nest shortly after birth. They make their first attempts at flight when they are about 10 days old. They will stay on the ground for about a month and then will roost in trees with the rest of the flock.

The female usually has one brood a year. This sharply-marked bird with the curving topknot is common along the California coast and in a few other areas of the west. It has adapted rather well to the increasing human population, and is often found around well-wooded suburbs and even large city parks. California Quail live in coveys at most seasons, and are often seen strutting across clearings, nodding their heads at each step. If disturbed, they may burst into fast low flight on whirring wings.

The California Quail is a gray, ground-dwelling bird, more slender than most other quail. It has a light breast with scaled patterning, white streaks along brown sides, and black and gray scaling on the nape of the neck. The female has a tan head with a small feather plume. The male has a bold black face outlined in white, with a brown crown and a pendulous feather plume hanging forward from his forehead.

The California quail, California’s state bird, is a 9-11 inch hen-like bird with a distinctive teardrop-shaped head plume called a top-knot. Their plump bodies vary from grayish to brown with scaly markings on the lower breast and abdomen. Males are particularly elegant with a black throat, chestnut patch on the belly, a bluish gray breast, white speckles on its flanks, and a white stripe on the forehead and around the neckline. Females have a smaller top-knot and lack the male’s distinctive facial markings and black throat.
Her crest is dark brown and her body is brown or gray with white speckles on the chest and belly. The marked sexual dimorphism is believed to play an important part in breeding displays. Juveniles resemble the female, but have shorter and lighter colored crests. As ground dwelling birds, their short and powerful legs are well adapted for terrestrial locomotion. They can fly rapidly, but only for short distances. When alarmed they prefer to run, flying only as a last resort.

California quail are best adapted to semiarid environments, ranging from sea level to 4000 feet and occasionally up to 8500 feet or higher (Sumner 1935). As long as there is abundant food, ground cover, and a dependable water source, quail are able to live in a variety of habitats including open woodlands, brushy foothills, desert washes, forest edge, chaparral, stream valleys, agricultural lands, and suburb areas. Cover is needed for roosting, resting, nesting, escaping from predators, and for protection from the weather (Sumner 1935, Leopold 1977).

Leopold (1977) separates California quail habitat areas into four major ecological zones arid ranges mostly in Southern California and Baja California, transitional ranges in the Sacramento Valley, humid forest ranges associated with the Coast and Cascade ranges, and interior Great Basin and Columbia Basin ranges. Of these the transitional ranges in the Sacramento Valley foothills provide the most stable quail habitat, characterized by mild winters, moderate rainfall, moderately dense ground vegetation, and generally adequate ground cover.

California quail are generalists and opportunists, so food intake varies by location and season. Their main food items are seeds produced by various species of broad-leafed annual plants, especially legumes. This includes plants such as lupine (Lupinus sp.), clover (Trifolium sp.), bur clover (Medicago sp.), and deer vetches (Lotus sp.) (Leopold 1977). Their bills are typical for seedeaters: serrated, short, stout, and slightly decurved.

Shields and Duncan (1966) studied California quail diet in the fall and winter during a dry year on the San Joaquin Experimental Range in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. They found that seeds comprised 82% of their diet, while green leafage contributed 18%. Duncan (1968) also studied quail diet in the same area and found that legume seeds were their most important food item. Quail also eat leafy materials, acorns, fruits and berries, crop residues, and some insects (Leopold 1977).

During the fall and winter, California quail are highly gregarious birds, gathering into groups, called coveys. In most situations, covey size averages about 50 birds, but under intensive management and protection, coveys can get as large as 1000 birds (Leopold 1977). In the covey, the quail tend to imitate one another and exhibit cooperative behavior. For example, when one bird finds a good supply of food it often calls the others to it. Likewise, when a member of the covey perceives danger it will warn the group with the appropriate call (Sumner 1935).

California quail communicate with 14 different calls (Leopold, 1977). This includes courtship, re-grouping, feeding, and warning calls. The most frequently heard location call has been described as “cu-ca-cow” or “chi-ca-go.” At the start of nesting season in early spring the coveys break up, as quail pairs spread themselves out into different habitat areas to nest and rear their young.

At the end of summer each new quail family rejoins the others to form a new covey where they will remain until the next breeding season. Emlen (1939) observed this seasonal movement in his study of California quail on a 760-acre farm in the vicinity of Davis, California. In the winter, four coveys, containing 21-46 birds, had home ranges of 17-45 acres, roughly one acre for each bird. The covey locations and range size depended on the amount of brush cover available. The four territories were separated by 350 yards to half a mile and contact between the coveys was infrequent.

The members of a covey tended to feed and roost together in mid-winter, but occasionally they broke up into smaller units. Winter movements were restricted with only 5 to 10 acres of an entire territory utilized by the covey on any one day. The same area would serve as a feeding ground for a few days to two or three weeks when the birds would move to another part of their territory. The California quail is common to states of the Pacific coast. They were first introduced into Utah in 1869.

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Sources I Used:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_Bluebird/id

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/mountain-bluebird

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/mountainbluebird.htm

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/idaho/state-bird/mountain-bluebird

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/581/overview/Mountain_Bluebird.aspx

http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/infocenter/i7680id.html

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/california_quail/id

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/californiaquail.htm

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/california-quail

http://dwrcdc.nr.utah.gov/rsgis2/search/Display.asp?FlNm=callcali

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Tree_Sparrow/id

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-tree-sparrow

http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/american_tree_sparrow

http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Spizella_arborea/

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Song_Sparrow/id

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/song-sparrow

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Books I Recommend: Waterbirds by David Chandler

Hi there! This is the 22nd book recommendation list.

1. Waterbirds by David Chandler
2. Eagles by Rebecca L. Grambo
3. The Fortune-Tellersby Lloyd Alexander
4. Arizonaby Mari Kesselring
5. Leprechaun Goldby Teresa Baterman
6. Thanksgiving All Aroundby Mike Berenstain
7. Miracles on Maple Hillby Virginia Sorensen
8. Esperanza Risingby Pam Muñoz Ryan
9. Hope the Happiness Fairyby Daisy Meadows
10. Cassidy the Costume Fairyby Daisy Meadows
11. Anya the Cuddly Creatures Fairyby Daisy Meadows
12. Elisa the Royal Adventure Fairyby Daisy Meadows
13. Lizzie the Sweet Treats Fairy: A Rainbow Magic Bookby Daisy Meadows
14. Maddie the Fun and Games Fairyby Daisy Meadows
15. Eva the Enchanted Ball Fairyby Daisy Meadows
16. Cinderella Stays Lateby Joan Holub & Suzanne Willams
17. Secret Admirerby Jane O’Conner
18. Tofu Quiltby Ching Yeung Russell
19. The Mystery Girlby Gertrude Warner Chandler
20. Dying to Meet Youby Kate Klise
21. Doggone It!by Nancy Krulik
22. Any Way You Slice Itby Nancy Krulik
23. Going Overboard!by Nancy Krulik
24. Fern the Green Fairyby Daisy Meadows
25. Fira and the Full Moonby Disney

(amazon affilates)

Nature: Research for Carnations

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Hi there! Camilla has let me pick my own assignment. I chose a flower. I would have done more flowers but Camilla said to choose only one flower. So I chose carnation.

The single flowers of the Carnations species, Dianthus caryophyllus (that’s the scientific name) has 5 petals and they can vary from white to pink to purple in colors. Border Carnation cultivars may have double flowers with 1 to 40 petals. When they grow in gardens, Carnations grow to between 6 and 8.5 cm in diameter. Petals on Carnations are generally clawed or serrated.

Carnations are bisexual flowers and bloom simply or in a branched or forked cluster. The stamens on Carnations can occur in one or two whorls, in equal number or twice the number of the petals. The Carnation leaves are narrow and stalk less and their color varies from green to grey-blue or purple. Carnations grow big, full blooms on strong, straight stems. The carnation’s history dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was used in art and decor.

Christians or some spirituals believe that the first carnation bloomed on earth when Mary wept for Jesus as he carried his cross. Carnations in these early times were predominantly found in shades of pale pink and peach, but over the years the palette of available colors has grown to include red, yellow, white, purple, and even green. Throughout so many centuries of change, the popularity of the carnation has remained undiminished. The fact that the carnation continues to endure is a testament to its vast appeal.

The meanings of carnations include fascination, distinction, and love. Like many other flowers, different messages can also be expressed with the flower’s different color varieties. Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude.

In the early part of the 20th century, carnations became the official flower of Mother’s Day in addition finding particular significance in many other cultures worldwide. To this day, carnations remain a favorite flower choice for many different occasions. They are immediately recognizable flowers, and they possess a charm and allure that continues to captivate people around the globe. In fact, in many parts of the world, the popularity of carnations surpasses that of any other flower including roses.

The powerful sentiments these flowers can express are a perfect complement to their classic beauty and long-lasting freshness. Carnation is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Caryophyllaceae. There are over 300 varieties of carnations that can be found throughout the world. These plants originate from Europe and Asia.

Carnations are cultivated at least 2000 years because of their beautiful flowers and intense fragrance. Carnations require well drained soil, enough moisture and direct sunlight for successful growth. These flowers are symbol of labor movement and mother’s love in the most countries of the world. Some people in France believe that carnations symbolize bad luck, where they are used mostly for the preparation of funeral bouquets. Carnation is a herbaceous plant that can reach 31 inches in height.

Carnation has 6 inches long slender leaves. They are usually grayish or bluish green in color and covered with waxy substance. White carnations will change its color after adding food coloring to the water. The flower will change its color after 24 hours.

Dianthus is Latin which for “flower of the gods”. White carnations are inevitable part of wedding bouquets and bouquets prepared for the first wedding anniversary. Carnations are birth flowers for all people that are born in January. These flowers are often used as decoration for tuxedoes.

Bouquets made of pink carnations are traditionally prepared for Mother’s day. Colombia is the greatest producer of carnations in the world. Carnations are national flowers of countries such as Monaco, Spain, Slovenia and Ohio. They are also used as a symbol of different fraternities and sororities.

Carnations can propagate via seeds and plant cuttings. Carnations are perennial plants, which mean that they can live more than 2 years. Carnations also have long lifespan in the vase – they can remain fresh up to 14 days after removal from the ground.

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This is the website I got the image from even though I found it on Google Images: http://www.list-of-birthstones.com/birth%20flowers/Pictures%20of%20birth%20flowers/carnation%20flower.jpg

Sources I Used:

http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/mostpopularflowers/carnations

http://www.proflowers.com/blog/history-and-meaning-of-carnations

http://www.softschools.com/facts/plants/carnation_facts/637/

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Books I Recommend: A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai

Hi there! This is the 19th book recomendation.

1. A Place Where Sunflowers Growby Amy Lee-Tai
2. The Quilt Storyby Tony Johnston & Tomie dePaola
3. That Book Womanby Heather Henson
4. Everything New Under the Sunby Anne Mazer
5. Dumpling Daysby Grace Lin
6. Bailey the Babysitter Fairyby Daisy Meadows
7. Blue Jasmineby Kashmira Sheth
8. Addison the April Fool’s Day Fairyby Daisy Meadows
9. The Prayer of Jabez for Kidsby Bruce Wilkinson
10. Writing Magicby Gail Carson Levine
11. All That Glitters Isn’t Goldby Anne Mazer
12. The New Year Dragon Dilemmaby Ron Roy
13. Caroline and Her Sisterby Maria D. Wilkes
14. Little House by Boston Bayby Melissa Wiley
15. House Of Happiness by Neil Phillips
16. Red Butterflyby A.L. Sonnichsen
17. Greenby Laura Peyton Roberts
18. Brookfield Daysby Maria D. Wilkes
19. Is Everyone Moonburned but Me?by Stella Pevsner
20. Flamingoes by Melissa Gish
21. Birds by Dominic Couzens
22. A Kid’s First Book of Birdwatchingby Scott Weidensaul
23. Little Town on the Prairieby Laura Ingalls Wilder

(Amazon Affilate Links above)

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Books I Recommend: The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

Hi there! This is the 14th book recommendation list. I’ve done 17 book recommendation lists since Janurary 2015!

1. The Truth About Twinkie Pieby Kat Yeh
2. Starfieldsby Carolyn Marsden
3. Latin for Bird Loversby Roger Lederer & Carol Burr
4. Sylva And The Fairy Ballby Margaret McNamara
5. Shiningby Julius Lester
6. A Thanksgiving Wishby Michael Rosen
7. Toothianaby William Joyce
8. Troubling a Starby Madeline L’Engle
9. Hollywood, Dead Aheadby Kate Klise
10. The Fairy’s Returnby Gail Carson Levine
11. Willa by Heartby Coleen Murtagh Paratore
12. May B.by Caroline Starr Rose
13. The Green Ghostby Marion Dane Bauer
14. The Woods Beyondby Kiki Thorpe
15. The Ordinary Princessby M.M. Kaye
16. A Pinch of Magicby Kiki Thorpe
17. Summerhouse Timeby Eileen Spinelli
18. Mystery at the Washington Monumentby Ron Roy

(Amazon Affilates Above)

St. Patrick’s Day aka (st. Patty)

This was from March 19, 2014. You’ll just love similes after this one!

Leprechauns are green as a shamrock. Leprechauns are quiet as a mouse. Leprechauns are sneaky as seagull. Leprechauns are grumpy as bears. Leprechauns are Irish as a shamrock.