My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lentil Soup

My lentil soup was a hit! Hubby and I had three helpings.

LentilSoup Ingredients

  • 5/8 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/8 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/8 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup dry lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • Diced yellow squash
  • Diced zucchini squash
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste


1. In a large soup pot, stir in lentils, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add squash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Master Naturalist Class Day 8

(For pictures, click HERE)

Natural Wildlife Trivia Game

Welcome! I’m Olivia Owl, the host of Natural Wildlife Trivia Game. Today our two contestants are Penny the Possum and Wilbur the Woodpecker. Each question is worth one point and each contestant will have a chance to answer the question. If they miss the answer, the other one has a chance to answer it. The winner wins a month’s supply of winter food (their choice). Now we did a coin toss and Penny will be going first.

003Olivia: What spider lives in a home that has an opening with a hinge and usually found in the side of road beds?

Penny: A trapdoor spider.

Olivia: Great! That’s one point.

Olivia: What is the largest conservation tract in South Carolina?

Wilbur: The Clemson Experimental Forest

Olivia: Another point!

Olivia: What yellowish stalk is a flower and indicates that beech trees are growing near?

Penny: ummmm, Daisies?

Olivia: I’m sorry, that is not the correct answer. Wilbur?

Wilbur: Beechdrops!

Olivia: That is correct. Now Wilbur it is your turn.

Olivia: What are considered the giants of the forest?

Wilbur: Beech trees

Olivia: One more point.

Olivia: Penny, what is an evergreen ground cover with small red berries.

Penny: Partridgeberry.

Olivia: Good, one point.

Olivia: Wilbur, what is considered the rarest type of habitat?

Wilbur: oak hickory forest?

Olivia: No, I’m sorry that isn’t correct. Penny?

Penny: a meadow!

Olivia: Okay, one point for Penny.

Olivia: What 3 purposes does the Clemson Experimental Forest serve?

Penny: conservation, education, and recreation

Olivia: Great! One point.

Olivia: What kind of pine is good for paper and lumber?

Wilbur: Loblolly

Olivia: Okay, another point.

Olivia: What is the difference between white oak acorns and red oak acorns?

Penny: Red oak acorns have more tannin, more nutritious and are on the ground longer. White oak acorns have less tannin, less carbohydrates, but not as bitter as red oak acorns. Bears love the white oak ones much better.

Olivia: Another point for Penny.

Olivia: The Clemson Experimental Forest was 26,000 acres. Now it is only 17, 500 acres. What happened to the missing acreage?

Wilbur: It is under Lake Hartwell.

Olivia: Another point for Wilbur.

Olivia: The Clemson Forest is broken up into how many parts?

Penny: 2 parts – The North part and the South part.

Olivia: one point for Penny

Olivia: Pine needles grow in bundles called what?

Wilbur: Fascicles

Olivia: one point for Wilbur.

Olivia: Name species that are making a comeback?

Penny: Bald eagle, wild turkey, white tailed deer, beaver, river otter, and black bears

Olivia: Great job! One point.

Olivia: How much were turkeys sold to other states?

Wilbur: $500 for each turkey

Olivia: Great! I wish I had turkeys to sell!

Olivia: What are some common characteristics of an old home site in forests?

Penny: rock piles (usually from the chimney or the footing of the house), daffodils, in the winter, it looks like a mowed lawn, and black walnuts.

Olivia: Good. One point.

Olivia: Why did people plant black walnuts?

Wilbur: For food and dye. And the chemicals in the walnut trees poisoned the area so no other trees could grow.

Olivia: Good.

Olivia: What is the Firewise Program?

Penny: a program to educate homeowners how to prepare for and prevent wildfires in their communities.

Olivia: Good!

Olivia: How many freshwater fish species are there in SC?

Wilbur: 150

Olivia: Great!

Olivia: How many species of crayfish are there?

Penny: 36 and 9 of them are found exclusively in SC.

Olivia: Wonderful!

Olivia: What book did the Stream Team recommend to their audience?

Wilbur: Freshwater Fishes of SC.

Olivia: Good.

pumpkinsseedsunfishOlivia: Well, that ends our game. It seems that we have a tie and we need to have a tiebreaker. Whoever buzzes in first, and answers the question correctly, wins our game and a month’s supply of winter food. What fish is on the forty five cent US postage stamp?

Wilbur: (buzzes in first) The Pumpkinseed Sunfish!!

Olivia: Wilbur wins! Congratulations Wilbur!

Hope you enjoyed our nature trivia game. Hope to see you next time!

(I think putting facts and information in a game form really helps students learn the material. If the facts and information is just given in a list, many students will become bored with the information. Students can be individual contestants or you can put them in teams. I think that many students are naturally competitive and will help their team members learn the material so they can win. You can have a trivia contest like this. Or put the answers on a bingo card and then ask the questions. If they have the right answer, they mark out the answer. There are many ways to play games in order to review information given. If you have any other suggestions for games, please share!)

crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Photo credits:

Original Picture by Pat Hensley

US Postage stamp of Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Monday, October 04, 2010

Master Naturalist Class Day 7

(For pictures, click here.)

LAKE EDUCATION – An acrostic poem


Look at fish in the lake like threadfin shad, shellcracker, blue gill, warmouth, sunfish, bass, catfish, carp

Animals like beavers chew up many of the trees so protection like drain tiles were put around the trunks.

Know Grimes Stress/Disturbance Model for Plant Distribution (handout)

Erosion of sapprolite is faster than compacted clay.


Elderberry, silky dogwood, buttonbush, willow are good for live staking. Cut off at least 3 nodes, push 2 nodes in soft soil with one node out.

Dendritic – arms that come in on a linear form; tributaries come into the reservoir. Man made lakes are dendritic.

Understand how storm water affects our water supply; run off may have pesticides, fecal matter, automotive oils, fertilizer, trash that pollutes our water

Cove gets sandy as points are grinding down; eventually smooth out and become straight but not in our life time; greener shores

A trench is dug, filter fabric laid and rip rap is put down to help stop the waves from eroding the shoreline.

The DNR stocks the lake with hybrids and stripers for recreational purposes.

Invasive species like Japanese honeysuckle can take over.

Open water distance that wind can blow is called fetch; where wind hits there is more erosion and waves cut into the toes of upland soils; eventually causes caves to form.

Native plants, switchgrass, maidencane, buttonbush, river birch, meadow beauty, bald cypress, alders, sedge willow, elderberry, silky dogwood, native hibiscus, tupelo tree were seen along the shoreline.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original photo by Pat Hensley