Friday Photo

sledding fast

sledding fast



Stop littering in the ocean because it looks like a dump.Stop littering in the Pacific OceanPage 84 of the Girl Scout book Wow, World of Water sent quite a wave of alarm through my daughter’s Brownie Troop. On page 84 is a story about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  The story says that the world’s largest dump floats in the Pacific Ocean and contains more than 100 million tons of garbage, mostly plastics. The garbage patch occupies a large, calm region of ocean surrounded by prevailing currents that form the North Pacific Gyre. A gyre is any large system of rotating ocean currents. These circular currents draw in floating debris in the same way a whirlpool created by children swimming in a circle draws leaves and dirt into the center of a swimming pool.

The Brownies were upset by the idea of a floating dump “the size of Texas.” When they read that more than 1 million animals die each year because they become entangled in floating plastic or they mistake plastic for food and eat it, they were moved to action. I heard the question that has started many a movement for change: “What can we do to help?” The girls held an impromptu planning session and decided to make posters about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and ask the principal of their elementary school if they could hang them up in a hall at school. Change starts with a step. Just one small act can make a difference. Three hundred students pass those posters each day. If one child stops to read them and is moved to recycle one plastic bottle or to start using a reusable bottle, then one less bottle makes it into the ocean and perhaps one less animal dies.

stop littering

Let the Brownies and Barking Frog Farm know about the steps you are taking to make the planet a healthier place for all of us.


mother nature network

Definition of Ocean Gyre

Gorilla in the Greenhouse

Stop hurting the animals home.

Don't be a litter bug.Do Not Litter

Friday Photo

ice and water

water and ice

Shout Out

Honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Barking Frog Farm would like to give a Shout Out to the European countries that have banned the bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. These pesticides are commonly used to keep insects off corn crops. Dramatic recovery in bee populations have been seen in these countries since the ban took effect. The health and number of honey bees in Italy rebounded the very first year of the ban, according to The European Media Research Centre (EMRC)

Now it’s time for the United States to do the same. The EPA needs to ban these pesticides in our country. To learn more, visit the links below. To sign a petition calling for a US ban on these pesticides visit Avaaaz.org.

U.S. EPA about Pesticides

Institute of Science in Society

Avaaz.org The World in Action

Friday Photo

sharp shinned hawk by Joe Healey

A Sharp Shinned Hawk sitting on a bird bath heater

I love books and I love book clubs, so it just seems natural to start a book club within this blog. On the first day of each month I will announce the book we will share. We will read the book and post comments.

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder is the story of one Loggerhead turtle’s journey from hatchling to egg laying mother. We travel with her from nursery to stormy ocean, then to feeding grounds and finally, back to the beach she left behind many years before. The text is written in a poetic fashion that is fun to read aloud. In addition to the loggerhead story the book contains some general sea turtle facts, such as, “Fish breathe underwater, but turtles are reptiles and need to come up to the surface for air.” The playful text written by Nicola Davies and the painterly illustrations by Jane Chapman combine to make a book that could be called a work of art. One Tiny Turtle was published in 2001 by Candlewick Press. Eleven years later, when I am in a library I often see One Tiny Turtle pulled from the shelves and given a place of prominence. And during story times in the preschools and libraries I visit it is still often read. A statement to its popularity and timelessness. One Tiny Turtle will appeal to anyone who loves sea turtles, though it is geared toward children 5-8 years old.

Nicola Davies is a zoologist, as well as a writer. Her books all have nature themes and impart scientific information that is age appropriate for her young readers. Illustrator Jane Chapman is a published author and illustrator of many children’s books, including the Bear Series, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Bear Feels Sick, and Bear in Bed.

Other Books by Nicola Davies:

Bat Loves the Night: Read and Wonder

Big Blue Whale: Read and Wonder

Surprising Sharks: Read and Wonder

Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth

Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable

Science Kids: Oceans and Seas

Ice Bear: Read and Wonder: In the Steps of the Polar Bear

What’s Eating You?: Parasites — The Inside Story

Other books by Jane Chapman:

Grumpy Badger’s Christmas

Bear Feels Sick

The Dark, Dark Night

Bear’s New Friend

The Bears in the Bed and The Great Big Storm

When We’re Together

Bear Wants More

Bear Feels Scared

Just before Christmas, Aurora’s Brownie Troop made coupons as Christmas gifts for their mothers and fathers. The coupons read:playing near the CT river New Years

  • This coupon entitles you to 1 big hug.
  • This coupon entitles you to 1 set table: knives, forks, spoons, napkins and even beverages.
  • This coupon entitles you to the last cookie, serving of ice cream, bit of chocolate milk, you name it and it’s yours.
  • This coupon entitles you to 1 story read by me.
  • This coupon entitles you to have me pair all the socks in a load of laundry.
  • This coupon entitles you to one boardgame played with me.
  • This coupon entitles you to 1 chore: pick up the living room, vacuum, wash the counters, you name it, I’ll do it.

Cuba Gallery: Winter / lake / nature / landscape / mountains / trees / hills / water / beach / photography / New Zealand
The girls enjoyed decorating the coupons and wondered how their parents would react to each one. The activity was a success. The Brownies liked the idea of giving their mothers and fathers time, affection, labor, indulgences and activities.
As the new year approaches, I wonder about gifts for the planet. Pledges and promises of conservation, awareness, protection and stewardship are the valued gifts we need to shower upon our Earth. Think about our beautiful planet, then think about your place in the world. How can you make a difference, what can you do to make the world a better and healthier place? Once you have settled on your pledges, go out into the woods, stand by a river, sit on a beach, visit the natural setting that inspires you to pledge your allegiance to the planet and say those pledges out loud. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I pledge to use less water.
  • I pledge to hold a year-long litter cleanup campaign: When I see litter I will pick it up.
  • I pledge to become a member of a local or national environmental organization, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund.
  • I pledge to learn more about an endangered animal and will tell others about it.
  • I pledge to reduce my use of plastics.
  • I pledge to learn the definition of sustainability
  • I pledge to buy local foods.
  • I pledge to learn the real story about global warming.
  • I pledge to grow a least one type of food, tomatoes, beans, corn, spinach, lettuce, this year.
  • I pledge to use less fuel.
  • I pledge to recycle.
  • I pledge to stop drinking bottled water.
  • I pledge to hike trails, canoe on rivers, walk beaches, kayak on lakes, summit mountains. I will enjoy and appreciate our natural resources and natural settings.

A Day Without Plastic

21 Practical Ways to Help the Environment

Climate Change Kids Site

CT River New Years


100 Ways to Save the Enviornment



50 Ways to Help the Planet

50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today

Happy New Year from Barking Frog Farm