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Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 121

The Changing Seasons

 

Hello Everyone

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Bill and Bob asked me a very interesting question the other day.  They asked me how the seasons know when to change. That is a big question… and this is what l told them…

 

The Earth is tipped on its poles so that as it orbits the sun the Northern Hemisphere (top half) has a summer then around the other side of the orbit the Southern Hemisphere (bottom half) has a summer. When one half of the world is in summer, the other half is in winter. (See Blog Post 98)

 

As winter turns into spring, we see flowers and blossom start to bloom. They do this when the days lengthen and the temperatures rise. Chemicals in the plants change when this happens and tell the plant to start growing.

 

When summer turns into autumn the opposite happens; the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to drop and some plants start to shut down for the winter.

 

The leaves on trees and bushes change from green to red, yellow and orange as the chemical balance in them changes. The leaves then drop to the ground.

 

Every autumn is a little different; if the weather is cloudy there will be more yellow leaves and if there is bright sun during the day and it is cold at night then there will be more red leaves.

 

The trees which lose their leaves are called deciduous trees.

 

The chemical that makes leaves green is called chlorophyll (pronounced kloro-fill) and this starts to disappear so that you can see the other colours that are also in the leaf.

 

The first frosts usually loosen the leaves and then a strong wind blows them off the branches.

 

Deciduous trees lose their leaves because they want to stop water loss out of them. They need to conserve (not lose) water during the winter. They also use less energy when they don’t have a ‘food factory’ of leaves working. The leaves make food out of sunlight using chlorophyll and there won’t be a lot of sunlight through the winter months. There will be cold, drying winds and plant-damaging frosts.

 

The leaves make a thick covering on the ground to give extra protection to the tree’s roots in the cold. lt is really like the tree is going to sleep for a few months and tucking themselves up in a blanket.

 

Some trees have stronger autumn colours than others, like maple trees for example. Colours are also much brighter in a year when the temperatures drop gradually through the autumn.

 

You can see a line of autumn colour moving from north to south in spectacular fashion through the huge forests of Canada when looking at satellite pictures!

 

Good gardeners see the fallen leaves as a harvest because they can be put on compost heaps to rot down. lf you don’t like sweeping leaves up from the lawn, you can vacuum them up with a lawnmower! Then when they are all chopped up by the lawnmower they will decompose (rot down) with all the other compost in your compost heap.

 

You have to make sure that there are no hedgehogs hiding in them first though!

 

A lot of people think that winter can be a colourless and depressing time but you might be amazed at how many plants flower or have colourful stems like dogwood or berries like callicarpa or pyracantha.

 

lf you have these plants in your front garden, you will see them every time you walk past them to go to school or the shops. smile1 (2)

 

Everyone knows about holly, but do you know about: mahonia that has bright yellow flowers in November, hellebores that flower in December, winter-flowering cherry that flowers in January and silver wattle and winter flowering jasmine that have bright yellow flowers in February? Witch-hazel can flower between autumn and early spring and daphnes that can also flower in very early spring have lovely strong perfume.

 

ln fact, there is always something going on in nature, if you know where to look!

 

A lot of spring flowers come from bulbs, the first being snowdrops; they very often bloom in the snow! Flowers that come from bulbs often grow in woodland settings where they make the most of the sunlight before the trees grow their leaves and create too much shade.

 

These flowers often multiply by growing more bulbs rather than spreading seeds. This is because there aren’t as many pollinating insects around that time of year to help them make seeds. A daffodil can take four or five years to grow from seed!

 

When we see the spring flowers, we know that summer is on its way! smile1 (2)

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

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Love and kisses

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 
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Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob: How did the boy hurt himself raking up the autumn leaves?

 

Bill: l don’t know. How did the boy hurt himself raking up the autumn leaves?

 

Bob: He fell out of a tree! 

 

joke

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2008

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 
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Picture Gallery

 
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The tipped Earth shows its top half to the Sun at one side of its orbit

and the bottom half to the Sun at the other side of its orbit

Midsummer’s Day has the most daylight and Midwinter’s Day has the least daylight

At the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox and the Autumnal Equinox the amount of daylight and night time is equal

 

image012 Webs in the hedgerows are a sign that autumn is coming

 
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Odd leaves start to change colour (Acer)

 

image016 One by one they change colour (Acer)

 

image018 Then whole branches start to change colour (Acer)

 
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Then the whole tree (Acer)

 

image022 Some leaves are yellow

 

image024 Some leaves are red

 
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Eventually one by one they blow away (Ash) 

 

Autumn Colour

 
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Acers (maples) have beautiful autumn colour

 

image042 Beech tree leaves turn lemon yellow

 

image044 Different trees lose their leaves at different times

 

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Willows sprout leaves very early in the spring and lose them very late in the autumn

 

image048 Some trees like holly are evergreen

 

image050 They can withstand winter snows

 
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Trees can’t take up frozen water like they can liquid water 

 

Winter Colour

 

image053 Witch hazel

 

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Callicarpa

 
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Pyracantha 

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 Mahonia is evergreen

 

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  Some trees have colourful branches

 

image066 Some trees have colour on their branches because they are covered in lichens

 
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Lichens are tiny plants that remain green all winter

 

image070 Although the leaves on this sweet chestnut have turned to autumn colour and will soon fall you can see that the buds for next year have already formed and will start to swell when the temperatures start rising in spring 

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In the spring when the buds are breaking into leaf

you can still see the cases of beech nuts from the autumn before

 
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Snowdrops and Crocuses flower in January and February

 

image076 Christmas box has a really powerful scent and flowers through January and February

 

image078 Magnolia trees are one of the first trees to flower in spring

 
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Magnolia blossom

 

image082 White blossom

 

image084 Pink blossom

 
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Pink cherry blossom

 

image088 Hawthorn blossom

 

image090 May blossom

 

 

 

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    desk  THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

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We had some violent thunderstorms in Rocky Bay this week and a lot of heavy rain!

So we all had to find things to occupy ourselves inside.

My Auntie Alice kept herself busy by knitting Emily’s doll another outfit. This time it is a skating dress. 

She has written the pattern out for you to use too.

 
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NEWSDESK MINI MAKE

A 12” DOLL SKATING DRESS

 

BODICE (KNIT ONE) 

Using 4mm knitting needles and white textured yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 1 row

 

Change to pink dk yarn

Increase 2 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch (24sts)

 

Knit 12 rows stocking stitch

Cast off loosely

 

SKIRT (KNIT TWO) 

Using 4mm knitting needles and white textured yarn cast on 18 stitches

Knit 1 row

 

Change to pink dk yarn

Knit 4 rows stocking stitch

Decrease 1 stitch beginning next 4 rows (14sts)

 

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP 

Use over-sew stitching to make up the garment. 

Sew up side seams of skirt.

Sew up back seam of bodice.

Attach the skirt to the bodice.

 

Because the white textured yarn is thicker than the double knitting the skirt should frill at the bottom.

The yarn in the photograph is King Cole Cuddles Chunky.

 

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Hobby Time

 

This is how you grow hyacinths to ensure spring colour comes early to your home.

Garden centres and stockists supply a wide range of bulbs that have been specially treated and so will flower ten weeks after being planted. Knowing this, you can plan for them to flower in January or February in your home at a time when you really need cheering up before the blossom and spring flowers start appearing outside.

This might be even more important if you don’t have a garden of your own.

You can choose from pink, white, blue, yellow or red – different colours won’t always flower at the same time so you might like to plant similar colours together.

 

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  1. lf you want hyacinths to grow inside rather than in the garden, you must buy what are called ‘prepared’ bulbs.
  2. Plant them some time in October.
  3. Choose an ornamental container, this does not have to have drainage holes in it, but if you do have holes in the bottom of your pot, put broken crocks of polystyrene pieces over the holes to stop the compost washing out of them and then put a saucer under the pot.
  4. Almost fill a plant pot with a special bulb fibre that has charcoal in it.
  5. Water the compost just enough to make it damp.
  6. Push your bulbs into the compost to half their depth – you can have one in a pot or maybe three or more in a big dish – the bulbs can be close to each other but not touching.
  7. Leaving half the bulbs showing above the compost fill in the gaps between them with more compost.
  8. Put the pots into a dark place that is quite cool but won’t be affected by frost – this needs to be a cold dark place like a shed to trigger root growth which could take anything from 4-10 weeks to happen depending on what type of bulb you have planted.
  9. Leave the bulbs there until the shoots start to show checking from time to time to see that the compost does not dry out.
  10. Put notes on your calendar or in your diary to remind you what to do in the future.
  11. The bulbs will be growing roots all this time – then they will start to grow shoots and this is the time for them to be brought into the light – an unheated greenhouse or a cool windowsill inside your house is ideal.
  12. When you see flower buds forming you will want to bring them inside.
  13. Then you just have to water them occasionally and enjoy the flowers and wonderful scent.
  14. When the bulbs begin to flower still keep them in a cool place because in a hot room the flowers will soon be over – they will last much longer in a cool place.
  15. Don’t ever put flower pots that you will water on top of a television or computer.

 

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  1. Alternatively, you could plant your bulbs in a bulb glass filled with water.
  2. Rest the bulb on the top of the glass with the base just above the surface of the water.
  3. Again place the bulb in a cool dark place until you see shoots.
  4. Bring into your house and top up the water – the bulb should not be in water – only the roots.
  5. Don’t place in direct sunlight.
  6. ln fact, you can use any shape of jar as long as the bulb is supported above the water line.

 

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An even easier bulb to grow indoors is the paper white daffodil.

 

Just plant the bulbs in a container in the same way as the hyacinths and keep them in a frost free place for 6 weeks.

 

They have a strong scent and are a cheerful sight in early spring. lf you want them to flower in January, obviously you need to plant them in mid-late November.

 

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Paper white daffodil

 

 

 

BLOW MY FOGHORN!!! 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

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CLOUD           SUN                RAIN              RAINBOW                 PUDDLE

SNOW            SLEET             FOG                BLIZZARD                 STORM          

 

Answers next week…

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008sand

 

 
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