Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Junior Ranger Day 2010

This weekend was fantastic! As a part of National Parks Week, Saturday was Junior Ranger Day.  Many National Park sites had special activities for kids to earn the special Junior Ranger Day badge and patch.  This was my first time to do Junior Ranger Day, so I studied lots of different parks to decide which one to go to on the big day.

After looking at the posted activities for lots of parks in the New York City area, I decided on Fire Island National Seashore.  Fire Island is a long barrier island on the southern shore of Long Island.  I made sure that my moms woke up extra early- I didn't want to miss any of the fun. We drove from Queens halfway across Long Island.  Fire Island is unique because it doesn't allow cars or bicycles on the majority of the island.  We parked at Robert Moses State Park on the western tip of the island, then hiked in to the Lighthouse Visitor Center.  There are lots of little communities on Fire Island that are only reachable by ferry; instead of roads, they have boardwalks!

Inky at Fire Island: 8

When we got to the Lighthouse, there was a big tent full of activities for Junior Rangers.  I picked up a few different booklets- Fire Island doesn't just have a basic Junior Ranger program, it has 3 additional booklets you can do to earn other badges. I grabbed all of them, but I knew it would take several visits to finish all the booklets, especially the Advanced Junior Ranger one.

Inky at Fire Island: 5

First, I hiked along a boardwalk to a pier on the bay side of the island.  (One side of the island faces Long Island, the other side faces the Atlantic Ocean.) The water there was a lot calmer.  It reminded me a little bit of Cape Cod, where there is also a bay side and an ocean side.

Inky at Fire Island: 13

Then it was time to hit the ocean beach! We walked past the lighthouse through the dunes to get to the sandy beach. (Can you see the lighthouse in the background?)  Fire Island has boardwalks to make sure no one damages the ecosystem.  I saw so many colorful birds!  The beach was so long! It went on as far as I could see in either direction.  I was glad I decided to wear hiking boots instead of sandals- it can be really annoying to get sand in your sandals when you are trying to hike.

Inky at Fire Island: 11

Here I am on the beach. Isn't the ocean beautiful? I love the sparkly blue of the water.  There was only ocean, as far as I could see, but far away, Europe and Africa are out there!

Inky at Fire Island: 12

After some time, I found a giant pile of shells. I wonder why there were so many in one spot? There were clam shells, scallop shells, snail shells, and many other kinds.  When I was at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, I saw the coolest thing- a seagull flew high into the air with a clam.  Then, he dropped it! He did it over and over again until the shell cracked open- then he ate the clam inside! Aren't seagulls smart?

Inky at Fire Island: 15

After we hiked a long way down the beach, we turned around and hiked back to the lighthouse.  I went back to the Junior Ranger tent and handed in my booklet.  The rangers gave me my special Junior Ranger 2010 badge. I'm so proud of it! I can't wait to go to Junior Ranger Day next year.  I wonder which park I'll pick next year?

Inky at Fire Island: 16

Fire Island is so beautiful.  I can't wait for some friends to visit so I can take them there!

Thank you all for your animal suggestions.  It will take me a long time to go through all those animals!  I hope that some of them will be at one of the New York City Zoos or Aquarium so I can see them in person.  I'll make sure to do some blog posts about the animals I study.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Do you have anything planned for next week?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Inky!

Happy Earth Day everyone! For me, Earth Day is special because it falls right in the middle of National Parks Week- and everyone knows I'm a big fan of the National Park Service! This week, until Sunday, April 25, entrance fees to all National Parks are free! If you live near a National Park, you should take advantage of the celebration and go check one out.

Happy Earth Day Inky!

The cherry trees in New York City are in full bloom right now, so everything looks like a fairyland filled with pink and white blossoms. Today was Take Your Kids to Work Day, so I joined my Mama at her work. Her office has a cherry tree in front, so I got to climb it and play with all the other kids. Did any of you go to work with your parents today? It was a fun treat to see where my Mama works, but I'm glad I'm a kid and don't have to go to work!

Happy Earth Day Inky!

My special Earth Day outfit comes from etsy seller MissSissy. Isn't it lovely? It's a dress, but I had it shortened to tunic length, paired it with some grey leggings, and used a red sash instead of the blue one it comes with.  I love the way the fabric is covered in trees and birds.

I am starting a new project for homeschooling- an animal journal!  Every week, I will study a different animal, then draw and write about it in my journal.  I'm having fun brainstorming animals to do.  Could you guys do me a favor? List some of your favorite animals to help me get started.  I'm thinking meerkats, fennec foxes, and red pandas will be some of my first choices.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Thanks for taking care of our Mother Earth with me!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Jamaica Bay Junior Ranger

Living in New York City, I don't get as many opportunities to be out in nature as some kids, like Violet. Still, there are some places in the city where you can imagine you're in the wild. One of those places is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. It's part of the National Park system. My moms and I love to go there on weekends to walk their trail around the pond along the shore of Jamaica Bay.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

I have been to Jamaica Bay more times than I can count. It's definitely the National Park site I visit most- but until very recently, they did not have a Junior Ranger program. Every visit, I made sure to tell the rangers that I wanted a Jamaica Bay Junior Ranger program- and they listened!! This time, they were debuting their new Junior Ranger program.

Jamaica Bay Junior Ranger

Our walk around the pond took a little longer than usual, since I had so many activities to do. At this time of year, the Canadian geese are nesting. Some of them built their nests so close to the trail! I should ask the ranger why they do that- when people walk by, they hiss at them!

Jamaica Bay Junior Ranger

At the end of the day, I earned a badge. I also earned a patch, since I did every one of the activities. I'm so proud to be a Junior Ranger at Jamaica Bay!

What's your favorite place to explore where you live?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Weekend!

It's April 11th! That means today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13.  Have you ever seen the movie about Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks? It's really good.  Sometimes I get nervous that the astronauts won't make it back to Earth safely, but they always do!

Inky Outside

Since the weather has been warmer, I have been playing outside a lot more often. I brought some of my Playmobil animals outside to play Africa. Wouldn't it be awesome to visit Africa someday? I would love to see zebras, giraffes, hippos, and rhinos. There is an awesome television program on the Discovery Channel right now, called Life. It's the sequel to Planet Earth. It has really awesome footage of animals from all over the world, including Africa. The meerkats are the best!

Inky Outside

I was playing in the park across the street when I saw the new girl! Remember her? The one who thought it was weird that I don't match my parents? I don't think she saw me; she was skating around on rollerblades. I think if I see her again, I will say hello, but only if she says hello first. 

Inky Outside

I'm so happy that spring is finally here! Everything is turning so green. The little leaf buds on the big tree outside our window are opening up. I don't think it can really be spring until the trees have leaves on them- what do you think?

Inky Outside

I'm so excited for spring- and for summer! I'm really hoping that some of my friends can come visit me. I also hope my parents will take me on a trip somewhere. New York City is a wonderful place to live, but I love traveling even more. If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd choose Siberia, South Africa, New Zealand, Alaska, and Peru!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flushing Meadows Park

Picnic in Flushing Meadows Park

Hi everyone! Guess where I went? Flushing Meadows Park! It has been very warm in New York City- it got all the way up to 90°F! That is 32°C! Since it is still so early in the season, our heater is still on in the apartment. My family decided to go have a picnic in the park under the cherry trees.

My friend Karma mentioned on her blog that she loves to climb trees. I told her that we're not supposed to here in the city- but guess what! I looked all around and saw no park police, so I climbed a cherry tree. Karma is right, it was awesome.

Picnic in Flushing Meadows Park

It was a fun afternoon. We brought cold ginger peanut noodles, pitas, and a big tub of hummus. We saw under the cherry trees right next to the Unisphere and relaxed. It was so nice to spend time with my moms out under the blue sky!

Do you have a park near your house? What is your favorite thing about it?

Monday, April 5, 2010

С праздником Пасхи! Happy Easter!

Inky's Easter 2010

Happy Easters! My family celebrates on Orthodox Easter, which is usually a different day than western Easter- but this year both Easters were on the same day! I woke up early to see if the bunny had brought me anything.  My moms told me I could have double candy if I wore a dress! I would have worn a dress anyway, since it's a holiday, but I took the bribe happily.

Inky's Easter 2010

Last night, I worked hard on dyeing eggs and making these special Russian egg carriers.  I made an egg and carrier for all my neighbors on our floor- because it's better to share your holiday happiness than keep it to yourself!

Inky's Easter 2010

I love the little Russian egg carriers. I was thinking that if you guys liked them too, then next year I will do a special post on how to make them. They are very easy and they are pretty too!

Inky's Easter 2010

My Easter present was a big green egg from Playmobil. It was half as tall as me! My mom got it in Germany this summer, but they are available in the US now too. I opened it up and there was a mama and baby panda inside, with a zookeeper! Aren't they cute?

This was a nice quiet Easter. If you celebrate Easter, what did you do this year? Did you get presents? Candy? Did you dress up?

Happy Springtime!
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