Happy 4th of July...Five days early! In America we like to celebrate, but we like to celebrate on the weekend. At the lake the fireworks went off Saturday night, June 30th. It was glorious! Just look at the pictures!
The Sequoyah Marina does them every year. This is my 3rd year at the lake, but my first fireworks. Finally! Fire on the water! To music! We never found the radio station, but some sound carried across the water to us. It was OK, but the view was incredible!. First high in the sky, then reflected in the water. WOW!!!
It was getting dark when we left for the marina. It looked a lot like the 1st picture. It was 9:30, dusk. I picked the 2nd picture because it shows how the boats tied up together, or put down anchors. Just imagine the lake darker and more crowded.
The fireworks started with Taps, just Taps. I’ve never seen or heard that before, but it felt right. As the last trumpet sounded, 3 lightning bolts shot into the sky and exploded. Time for fireworks, lake-style!
When you look at the pictures above, can you tell which came first? It’s the 1st one, pure fireworks. The 2nd has a cloud of gas building and expanding midair. That happens on land too, but it feels more intense at the lake where the fireworks get hemmed in between the sky and the water. Gorgeous!
Here are 2 more pictures. You can see the bright colors, but you’ll have to imagine the sound. The booms as they went off, the thuds that echoed back. Add in pop music anthems like Born in the USA. My favorite was God Bless the USA. Would you believe people across the lake started singing along? On key!
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of my favorite fireworks. Imagine a series of waterfalls flowing from the sky into the lake. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Ever! It was incredible!
When the fireworks ended, there was the ride home. What an experience! All these boats, with one headlight, all driving slowly. It’s nothing like a car with bright lights to help you look ahead, but least everyone was heading the same direction, at the same speed. And, we arrived home safe and sound. The boat too!
PS- Did you see this picture when I started this post? I always start with pictures, and this was originally the 2nd picture. Two days into writing and editing I discovered it had old information. How? The date was wrong. The fireworks couldn’t be on July 2nd when I was writing on July 2nd. Ouch! That’s when I pulled the picture and added a map instead. I didn’t write a word to you.
The next day I changed my mind. I decided to add this in as a postscript to show you why editing is important. I didn’t catch this error on the first 2 days, but I did on the third. Every time you read your work, you have the chance to catch your own errors. Stopping, resting, and rereading helped me catch my error, but it still took me 3 days to see it. Why am I sharing this with you? Finding your own mistakes is hard. Remember, 3 days! I hope that by showing you my mistake, it will make it easier for you to proofread repeatedly. Editing, proofreading, and repetition are your best writing tools!
When you look at a mountain, do you think volcano? Me, never! But if you lived in Guatemala, you might…The 2nd picture's an ad for a trio of volcanoes that you can hike, if you travel to Guatemala. They're known as The Central Highlands Trilogy. One is Agua (water), another’s Fuego (fire), and the third's Acatenango. Why, I don't know! You can hike all 3 volcanoes, 26 miles in 36 hours. Me, no thanks! That’s too much walking!
When you look at these volcanoes, do you wonder what stage they’re in…active, dormant, or extinct? When I look at them, I want to say dormant or extinct, and 2 of them are…but one’s active. Can you guess which one…Fuego? I’d never, ever, hike anywhere near it!
Below are 2 maps of Guatemala. It’s in Central America. That’s the land that connects North and South America. I picked the 1st map because it shows where Guatemala is, next door to Mexico. Do you see the red triangle? It’s my favorite active volcano, Fuego.
I picked the 2nd map because it shows Guatemala’s major volcanoes. Can you find the 3 we could hike together, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango? I’d be happy to use a map to find them. I might take a walk around them, but not a 36 hour hike. No thanks!
The pictures below are beautiful, but deadly. That’s because the volcano is awake. How can you tell? Steam. Mountains don’t steam...volcanoes do.
An eruption starts with magma flowing deep underground. That flow starts earthquakes that make fissures, cracks in the earth. Then the volcano spews steam, carbon dioxide, sulfur, and other poisonous gases. It’s pretty, but dangerous.
Can you see the fissures on Fuego? Magma’s lighting them up in the first picture. Ash and dust blew out in the second one. How hot is that magma? Ready, 1300-2400 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 1000 degrees hotter than boiling water. Ouch!
Fuego is literally building up steam, but not like a rain cloud. That’s a pyroclastic flow of hot gas and rock. At 450 mph you can’t outrun it, and its temperature is 1830 degrees Fahrenheit. Double ouch!
The second picture was taken at night, but that’s not fire. It’s hot magma, lava. Can you imagine being hit by a bit of lava, ash, or rock? I read about someone was struck by a piece…it burned right through their leg and broke the bone. Triple ouch!
If you are anywhere near an active volcano like Fuego, you’d want some kind of head gear to help you breath good air, not air poisoned by volcanic gases. It’ll kill you first. You’ll also find yourself surrounded by ash, like in the second picture shows. Would you want to walk across it? Me, no thanks! I see red in that picture, and it’s probably red hot lava. YIKES!!!
These 2 pictures are post-eruption. In the first nothing’s left, except a burned-up tree. Can you imagine returning home to find this? Awful! And when you return, you’re going to spend time each day sweeping away ash because you’re still under an ash advisory.
The picture below shows the ash that’s still erupting. It’s from my last source. You can check it anytime to see what’s happening with the volcano
Fuego volcano Volcanic Ash Advisory: RPRTS OF VA EM
Thu, 28 Jun 2018, 16:15
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ...more [read all]
Fuego is not the only active volcano right now. Look at the map to see what’s happening on the big island of Hawaii. It has two volcanes but only Kilauea is active. It erupted Thursday, May 17th, throwing an ash plume 30,000 feet above the island. Wow, that’s 5.68 miles above the earth. Incredible!
Volcanoes are a force of nature. They can make ash go airbourne, or create new land, like in the middle picture. I can’t believe people are actually standing on that lava cliff. I see red, and that means hot lava to me. Ouch! Magma is also beautiful! That’s why I picked the last picture.
Here’s the latest notice on Kilauea:
(BIVN) – The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has issued a new Volcanic Activity Notice that changes the current Aviation Color Code for Kīlauea from RED to ORANGE. The current Volcano Alert Level remains at WARNING.
One of my daughter’s friends, Kayla commented on this post saying, “Such a tragedy for the Guatemalans and Hawaiians. I remember hiking at the Pacaya volcano almost one year before Fuego’s eruption “ I asked if she had any pictures to share, and she sent these, taken before the eruption. I’m glad I can share them with you!
Look at those clouds! I’m glad Kayla had good air for her trip!
Look at the dirt. It looks like volcanic ash to me. And the town, I wonder how much they’ve ash swept away since last year.
1. What is the author’s purpose?
2. What is the worst thing that happened to me? Defend your answer.
3. What is something bad that happened to you, that turned out for the best?
Answers are at the end of this post.
This is what my lake house usually looks like…peaceful…quiet…heaven. But things can change quickly, and they did Saturday, November 18th, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
I was at the lake, watching the OSU/Illinois game. The Buckeyes were ahead 38-0 at halftime. The weather in both places was beautiful. Then 3rd quarter hit, and Columbus weather turned terrible. Driving rain, the kind that soaks you in 2 seconds. YUCK! I was glad to be in warm, sunny Tennessee!
But two hours later, the front and its pouring rain hit Tennessee. It was too dark to watch the storm, and the TV and internet stopped, started, then died for good. I gave up and went to bed, but before I could fall asleep, I heard a noise. I usually don’t go out in the dark, in a rainstorm, but I peeked out the door. The first 2 pictures show what I saw in the dark.
Look at that last picture again. You don’t see the chairs because they were to the left of the grill. When I looked in the dark, the deck caught the chairs and a grey strip. That strip belongs to our patio door. It could have blown anywhere, been miles away, and I would never have found it. Thank goodness for a great catch!
After I found the chairs, I started looking for the grill. It’d blown down the steps and landed by the trees. I decided I couldn’t do anything in the dark. Everything could wait till tomorrow.
Usually things look better in the morning. Not this time! Sunday morning I looked closer and took pictures for my husband. I thought the grill landed upright. Not! It was on its side, gas tank and doors knocked loose, laying off to the side.
That’s also when I looked up the path that runs beside the house. I discovered what happened to my cable and internet, and I knew that it wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Look below…you’ll see what I saw.
A huge log, I thought, was leaning on my roof. Do you see the other one on the ground? Both of them were dead trees. They were standing behind that thicket of bushes. My husband thought he’d gotten rid of all the dead trees. Not! The storm knocked these two loose. One fell harmlessly to the ground. The other hit the roof and knocked out my internet and TV. Boy, did I miss them!
Do you see the Hughes Net dish? It’s bent in two. The Direct TV dish is bent, but not as badly. I know wind is a powerful force, but it’s usually powerful somewhere else. This time it hit in my back yard when I was alone, all by myself. Can you imagine yanking those 2 tree trunks out of the ground and tossing them around like sticks? Or the power to bounce a tree around on the roof? I’m glad I didn’t see it.
This wasn’t a hurricane or tornado, just wind. Amazing! My husband wondered if we had a mini-tornado with the chairs and grill blowing one way, and the tree trunks blowing the other. Tornado, I don’t know. I didn’t hear anything except rain. No wind, no grill hitting the ground, no tree hitting the roof, and I am so glad!
After looking at my pictures, my husband decided to head south and see for himself. We cancelled our Ohio Thanksgiving. No family, no Thanksgiving turkey, no fixings. It sounds like everything went wrong, completely wrong, but it didn’t. It went right, in a completely different, and unexpected way.
Instead we had our first Thanksgiving at the lake. It was simple, grilled chicken and roasted yam slices, and we didn’t over-eat. A very good thing!
We didn’t have a feast to prepare for, or to clean up after. We did the things we love to do. I wrote and enjoyed my lake view. I’m a city girl.
My husband, country boy and project engineer, enjoyed his yard. He’s been reclaiming it from the woods for over 2 years. See the lake view? When we moved in, you couldn’t see it for all the trees. Remember the two tree trunks? He burned them in the picture above, but he was just getting warmed up, LOL
He scrounged around and found more branches and brush to burn, but they didn’t burn fast enough so he made his own blast furnace. It worked! Can you see the difference between the 2 fires? Wayne channeled his inner Bill Nye science guy/Tim Allen. He made his own blast furnace with the leaf blower. Then he pulled me outside to teach the teacher. He demonstrated how the blower,(red handle) fed in oxygen to feed the fire.
So when life goes wrong, look around and find what’s right. We did! We enjoyed Thanksgiving at the lake and time together. It’s lovely when all’s well that ends well!
When What Goes Wrong, Turns Out to be Quite Right
1. What is the author’s purpose?
My author’s purpose was to persuade you that when things go wrong, sometimes it’s for the best. .
2. What is the worst thing that happened to me? Defend your answer.
Example: The worst thing was no TV. I missed the noise of TV and watching my favorite shows.
3. What is something bad that happened to you, that turned out for the best?
Example: When I missed the bus, mom drove me to school and picked up hot chocolate for me. Yum!
You never know who you’re going to meet at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum! This summer I ran into 2 former students. Carson was at the June space camp. He’ll be in 5th grade at Spencerville this year. Sorry, Carson, I forgot to get a picture!
Carmen’s picture is above. She’s going into 6th grade at Elida. Go Dawgs go! I love seeing my ‘old’ students, and most of all I love them remembering me! Carmen was at the museum the day I manned the Zero Gravity trainer.
When you think zero gravity, do you picture a satellite, or an astronaut in outer space? They’re both heavy! Neil’s suit weighed 188 pounds. It’d sink in water but float in outer space. The satellite is even heavier, but it floats too! Imagine that!
Would you like to experience zero gravity? It’s not cheap! Going to the moon will cost $300-600 million per person. If a few friends chip in, you’d only pay $100 million each.
Going into space is a little cheaper. In 2009 Guy Laliberte, owner of Cirque De Soleil, paid $35 million for a 12-day voyage to the international space station. Guy said it was worth every penny. Google said it’s about $10,000 per pound now to get you into space. If you weigh 100 pounds, that’s $100 million. Ouch! Time for a diet!
See the people flying? They’re taking a plane ride with Zero-G for $4,950, plus 5% tax. $5450 gets you 15 parabolic maneuvers (one is shown in the graph above). Each one will last 20-30 seconds. BTW, a parabolic maneuver is like taking a roller coaster ride in and out of the atmosphere, into outer space. If you don’t like coasters, don’t go…its nickname is ‘The Vomit Comet.’ YUCK!!
Speaking of roller coasters, how about this zero gravity ride? You can find at amusement parks like Cedar Point. Best of all, it’s cheap. Really! An all-day pass at Cedar Point is only $49. Let’s ride!
But there’s something less expensive, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum zero gravity trainer. Adults can visit for $8 a day, $4 for kids. 5 and under is free.
This is the zero gravity trainer. It works like a hover board. Carmen loved it! So did the kids from the Delaware summer program who spent the day at the museum. I was their zero gravity guide, but I felt a carnival worker. I kept the line moving so everyone got a turn, and those who loved it got seconds.
If you visit the museum, here are my your zero gravity tips…Put a foot on the outside edge of the black hoses. Get comfortable. Someone from the museum will switch on the motor (it looks and sounds like a vacuum cleaner). Voila! You will be floating on air. Only by a couple inches, but you’ll still be floating! The bars help you push and pull your way around. I wonder how real astronauts move. A swim stroke?
When the ride’s over, stay put. Someone will switch off the motor, then you wait for the board to touch down. Want to go again? Just get in line! Come and enjoy!
During the summer, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum education staff visits libraries across Ohio. They do 3-4 programs a day. In June I tagged along with Sydney to Belle Center. She set the stage by talking about the museum, astronauts, and the international space station. Some kids already knew about the mission to Mars. They were excited!
Then Sydney gave the kids a STEM challenge, to build a strong tower.
Strength would be judged by how many marbles a tower could hold before tipping over. Our 14 kids divided into 4 groups. Part of their challenge was to work together. The other part was to use prior knowledge about forces and materials, to build that tower.
Each group was given the same materials: 7 straws, 7 index cards, a pair of scissors, a roll of masking tape, ruler and 20 minutes. All towers had to be at least 11 inches high. After 15 minutes, Sydney asked if the groups needed more time. She told them even NASA engineers ask for extensions. Would you believe they all wanted more time? After 30 minutes, the groups faced the tippy tower challenge. Here are their results.
The groups watched Sydney test their towers. She added marbles till the towers tipped and the marbles spilled out. Then she asked:
1. What worked on your tower?
2. What would you change?
Sydney’s tippy tower record is 70 marbles. The Belle Center record was 68. So close!!!
If you’d like to try The Tippy Tower Challenge at home, here’s how:
1. First decide look at these designs. Is there one you want to try? How could you improve it? Maybe you can combine features.
2. Then get the materials (7 cards, 7 straws, and masking tape) and test your design.
3. Finally, report your results. You can tell your parents. You can email me. I’d love to see your results. Your parents can help you with the words and pictures.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!