Water is a Precious Thing

Saturday, March 22, 2014 is World Water Day

CIMG6942I love the water. I love to splash in the pools in the river. I love to feel it raining down on me. I love to drink and slurp it. I love to shake it all over everything. Water is a precious thing. We live in a place that doesn’t get a whole lot of water raining down. We do happy dances when rain comes. Rain makes the river flow with JOY. Rain makes grass and flowers pop out all over. Rain means our well won’t run dry. Water is a very precious thing. My Mom Person worries when the rains don’t come. She worries when the river goes dry and the trees start to die. She worries when she passes by houses with sprinklers going. She likes living here at the 7 Acre Wood, but she likes the rains to come.

IMG_0286Water conservation is a really important thing. Water is precious. I understand that there are some places in the world that have more water than they can deal with. And there are some places that have less water than what we get here in Glen Rose, Texas. There are people in some parts of the world who don’t have clean water to drink and bathe in. That’s a sad thing. Water is sooooo precious.

I have a book about water. It’s a cute book about a summer day in the life of a city park where water is an important part of the daily cycle.

IMG_4745Water in the Park

written by Emily Jenkins
illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
published by Schwartz & Wade Books in 2013

A note from the author about the story reads –

“The story comes from my spending early mornings and evenings in Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, New York, one summer when we had many, many ninety-eight-degree days. I watched the people and thought about the way the park’s water is used differently by all the inhabitants of the neighborhood, human and animal.”

This neighborhood seems to have plenty of water. The people here do not seem to worry about a lack of water. But the water in the park is precious to them nonetheless.

The story begins in the early morning when the park is quiet and empty and the turtles come out of the pond to sun themselves on the rocks. Then the dog walkers come to let their dogs have a romp in the pond. They are very lucky dogs!! As the day progresses the neighborhood awakens and more and more people come to enjoy the park. They play in the pond and the sprinkler pool. They drink from the water fountains. Kids fill water balloons and pour buckets of water in the sandbox. They pour water down the slide to cool it off. Birds and squirrels come to play and bathe in the water. Workers come to water the gardens. The pond and the fountains are a haven for everyone. At the end of the day the rains come. Everything in the park is now wet with glorious water. Water is a precious thing for sure!!

IMG_4747I really liked this book. It’s not a conservation book. It’s kind of like you’re sitting on a park bench watching the day go by. But the day is filled with water. And I like a day filled with water. The illustrations are great with lots of details to catch the eye. I will be looking out for more books by both Ms Jenkins and Ms Graegin.

There are quite a few organizations that work to provide clean drinking water for people around the world who are without this most precious commodity.
Living Water International
Goodnet.org has a list of seven non-profit organizations that provide safe water solutions for developing countries. You can check out the list HERE.

I am submitting this post to The Small Fry Safari Reading Challenge at The Bookshelf Gargoyle as an entry for Category # 6, A book with something PRECIOUS in the title.

I recently did a post about a Listening Walk. What about a Water Walk? How far would you go for Water?

Enjoy YOUR Water Day!
Your friend at the river
Rhythm

Copy of img311

Advertisements

A River Safari

IMG_4718For my first entry in the Small Fry Safari Reading Challenge I bring you a book with Safariness in the title Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham. Published by Henry Holt & Co. in 1971. Mr. Burningham happens to be the husband of Ms Helen Oxenbury. What a truly talented pair!!

Now, you may know that I have a passion for rivers — my river, the Paluxy, in particular. It’s the only river I’ve ever actually explored. But I figure that all rivers must be as fine as my Paluxy River.

031911173620

IMG_4742Mr. Gumpy’s Outing is about a “safari” on the river. Mr. Gumpy liked to go out on the river in his boat. One day some children asked if they could come along. Mr. Gumpy said, “Yes, if you don’t squabble.” As they floated down the river they encountered a rabbit who wanted to join them. Mr. Gumpy said ok, “but don’t hop about.” They continued to meet up with various animals who wanted to join them on their “river safari” and Mr Gumpy allowed each animal to come aboard if they promised to behave in their own way. So the traveling group grew to include a cat, a dog, a pig, a sheep, a chicken, a calf, and a goat. That was one loaded down, crowded boat!! Putting together all those different personalities in a small space is surely a recipe for diasaster!

IMG_4743 But they all traveled merrily along, until — the goat kicked. And it all went downhill from there, with each animal in turn doing that which it had promised not to do, until —- the boat tipped over and everyone fell in the river! They all swam out and lay on the river bank to dry out in the sun. Then they all walked back to Mr Gumpy’s house across the long, endless fields, and had tea.

What a great lovely adventure! With a lovely ending. I surely do like Mr Gumpy!

Now you may ask, ” where is the safari in a float down a river?” Well, in Swahili the word safari means a long journey. Mr Gumpy’s outing was certainly a long journey that included lots of animals. It was quite a grand journey for them all.

To find out more about Mr Burningham and see a gallery of his artwork visit HERE.
And a fun interview with him HERE.

If you might be looking for more adventure, you might travel over to visit Gargoyle Bruce at his safari station HERE.

IMG_2438I wish for you many fun adventures in the coming year,
and may you meet lots of friends along the way!
Happy floating!

Rhythm
Copy of img311

Gone Fishing

We had a pretty good rain recently that put some water back in our river. Hallelujah!! So the Mom Person decided we should go down and do a little fishing. Fishing?!

This is my idea of Fishing —

CIMG7125This is the Mom Person’s idea of Fishing —

IMG_3571Now tell me — does that look like fun?!

We didn’t catch any fish. We saw some fish. And a crawdad. And some raccoon tracks. We did not catch any fish. So we went back to the house to read some books about catching fish. The Mom Person’s answer to every problem.

IMG_3576Gone Fishing, a Novel in Verse is an excellent book by Tamera Will Wissinger and illustrated with much whimsy by Matthew Cordell. It was published in 2013 by Houghton Mifflin.

Ms Wissinger “was inspired to write this novel in verse, her first book, after writing ‘Night Crawlers,’ a poem that stemmed from childhood memories of night crawler hunting with her mom and dad before fishing trips.” This is a thoroughly FUN book! It is a collection of poems that fit together one right after another to tell a story about a young lad, Sam, who is sooooooooo looking forward to going fishing tomorrow with JUST his DAD. But then his little sister Lucy wants to come too! And Dad lets her!! Sam goes through a lot of frustration and anger at first, but then discovers that sisters aren’t all that bad. A great book about sibling rivalry and finding a common bond.

IMG_3579

At the back of the book is The Poet’s Tackle Box with lots of information about writing poetry. An excellent resource!

I love this book!!

The next book we read was a shorter, more flamboyant book – Fishing in the Air. This one is by one of my all time favorite authors, Sharon Creech, who wrote Love That Dog. And Fishing in the Air is illustrated by another favorite – Chris Raschka who did The Daisy Books and several cool Jazz books. Fishing in the Air is another tale of boy and Dad going fishing. No sister this time. They dig up worms and pack two poles and a sack of sandwiches. And Dad says “We’re going on a journey. To a secret place. We’ll catch the air! We’ll catch a breeze!” This is a story about the magical world all around us. Where street lamps become moons and trees become soldiers and birds become singing angels. The boy and his Dad fish in the clear, cool river and talk about when the Dad was a boy. This is a magical book with magical pictures and a clear, cool river. Ahhhhhhh!

IMG_3582

I love this book, too!!

I hope that you will visit the author and illustrator websites by clicking on their names above. I think that you will find yourself entertained.

And here is a little video of Mr Raschka in his studio – enjoy!

I wish you Joyful days of fishing for magic in the clear, cool river —

Rhythm

Copy of img311

Rhythm in the Glen

I’ve been dreaming of road trips, but alas, My Mom Person claims to have no time for such things right now. So instead, I’ve decided to take y’all on a road trip — to Glen Rose, Texas. My home town!IMG_2436 Glen Rose is in north central Texas about 90 miles southwest of the Dallas/Ft Worth area. It is the county seat of Somervell County, the 3rd smallest county in the state.

IMG_2245

Glen Rose is a smallish kind of town. There aren’t any big tall buildings like I see in Dallas. And we don’t have a lot of traffic. What we do have is an abundance of natural geographical and geological wonders. We get lots of tourists coming out to enjoy all the cool stuff that I live with all the time.  I’ve already told you about our fossils and dinosaurs. Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great place for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and dinosaur hunting. Fossil hunters and dinosaur enthusiasts come from far and wide.

There are 2 rivers that converge in Glen Rose.

IMG_4518

Paluxy River

IMG_4363

dog party on the Paluxy

The Paluxy River, which is the one that runs past our place and the one that I play in, and the Brazos River, which is a bigger river and probably more well known. There is a famous writer who lives in Glen Rose, Mr John Graves, who wrote a couple of books about the area. He once took a three week canoe trip down the Brazos River before they built some dams on it, and then he wrote a book called Goodbye to a River. This is a most excellent book that I highly recommend! A lot of folks come to this area to enjoy our rivers. They bring canoes and kayaks and tubes to float in. There are some places in town where you can rent these things as well.

We dogs don’t need canoes or tubes. We can have a good time just splashing and swimming! And some people like these activities as well, but some folks like to have some kind of vehicle to propel themselves down the river.

IMG_2438

There are also two lakes in the county for fishing and boating activities. I understand that they provide for some pretty good fishing. I’ve never been on a boat before. I’ve tried some fishing in my river. I hear that it’s supposed to be a relaxing, meditative kind of activity, but those fish are too quick for me and that makes for a stressful, frustrating kind of activity.

IMG_2429

Big Rocks Park on the Paluxy

Along with the water enthusiasts and the rock hounds and the camper folks, we get a lot of bikers riding through the area. The motor kind and the pedal kind. There are some really tough hills that challenge the best of them. There is a ranch called the Solavaca Ranch that has created some trails for mountain bikers and they have BIG events several times a year. In the fall we have the Paluxy Pedal for those bikers who prefer riding on the roads. Participants have a choice of distances to ride from 29 mi. without “the Wall”  up to 80 mi. with “the Wall”. I’ve not ever seen that Wall, but by the time those bikers pedal past our house they’re looking pretty tired.

barbarosaThe Wall (2)[1]

The Wall – google image

solavaca ranch

Solavaca Ranch

And then there are the golf courses! We have 2 courses to choose from if you are into golf. I don’t play golf myself, my Mom Person says golf balls are too small for me to play with. So I can’t tell you a lot about our golf courses except that they are very popular. There are LOTS of golfers in Glen Rose!

I think that pretty much covers the local activities available for the energetic folks. But I’ve got a lot more to tell you about! Later —

For your reference if you’re ever out this way – some useful links —

Glen Rose CVB
Visit Glen Rose website

Rhodes Canoe Rental
Low Water Canoe Rental

Squaw Creek Reservoir
Wheeler Branch Reservoir

Squaw Valley Golf Club

And a clip about that book – Goodbye to a River

And another of Mr John Graves himself –

Older Than the Dinosaurs

I recently had a great surprise in the mail! A package to me! Just me!

IMG_2144IMG_2145

I won a raffle from Kid Lit Reviews way back during Children’s Book Week! That lovely Ms Sue Morris sent me this book and I see that it was personally stamped by her cat!

I was particularly excited about winning this book because I kind of have a connection to it. The book is Wisteria’s Show and Tell Spectacular: Older than the Dinosaurs by Susan Grigsby with pictures by Alexandra Miller. It was published by Shenanigan Books in 2012. Ms Grigsby has a great website with teacher guides for this book. Just click her name.

It’s show and tell day at school and the theme is Something Really Old. Wisteria has a history of creating disasters with her show and tells so she is especially intent on a good showing this time. But what can she find that’s really old? Well, she is very lucky to have a neighbor who is a geologist. And she is also lucky to have a backyard full of fossils and cool rocks. She ends up with a great show and tell history lesson and gets an A, but it is not exactly smooth sailing — I won’t tell you what happens, but it involves an old dog!

Now my special connection to this book is that I am also lucky to have a yard full of fossils and cool rocks!

IMG_2407IMG_2406IMG_2405

You see Glen Rose, Texas (where I live) used to be covered by a big ocean millions of years ago. And when that ocean dried up it left behind millions of marine fossils and petrified wood and limestone cliffs.

And — way back when, we had dinosaurs roaming around. In the early 1900s dinosaur tracks were discovered in the bed of the Paluxy River. The river that I play in all the time! Since then scientists have made a big todo about these tracks. Some were dug up and sent to the Smithsonian Institue, several Texas colleges and quite a few museums. We have a great book  that has a lot of information about our dinosaurs.

dino bookDiscover Texas Dinosaurs was written by Charles E. Finsley and illustrated by Doris Tischler. It was published by Gulf Publishing Co. in 1999.

Luckily some of the tracks were left where they were found and you can visit Dinosaur Valley State Park and see them for yourself!

IMG_2413IMG_2415IMG_2410

We happen to live just down the road from this park. It’s a great place to camp and hike and play in the river. It’s a popular place for folks who like that kind of thing. And there seem to be a lot of people who do!!

So, you see why I was excited to win this book about Wisteria and her old rocks?! You should check it out and come visit us in Glen Rose. Dinosaur Capital of Texas!

And here is a fascinating video of Mr R. T. Bird taking away our dinosaur tracks in 1937.

Party Time!

We had a big party here today. A dog party! The 7 Acre Wood has become a destination for the semi-local Southeastern guide dog pups to get some exposure to country stuff. Like goats and ponies and chickens and lizards and tall grass to run in and rivers to play in and mud to splash in. Six crazy pups showed up all ready for their special day. Peg, and Ace, and Leisl, and Mercy, and Aubie, and Pearl.

I remember when I was a silly young thing and the world was full of new adventures around every corner. It was fun watching these kids throw themselves into my world with such joyful abandon. As long as they left me and my river toy alone.

No books today. Just summer JOY!!

A River Day

Today was a river day at the 7 Acre Wood. We had a good rain in the night. The day was warm – in the 70s. The Mom Person had nothing pressing to do. And we dogs all needed baths anyway. So off we went to splash and play! Yay!!

No book review today, but I would like to leave you with some words from A. A. Milne and The House at Pooh Corner. This is an excerpt from Chapter VI In Which Pooh Invents a New Game and Eeyore Joins In:

” By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

Pooh and Piglet would lie down on the bridge and watch the river … ” and it slipped away very slowly, being in no hurry to get there.”

Pooh is a very wise Bear. Rivers are magical places where you can find your heart and soul.

I hope you had a Good Day today!

I’ll leave you with a little music from Billy Joel — River of Dreams — enjoy!