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Preview: Science Photos and Other Stuff for Kids

Science Photos and Other Stuff for Kids

Updated: 2018-03-05T09:50:44.338-08:00


Tide Pools



Sea Cucumber


Sea Anemones



Ice in Arizona


My research shows that the usual low temperature in Arizona is 41 degrees Fahrenheit.  Water freezes when the temperature of it's surroundings is 32 degrees.  It was 23 degrees when these photos were taken!  Brrrr!  This was an unusually cold day in Chandler, Arizona!  The ice in these pictures is very unusual, and is the result of freezing temperature and automatic sprinklers!The photo above is ice on grass.  The next photo is a close-up. Click on the pictures for a larger view.  In the photo above, notice how the individual blades of grass are encased in thick ice! It was so cold that the water from the sprinklers froze as it flowed and as it dripped.That is one super frozen tree! Wow!These photos were provided for you to see by Keith Emerson!Thank you Mr. Emerson![...]



We're all used to seeing hummingbirds zipping around our yards!  They move so fast that it's hard to get a good look at them!  My friend took these wonderful pictures for me to share with you!In the photo above, the hummingbird is likely collecting spiderwebs to use in the building of her nest.  Have you ever touched a spiderweb, and it stuck to you?   That stickiness is the very thing that makes it a perfect glue for Momma bird's nest building!Here is a terrific link that will describe the construction process for you! Hummingbird NestsWould you like to know more about hummingbirds?   I've added some links below for you to check out!This photo is called a silhouette.  I think this is a very nice outline of the hummingbird.  I've added it just for you because it is so pretty!  sil·hou·ette  [sil-oo-et]   noun,Definition:   a dark image outlined against a lighter background. All of the photos above were taken by my friend, Jack Thompson.Thank you, Mr. Thompson!This is a terrific video produced by National Geographic.  If you click on their name it will lead you to the site where I found this video, and lots of other interesting animal videos especially for kids!Here are a few links that you will enjoy if you would like more hummingbird information!How to make a hummingbird feeder!Wikipedia: HummingbirdsHere is a fun activity for you!Click on the Connect the Dots to make it larger before you print it!  I found it here!  Connect the Dots ~ Hummingbird[...]

What to do if a nest is blown from a tree


My friend Jayme has allowed me to share these photographs and instructions with you. Recently, while trimming bushes in her yard, she accidentally tore a down a bush that held a robin's nest! Can you tell in the picture below that she is holding the nest with three little fledglings in her hand? Two of the baby birds are easy to spot, because their beaks are open, but look carefully, or click on the picture to enlarge it and see if you can find the third one . . . He's pretty well hidden, isn't he? Jayme called the experts at the Department of Natural Resources who told her that the safest thing to do in a situation like this, is to relocate the nest as closely as possible to the spot from which it fell. This is a time for adults to help! They will probably use a ladder to place the nest and the baby birds up in a tree and tie it securely with something like Jayme used, a zip-tie. What a great idea! When I searched for more information for you, I discovered that an adult should try to place the nest at a joint, between two branches. There are other suggestions in case the nest was somehow destroyed, or you happen to find a baby bird and you can't locate his nest. I have links below for those. Do not climb a tree to put a baby bird back! Ask an adult for help! Look at the sweet little, contented fledglings! Sound asleep. Their Mother Bird found them in just a few minutes, and they are happily snuggled into their nest in it's new tree. nestling: noun A bird too young to leave its nest. fledgling: noun A young bird that has recently acquired its flight feathers. nest: noun A container or shelter made by a bird out of twigs, grass, or other material to hold its eggs and young. As defined by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Wild for Life Thank you Jayme! You have shared such wonderful pictures with us! [...]

Robin Red Breast Nesting Video


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Robins - 4 Eggs, 4 Weeks from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

My friend found this video, and shared it with me, so I could share it with you! Wasn't that kind of her? Don't be sad when the baby birds leave the nest! They stay with their parents until they are adults, just like people do!

Swallowtail Butterfly



this one in central California



(image) This Buckeye Butterfly thought she was hiding from me! Right out in the open! If you have trouble finding her in the top picture, click on the picture, and it will enlarge . . . then you'll see her!

A closer look.
She is very well disguised, and hidden in this dry grass. This is called camouflage.
When birds and animals and even insects are almost invisible in their environment, it makes it more difficult for predators to find them.
For more information on Buckeye Butterflies, click here. There you will find information, and photos of their open wings, along with photographs of their caterpillars and chrysalises.

Feeding Baby Bird




(image) This is a female House Finch feeding her baby. They're perched on the back of a garden chair.

For more information, and a lot more pictures of House Finches, including; their nests, eggs and hatchlings, click here!
Photographs courtesy of Jack Thompson.





(image) Stages of opening . . . in the fourth photograph, you can tell that the thistledown can just be blown away like the fluff of a dandelion! At this stage, the seeds (the thistledown) are a favorite food of Goldfinches and other bird species. For more information on thistles, click here.



(image) For information about Ladybugs, also know as Ladybirds, and Ladybird Beetles, click here.

Swallow Nest



The bird perched in the Sycamore tree is the Momma bird. She stayed pretty close while I took photos. I'm pretty certain that this is a Swallow Nest. It is built near the roof line of a two story home in the country, very near a river in Central California*.

*On the Stanislaus River in Stanislaus County

Bird Nest with Eggs, and Hatchlings


These are pictures of the same nest! The picture with eggs was taken on Easter, and the picture of the new hatchlings was taken only a week later. Unfortunately, I didn't get back to see the baby birds again before they left the nest, so I can't identify them. Still it's pretty neat to have the photos!

The photos were taken at my brother and sister-in-law's house. Birds make a nest in this planter on their front porch every year. I am very jealous!



(image) It's kind of hard to see the ants surrounding this opening to their underground nest. I took several pictures of them running in and out, and the little stinkers were so fast that this is the only picture that had more than one ant in it! Can you find five? Click on the picture for a better view.

Cliff Swallow Nests


Do you see what looks like holes in the side of this cliff? They really aren't holes, but they are birds' nests built from mud! These nests were built by Cliff Swallows. Click on the pictures for a full screen view.

Here is some information that I found just for you about Cliff Swallows!
There are four very important things to consider if you happen to be a Cliff Swallow looking for a place to build your nest.
(1) an open habitat for foraging,
(2) a suitable surface for nest attachment beneath an overhang or ledge,
(3) a supply of mud of the proper consistency for nest building, and
(4) a body of fresh water for drinking. {Thank you UC Davis for this information}

Swallows kind of like to return to the same nest year after year, not always, but often. I think that's pretty interesting. Don't you?
Swallows feed on insects and spend a large part of each day in the air catching flies, beetles, and mosquitoes. Their long, pointed wings give them great speed and maneuverability.

Cliff swallows build mud nests attached to cliffs, bridges, buildings and other structures. This is particularly true of the cliff swallow—the swallow of San Juan Capistrano—which nests in large colonies of up to several hundred pairs. {UC Davis}

I wish I could have managed to get closer to take better pictures, but the river is really quite wide right here. I did find a site with wonderful pictures and even a little video that I'm sure you will enjoy. Look at The Birder's Report for more information.



(image) This lizard did not want me to take his picture! Either his head or his tail, but not the whole guy.

(image) This link will take you to a really cool site where you can view California Lizards, and see if you can identify this guy's variety for yourself!

Painted Lady Butterfly




An antenna is a sensory appendage that is attached to the head of adult insects. Antennae are used for the sense of smell and balance. Butterflies have two antennae with clubs at the end. For an even better look, click on the pictures.

Look at the butterfly's fuzzy body! Click on the picture to enlarge it for a better look!

All adult butterflies have six legs. The two forelegs of some butterfly species are tiny.
For Butterfly Activity Pages, I found this cool link!
This is a page that I especially like, for an activity sheet labeling the parts of the butterfly anatomy.
For more information about the Painted Lady Butterfly, just click on the name and it will take you to Wikipedia.

A Snowy Day in England


Isn't this the most beautiful photograph of Ice Crystals?
My friend, Elaine*, who lives in England, took these photos and gave me permission to share them with you!


Click on the photos for a larger view.

Do you think the ice crystals look a little like feathers?

(image) She took these photos of her frozen windshield.
Always try to take the time to stop and enjoy the beauty of nature.
It will amaze you, anew, every time.

*Moms and Dads,
I hope you will enjoy Elaine's Blog as much as I do!
Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover
Thank you, Elaine!



These are so tiny, the largest one is about 3/4".
Notice they are growing in a very moist environment of mostly decomposing leaves.

Hidden Birds!


(image) Maybe this guy isn't so well hidden, but he was sure keeping an eye on me!
As always, just click on the photo for a better look.

(image) The photo above has two really well hidden birds in it. Well, two birds, one is really well hidden. I'll give you a couple of hints, the well hidden one is bright blue, and he's mostly hidden behind the branch.


More Bird Nests


Birds build their nests out of anything that they find handy. This nest (above) is built mainly of twigs and mud, but look at the fishing line! The orange thing is an oak gall. This particular nest was built in an oak tree alongside a river where fishing is a popular sport, which explains the fishing line. The nest above was too high in the tree for me to get a better picture, but I can tell that it was built from a lot of grass. It must have been a nice soft nest for the hatchlings to snuggle down in. I've shown this nest before, but now that all of the leaves are gone, it's so much easier to see. You can see that it was constructed mainly of mud, with twigs and grass. It is really a pretty big nest. I'm hoping that the birds that lived in it last year will return this Spring, and I can see what type they are.An aerie is built of twigs and sticks. It doesn't look particularly soft and cuddly, do you think?These branches are infested with clusters of mistletoe, but the very top, left cluster, isn't mistletoe at all. It is the aerie that you saw in the previous picture!This is a wonderful time of year to hunt for nests in the woods! With few or no leaves on the trees, just keep your eye out for a tangle of twigs in a Y, where a couple of branches come together.[...]

Frost, Ice Crystals


(image) Don't you think the ice crystals are especially beautiful? Click on the pictures to get an even better look at them.


The pictures above and below are more heavily frosted because they are dead leaves. The leaves that are on live plants have fewer ice crystals because they still have liquid in their veins. This keeps them warmer, and they don't freeze as readily as the dead leaves.




This fellow has been hanging around my front yard for the last few days. His feet are bright yellow, and while he is perched there, he cheeps like an Easter chickie.

From the top of his head to the tip of his tail, he is about 18" to 20" tall. That's about as tall as a newborn human baby!
This is a view of the Hawk from the side. You can get a good look at the shape of his raptor beak from this photograph. For more information, click on the word Hawk!

After checking with Wikipedia, I feel safe identifying this fellow as a Sharp Spined Hawk.

Frost - Ice Crystals


It's very, very cold outside today! It's freezing, even! When it gets cold enough outside to freeze the water droplets in the air, we say that we have a "frost". This is a picture of the frozen grass on my front lawn. Look at the individual ice crystals on these leaves! These are tiny leaves, about the size of your Mom's thumbnail. Click on the pictures to see a larger view. This is not carpet! This is a close up of the ice crystals on the car's windshield! Did you know that this is the way ice looks up close? Click on the picture for a full screen view.The next time that you have frost at your house, dress warmly and go outside to get a good look for yourself! Do you notice that very near the house there is no ice or frost? Not always, but if it is a light frost, often times there will be ice all over the entire outdoors, but not next to the house! Do you know why that is? It's because the house is actually kind of warm, and the temperature of the ground next to it doesn't get all the way down to freezing!Do an experiment! When there is a weather forecast for frost, before you go to bed, place a piece of newspaper out on your lawn, away from the house. Put a rock on it to keep it from blowing away in case of a breeze. When you get up in the morning, if it has frosted over night, dress warmly and go outside to see! There will likely be ice crystals on your lawn, on the rock and on the newspaper, but the lawn under the newspaper will probably have no ice crystals! Can you tell me why there aren't ice crystals there? Tell me what you think!For more information on frost and the weather, check out The Weather Channel Kids![...]