<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Forests Forever <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>


Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars Review: The Force Awakens

Dun,
da, da, dun,
dun dun dun,
dun,
da, da, dun,
dun, da, dun

The Force Awakens


After
more than
thirty-two years, a
new hope has awakened from
the ten year hiatus of attacks of prequels
of past wars and stories of sith and revenge. What
once thrilled millions enough to line up down the block 
and around the corners and has sold billions in toys 
and memorabilia has returned with new characters, aliens, unusual hair styles, vehicles, jedi and long lines to strike back against evil empires because the saga continues...

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hype for the New Star Wars Movie - The Force Awakens(Episode VII)

Dun,
da, da, dun,
dun dun dun,
dun,
da, da, dun,
dun, da, dun

STAR WARS


In these
troubled times a
new hope has returned
from the past. What once thrilled
millions enough to line up down the block and
around the corners and has sold billions of dollars in toys and
memorabilia has struck back against the dominion of phantom menace of wars and …

Monday, November 30, 2015

Blog Second Anniversary

The second anniversary of this blog has passed. Actually, more than a month ago, but caring for flu ridden children, preparing a child for college while taxiing another in college and teaching dreaded negative numbers and scientific notation to a slightly dyslexic child have kept me away. [I don't need to admit to neglecting my blog for NaNoWriMo, right? I won by the way. That's why you're seeing this new post before December and I'm waxing verbose here.] MOOCs, local classes and critique groups have also dominated my time.
ridden children, preparing a child for college while taxiing another in college and teaching dreaded negative numbers and scientific notation to a slightly dyslexic child have kept me away. [I don't need to admit to neglecting my blog for

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mythic Humanoids – Serpent People and Dragon Shape Shifters – Part 2 (Symbolism)

Like fire that later came to be associated with serpent people's spin off dragons, depending on the people group the myths came from, serpent people could be good and helpful or cunning and evil. In some cultures they were both. For example, in ancient Egypt, Apepi, a giant serpent demon attacked Ra, the sun, while Mehen, another giant serpent coiled around the sun at night to protect him. Regardless of whether they are good  or evil, both serpents and dragons are usually associated with underwater or underground worlds, often with the roots of cosmic trees. (Niddhogg - Norse, Mictlan - Aztec, Veles – Slavic)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mythic Humanoids – Serpent People and Dragon Shape Shifters – Part 1(Research Deluge)

I have been doing a lot of research on dragons to discover what dragons are like in my fantasy world. I've been amazed at the wealth of fiction books written about dragons. Clearly, dragons captivate and spur the imagination of many. More than I ever realized.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Magic School Bus - Plant Lesson - part 3

This hasn't been a popular series of posts lately, but I want to finish what I started for the few that did
like it.

Since there were an odd number of weeks due to a few snow days this last week I didn't have a second week to cut the video in half. So we watched the video of Magic School Bus Inside A Beehive in its entirety. I just choose to build on the plant-bee interactions part of that video to connect it to the previous plant lessons.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Magic School Bus - Plant Lesson for K-Gr.2- Part 2 of 3

First I had to catch up the two students that had been absent on the first lesson. Then I asked kids to report on what homework they tried. Some of the students already had roots on their seedlings and their cuttings. [I asked them to bring them back for the family night, but no one did.]

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pope on Ecology - Latest Encyclical on Ecology Fits Within my Mission Statement

I try not to get too religious or political here, since this is an author's blog about nature and mythology, but this is too apropos to ignore. If you want to read Pope Francis Encyclical on Ecology yourself, I'll warn you, like all philosophical, theological, historical and scientific writing there is a bit of staging and wordiness to it. [I generally leave the seriously factual stuff to my husband and let my inner teenager yawn. But I am forcing myself to digest this because I really wanted to read first hand Pope Francis's view.]

Friday, June 12, 2015

Magic School Bus - Plant Lesson for K-2 – part 1 of 3

Magic School Bus book 
This is a lesson designed for a homeschool co-op class of eight K-2 students, but the ideas can be adapted.

I started by asking kids what they knew. They already knew that plants need water, soil and air. Some knew plants needed sunlight as well.

I asked them to draw a plant. Some were uncomfortable with that. I assume because there are so many types of plants that they had trouble deciding which to draw .

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mythic Peoples - The Fates

Three supernatural and prophetic woman that decide the fate of humans and Gods alike. [I have been describing species of mythic humanoids. This may not seem like a species, but a set of three individual goddesses, but I maintain that it is not.]

Groups of Fates in different cultures are :

Friday, May 1, 2015

Movie Review - The Avengers – Age of Ultron

Just a quick post to recommend the new Avengers movie, Age of Ultron. My family and I went to see it last night. All of us left fully satisfied, except for the one thing. Take my warning, don't wait until the end of the credits to get a final scene. Half the theater audience waited for the last funny scene. Someone even yelled out as the rest started to leave, “It's not over.” We all groaned when the last thing before a dark screen was the print printed words : the Avengers will return. There was a bit of grumbling as people filed out of the theater, but we got over it quickly, because the movie had been great.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Movie (DVD) Review : Rise of the Guardians 2012

Yes, I'm 2 ½ years behind the times. I just got around to seeing Rise of the Guardians for the first time. I saw it on DVD and loved it. I was sad to have missed it in the theater on the big screen in 3D. I bet it was a visual feast. There was so much going on our little screen that we couldn't take it all in.

I was familiar with the book versions of this story, The Guardians of Childhood Series, by William Joyce: Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core, Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, and Sandman and the War of Dreams. This was a creative series using iconic heroes from early childhood but giving them an alternate ego with a historical feel.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Science Lesson – Magic School Bus - Flight

Day 1 – Air Foils and Lift

Using Magic School Bus Episode # - Flight, I taught the K- 2nd graders about lift and air foils. I tied it into the weather lessons by reviewing the facts about updrafts and wind. Then I reminded them of our discussion about updrafts from hot spots helping raptors like turkey vultures, common in our area, get up into the stronger wind currents higher in the sky. That is why they circle. Then I equated wind discussed in the weather lessons with the moving air needed and the updrafts from hot air up drafts with the lift needed for flight.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mother Nature – Mythic Persons #1

My Lady Yggdrasil
Until now I've been focusing on mythological species of humanoids or mythic peoples. This is my first mythic persons post. The myth or personification of Mother Nature has been on my mind lately as I continue to try to define this blog and my brand as an author. Also, depending on whether you look at nature goddesses/ personifications as separate entities or conflate them into different names for the same entity, they are so prevalent that they are practically a population of their own. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Weather lessons for young children

Since I've been writing about Djinn, desert weather spirits, I thought I'd take a little break from mythical peoples and contribute to my science lessons areas.

This will seem like a drastic shift for many readers but since this blog is about nature, the mythical, scientific, emotional and moral aspects of nature, in other words, the impact nature has on humans, this topic fits right in.

I've been doing some easy lessons on weather for a home school co-op class as a short notice replacement teacher. The class is based around the Magic School Bus animated TV series produced by Scholastic Productions Inc. (recommended for ages 4 - 10.) My class has 8 students from kindergarten through second grade. This is a much younger level than I'm used to teaching, but the topic of weather dovetails nicely with my latest posts and appeals to my muse.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Djinn and Demons part 3 - Controlling Djinn

In my last posts, I wrote about the Djinn, after first explaining the difference between medieval demons and ancient Greek and Middle Eastern demons.Now I'll write about the most useful folklore surrounding Djinn for a fantasy writer, the control of these powerful Mythological Humanoids.

Last post, I mentioned that when free, the Djinn live in Kaf, a mythical range of emerald mountains that encircles the Earth, but these physically variable creatures could be trapped and controlled by magic and called to the service of humans. This is where the folklore become highly applicable to authors and story ready.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Djinn and Demons part 2

There's still snow on the ground here and I'm still writing about the warm desert and the mythological species of humanoids that live there, the Djinn or Jinn (singular Jinni.) The popular terms for these humanoids is genie.

As I mentioned in the last post Djinn and Demons - Part 1 I am designing several humanoid races for my YA fantasy series similar to elves and other mythological humanoids. The Djinn folklore is intriguing to me.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mythological Species of Humanoids # 36 – Djinn and # 37 – Demons – Part 1

During these snowy winter months in the northeastern U.S. my thoughts turn to the opposite climate - hot dry
deserts - and the mythological species of humanoids that live there, the Djinn or Jinn (singular Jinni.) The popular terms for these humanoids is genie.

Since I am designing several humanoid races for my YA fantasy series similar to elves, fairies, dwarves, goblins, trolls, werewolves, vampires and mermaids, I need to research as many mythological humanoids as I can. The Djinn, a favorite humanoid of Arabic and Muslim cultures, are a great source of ideas.

I find the overlap between the role the Djinn fill in Middle Eastern mythology intriguingly similar to the role filled by elves in Northern European mythology.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cryptozoology and Mythological Humanoids # 35 - Yetis and Sasquatches

With snow covering our ground and rooftops and icy winds blowing whenever we step outside I'm not surprised Yetis and Sasquatches capture my imagination and attention for research.

What are the legends of the Yeti and Sasquatch based on?