Sunday, August 23, 2009

Visit the Arctic Circle!

By Mrs. Yollis

This summer, my husband and I embarked on an adventurous fishing trip to the Arctic Circle! The Arctic Circle is one of the five major lines of latitude and is approximately 66 1/2 ˚ north of the Equator.

We flew out of Los Angeles and after many hours, arrived in Kobuk, Alaska.

Kobuk, a small Native American village of 100 Inupiat Eskimos, is 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Many of the villagers practice a traditional subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering. In fact, many of the fish we caught were given to the villagers to freeze and use over the winter.

We were very close to Kobuk Valley National Park and Gates of the Arctic National Park.

Every spring and fall, the largest caribou herd in Alaska, the Western Arctic Caribou herd, migrates through this area. It would have been great to see them swim across the Kobuk River, but since it was summer, they were already north of where we were.

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Our excellent river guide was named Alex, and he has lived in Kobuk his entire life. When Alex was a child, there were only three homes in Kobuk. Now there are over forty homes!

Alex had a lot of experience fishing, hunting, and trapping and was awarded the
Alaska Federation of Natives Hunter/Provider of the Year Award in 2006!
He knew all the best places to fish and shared many wonderful stories with us.

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Part of the time, we were fly fishing for Arctic grayling, a type of trout. Fly fishing uses an artificial fly to attract the fish. The fly typically looks like an insect that the fish enjoy eating.

Below is a picture of us fly fishing. We are wearing special gear called waders which are water-proof and allow us to walk into the river.

We caught many Arctic grayling using our fly rods. The grayling has a red and purple dotted sail-like dorsal fin. We ate some of the fish and released the others.

Here is a photo of an Arctic grayling.

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Alex loaned us some Arctic gear.
At times the mosquitoes were very thick, so I wore a mosquito net over my head!
It really worked!
How do you like my camouflage? :-)

Even though we were in the Arctic, the temperatures in the summer can be in the 80s! One day it was overcast and cooler, so I put on Alex's gear to stay warm.

* * * * *

We also used spinning rods to catch sheefish, a member of the white fish family. Sheefish are only found in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions. They have a large mouth, large silver scales, and put up a fight when caught. They are very tasty!

* * * * *

Alaska is nicknamed "The Land of the Midnight Sun".
The Arctic Circle marks the southern most point of the polar day (24 hour sunlit day).
Below is a picture of me taken at midnight! Because we were so far north,
the summer sun never set!

I thought we would see lots of wildlife, but we didn't.
No eagles, no caribou, no bears.
However, we did see lots of moose!

Our adventure to the Arctic Circle was an amazing experience!

* * * * *

What adventures did you have over the summer?

Please tell about something fun you did!

Remember, sometimes the best adventures are had in your own backyard!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meet Susan B. Anthony

Summer Edition ~ By Chloe

Do you know who worked all of her life for women’s rights?

If you guessed Susan B. Anthony, you are correct.

Susan was born on February 18, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts. She learned to read before she was four years old. When she was young, she worked in her father’s cotton mill and earned three dollars in two weeks, which was less than a man made.

In her adulthood, she became head of the girl’s section in school. She joined a temperance group in 1849. The temperance movement was to outlaw liquor. She worked for the Underground Railroad. This group helped runaway slaves. In 1851, she met Amelia Blommer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at an abolitionist meeting, and they became best friends forever. In 1852, she walked out of the Sons of Temperance because women were not allowed to speak. Then she started a temperance society for women and quit because they let men in. She collected signatures for women to have control of their own money. Also, she worked for suffrage. Suffrage is the right to vote. In 1861-1865, the Civil War took place. In 1895, she became president of the American Woman Suffrage.

Unfortunately, Susan died on March 13, 1906, and at that point, women were still not allowed to vote. In the 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.

I know Susan B. Anthony is important because she fought for women’s equality, but still women have a long ways to go for total equality.

Here is a hyperlink to learn more about Susan B. Anthony.

Below is my video presentation of my sculpture.

What do you think about the work Susan B. Anthony did for women?

Do you fight for any causes?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meet FDR

Summer Edition ~ By Lexi

Do you know who was the only four-term president?

If you guessed Franklin Delano Roosevelt, you are right! This interesting man was born in 1882, in Hyde Park, New York. As a child, he collected stamps, birds, and bird eggs. Franklin was an only child, and when he grew bored, he entertained himself by riding his horse. In his early life, Franklin attended Groton, an all boys’ school. There, he tried out for basketball, football, crew, boxing, and High Kick, but most of all he adored giving and attending speeches and debates. Debating is a discussion in which two sides state different points of view. He shared this skill with his cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt!

As a young adult, Franklin studied at Harvard College. He married Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905 and became a lawyer. In 1910, he became a democratic state senator for New York, and then he was elected again in 1912. Soon after, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Franklin as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and he held this position during World War I. Unfortunately, in 1921 he lost the use of his legs from a terrifying disease named polio. He was only 39 years old when he became ill, and it took a lot of strength and courage to gain back the use of his arms.

The next political position that Franklin Roosevelt held was governor of New York in 1928 and again in 1930. The Great Depression devastated the country while he was in office. During this time, he enjoyed his job so much that his dream was to become President of the United States.
On March 4, 1933, he accomplished that dream! While he was President, his main job was to fight the Depression. His famous quote, “the thing we have to fear is fear itself” inspired people with hope and courage. President Roosevelt passed bills to help farmers and people who were about to lose their homes. He was elected President again in 1936, which was during World War II. He created “fireside chats” to speak with Americans over the radio. These were talks he would have with the American people to tell them what he was doing to fight the Depression. In 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt declared that the United States would enter the war.

Other than fighting the Depression, another success came while he was President for the fourth time. With his great friend, Winston Churchill from England, he established the United Nations. It was President Roosevelt’s dream to have countries work together for peace. This was another dream he achieved!

Sadly, on April 12, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt died while getting his portrait painted. Even though he died, we still honor him today. In my opinion, he made the world a better place.

Here is a hyperlink to FDR on The White House website.

Here is a video presentation of my sculpture.

What do you think of President Roosevelt?

What was his greatest achievement?