Wednesday, October 29, 2014

here you go, Aunt J

 I went away for the weekend and came home to this gallery of Halloween art (their paper-based costumes were made, too--photos to follow):

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Beach Colors (by L.)

  We went to Kagman beach for a field trip to learn about adaption.
It is a drive-up beach so we didn't have to do a long, sweaty hike. In the parking lot we noticed a guy selling coconuts to drink.

  As soon as we got to the beach it started pouring on us. We thought we would be miserable the whole time. We were wrong.

As the rain ebbed, we started to scavenge the beach, and discovered some nice colors:

                                  As well as some hermit crabs (as known to us as 'hermies').

(Note the brilliant red color)

                      And a shell that looks weirdly like...

Hey! It's a pointing finger!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wildlife Guide (post by L.)

For the past few days, I have been working on an illustrated wildlife guide to Saipan. So far I have completed several birds and two lizards; I plan to work on fish next.
Each animal has a detailed illustration and an interesting fact.

Here is what I have so far:

Marianas Fruit Dove;
This bird is an endangered species.  Its greatest threat is the brown snake.
Luckily, zoos are helping to keep the species alive.

Micronesian Honeyeater

Rufous Fantail:
You may observe this bird performing "acrobatics" in the air but this is
only its hunting technique (for bugs).

Golden White-eye:
Only found in the Marianas Islands.

Collared Kingfisher

White Tern

Common House Gecko:
House geckos can cling to walls due to their suction-like feet and jagged

Green Anole (or as we call it, 'Bunny)
This lizard can change its skin from green to brown, for camouflage.


The storm is over.  The worst that happened to our property is a big mess of fallen branches and leaves, some minor damage to the fence, and an uprooted tree.  We lost power for several hours but it came back on before the food in the fridge had time to spoil.

oops--be careful on the slippery edge of the pool or you might lose your
balance and fall in while trying to clear out the leaves!

All in all, it was not nearly as bad as we had feared.  The kids and I haven't left home today so I don't know what the rest of the island looks like.  I only hope that the rest of Saipan, and folks on Rota, where the main force of the storm hit, fared as well.


We are headed to bed soon, and ready for Typhoon Vongfong which is due to hit Saipan around 4am our time.  We've got our water and food supply ready, a portable stove and flashlights and candles and all that good stuff.  And then some bags of ice around for when we lose electricity.  All power will probably be shut off island-wide as a precautionary measure and so we will be offline until after the storm (hopefully not too long afterwards).

We live up high on a hill and we don't expect any problems with flooding whatsoever.  Overall, we are ready!  We'll check back in when we can.