Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

By Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe,

Sailed on a river of crystal light,

Into a sea of dew.

“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”

The old moon asked the three.

“We have come to fish for the herring fish

That live in this beautiful sea;

Nets of silver and gold have we!”

Said Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,

As they rocked in the wooden shoe,

And the wind that sped them all night long

Ruffled the waves of dew.

The little stars were the herring fish

That lived in that beautiful sea,

“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,

Never afraid are we;”

So cried the stars to the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

All night long, their nets they threw

To the stars in the twinkling foam,

Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,

Bringing the fishermen home;

’Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed

As if it could not be,

And some folks thought ‘twas a dream they’d dreamed

Of sailing that beautiful sea;

But I shall name you the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,

And Nod is a little head,

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies

Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.

So shut your eyes while mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things

As you rock in the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas is coming and what better way to count down the days than to make an advent calendar! Advent calendars have been used for hundreds of years and come in different forms. They are usually started on December 1. The idea here is that each day a bag containing treats for the family is opened. Take turns with your brothers and sisters to open the bags.

Basic materials

24 small paper bags or envelopes

Marker pen

24 clothes pegs

Tape

Ribbon or twine to hang the bags on

Small treats to put in each bag (enough for each member of the family)

Directions

With the help of an adult, decide where you will hang your advent calendar and have them put up the ribbon or twine for you.

Mark each paper bag (or envelope) with a large number for the date; starting with 1 and going up to 24.

If you want to, you can decorate the bags (see optional decorating extras). If you use paint, don’t forget to let the bags dry completely.

Place a treat for each member of the family in each bag or envelope.

Fold and tape down the top of the bags.

Using the pegs attach each bag from 1 to 24 to the ribbon or twine.

Optional for decorating (choose whatever you like)

Paint or draw a Christmas symbol on each bag

Stickers or Christmas labels

Paste on images cut out from old Christmas cards

Glitter

Paint and decorate the clothes pegs

Here is a fun craft that will decorate and offer thanks at the same time!

Materials:

Two paper bowls

One toilet paper tube

Construction paper in different colours

Poster paints (orange, black and brown)

Paintbrush

Googly eyes

Plastic bottle top

Toothpicks

Scissors

Glue

Tape

Directions:

Paint the two bowls orange. Paint the toilet roll tube brown. Let dry.

Glue the two bowls together (you can use clothes pins to hold)

Stick the toilet roll holder to the front of the joined bowls. Make sure it will stand before gluing on. Let dry.

Stick on the googly eyes.

Cut a diamond shape out of construction paper, cut in half and fold to make the beak of the turkey, and glue on.

Cut a rectangle of red construction paper and glue below the beak to form the wattle of the turkey.

Paint the bottle top black to make the hat. Make the brim of the hat by cutting a circle out of black construction paper (a little bit bigger than the bottle cap and the top of your toilet roll holder). Glue the brim to the bottle top, then stick the hat on the top of the toilet roll holder.

Cut feather shapes out of different colours of construction paper to form feathers.

Tape a toothpick to the back of each feather, half way down so that the toothpick can be used to stick the feathers into the back of the bowl to form a fan-like tail.

On each feather write something that you are grateful for – for example loving parents, a comfortable home, good friends or playful pets.

~ Gearing up for a new season of sailing and boat building ~

Dozens of Milton Peters College (MPC) students have attended recent orientations organized by MPC and Kidz At Sea Foundation to get introduced to the sport of sailing. A new sailing season has kicked off and with that, Kidz At Sea’s recruitment of students for its sailing program and Build Your Future Project. The boatbuilding program commenced at the start of the new school year; and the sailing program has been signing up students who were keen after attending the recent orientations. Last Sunday, these students participated in the first keelboat race of the season with two boats.

The partnership between MPC and Kidz At Sea Foundation will be taken to the next level after last year’s successes in the sailing program and the completion of the sailboat Purple Heart, a Didi 26 sloop design racing boat – the first of its kind ever built in the Caribbean by students, teachers and volunteers without any previous boatbuilding experience.

This year, an even larger group of students has enrolled in the boatbuilding project, twice as many compared to last year. In this program, emphasis will be placed on addressing more aspects of the marine industry, including visits to relevant businesses and going sailing more often to experience the joy of this sport. Intensifying this program will provide students with a clearer overview of jobs available in the marine industry and a better understanding of the required skill set.

The sailing program will place more focus on teaching students valuable skills that will prepare them for their future. “In previous years, the goal was to train for St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, after which students received a certificate. This year, we want to look beyond that and get students excited about continuous sailing and racing and adapting it as a sport they love. This will include classroom sessions and practicing in smaller groups to teach more comprehensive boat-handling skills individually. To add to the experience, we have included knowledgeable youth sailors that will act as mentors, in addition to the sailing instructors who have been involved in the previous years. The interaction with experienced peers will have a beneficial effect on the motivation of the students involved,” said Kidz At Sea Foundation founder Garth Steyn.

During the summer months, Kidz At Sea started cooperating with Ujima Foundation. These youths will remain part of the program and organizers are currently reviewing how to implement this in the schedule. Kidz At Sea Foundation is looking forward to signing up a group of approximately 40-50 students to participate in both its programs.

Kidz at Sea Foundation was founded in 2012 as an initiative to introduce St Maarten youth to all prospects of the marine industry by means of boatbuilding and sailing. Furthermore, the two programs will teach the students specific industry related skills and encourage personal development, giving them an advantage when applying for a job. Kidz at Sea is not-for-profit and could not be successful without all of its sponsors and supporters.

Chameleons are such neat creatures. They are a type of lizard with very unusual adaptations. There are more than 180 species and half of these are found in Madagascar; an island off the coast of South-East Africa. Chameleons are also found in other areas of Africa, Southern Europe and South Asia. They live in warm areas, in habitats varying from rainforest to desert; depending on the species.

Chameleons come in many different sizes, from the largest, which is the size of a cat, to the smallest, which is smaller than a thumb. Some live in trees; others live in the leaves on the ground. Chameleons match the colours which surround them, so that they remain well disguised or hidden. Those in trees tend to be green to match the leaves; and those on the ground, brown. Some species can change their colour and pattern. They have tiny crystals in their skin cells. Their colour changes depending on the size of the spaces between the cells. Sometimes the colour change is for camouflage, but often it is to control temperature, show their mood or to attract a mate. For example, in desert regions, a chameleon might be black in the morning when it is cooler, as the dark colour absorbs heat. Later in the day, they turn light grey to reflect the heat. Chameleons tend to show brighter colours when they are frightened and stressed, or are defending themselves against predators.

Some chameleons are decorated with crests or horns on their heads. Others have a row of spikes on their back – the spikes help them meld into the background, making them harder to see. The males tend to be more decorated than the females.

Each chameleon’s foot has five toes – two pointing in one direction and three pointing the other; like a pair of tongs. This helps them to grip tightly and climb trees. Each toe has a sharp claw for scaling up bark. Most species also have a tail that is able to grasp branches.

Chameleons have unusual eyes – the upper and lower eyelids are joined and bulge out. They have a tiny hole in the middle for the pupil to see out. Each eye can move independently, so they can see in front of them and behind them at the same time! They have excellent eyesight and can spot insects from 5 to10 meters away.

They have amazingly long tongues, which they whip out at ballistic speed to catch their prey. The tongue has a wet suction cup at the end which captures the prey; then the tongue gets wound back into their mouth with the prey attached, ready to be eaten.

They eat mostly insects like crickets, butterflies, and ants – but some of the bigger species will eat other lizards and even young birds. They don’t need much water and will drink drops that have pooled on leaves. Some chameleons get vitamin D by basking in the sun.

Most species of chameleon lay eggs. The mother digs a hole 10-30cm deep to lay the eggs in, and the babies will hatch after 4-12 months. Depending on the species, they can lay between 2-200 eggs. Some species develop inside their mother for 5-7 months – they are born in an egg membrane which the mother sticks to a tree and from there the baby lizards hatch out fully formed.

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