Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 387

Tumbleweed

 

Hello Everyone

 

 

The other day l was child-sitting (l mustn’t call it baby-sitting otherwise l will get told off) at Bill and Bob’s cottage and we were watching an old cowboy film.

 

Bill and Bob asked me what the enormous dry balls were that were rolling across the desert pictured in the film.

 

They were talking, of course, about tumbleweed.

 

Tumbleweed in general, refers to any of the various densely-branched annual plants that break off from the roots at the end of their growing season.  They become dry and start to get blown about by the wind.

 

When they start to be rolled by the wind, the plants looks quite brown because they are dead.  There is a reason why all of this happens.  The structure that is blown about still has an important purpose.

 

The plant is full of seeds or spores (like fungi) and is off on a journey to spread those seeds as far and wide as it can. 

 

Tumbleweeds tend to be found on flat landscapes like prairies.  This is because they are places that are often quite windy and the flat ground allows the plant to keep moving without hindrance from obstacles like trees and rocky slopes.

 

Each plant can scatter as many as 250,000 seeds.

 

The seeds start sprouting when they get wet.

 

Russian thistle behaves like this and so do several species of plants called amaranth.  This spectacle is mainly seen in Australia and in the Western United States.

 

Tumbleweed is a native of Russia, and arrived in the United States in the late 19th century accidentally in a shipment of flaxseed imported from Russia.

 

lt was later, of course, to feature in many American cowboy films!

 

A single tumbleweed can be the size of a small car.

 

Of course, the plants can sometimes get caught on things like fences or cacti – and gathered together, tumbleweeds can stack up and bury houses!

 

A rural Australian city called Wangaratta was engulfed by a plague of them in 2016.  The type of tumbleweed was called hairy panic.

 

When houses are covered like this, people can’t get into them or out of them. 

 

Sometimes emergency services have to be called in to help clear the huge structures away.

 

Although these kinds of plants can be troublesome weeds and very flammable when dry; they can provide food for animals, which is a bonus.

 

You often see tumbleweeds in cartoons as well.

 

They symbolise dry, desolate, deserted areas.  They have even been shown inside a cartoon character’s head for comic effect to show a lack of activity in their brain.

 

l am glad to see there is plenty of activity in Bill and Bob’s brains, otherwise they would not have asked me the question.

 

 

lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.

 

Thank you!

 

And see you again next Fun Friday!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob:  Bill, do you know how you can stop breakfast porridge sticking to the bottom of the pan?

 

Bill:  Yes.  Have toast!

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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The children have been helping Auntie Alice pick peas and raspberries this week.

Raspberries are lovely to eat, but raw peas eaten the minute they are picked are delicious too!

There was also some garlic to harvest and Auntie Alice showed the children how it should be dug up rather than pulled up.  Then she showed them how to tie it up into strings for storage.

There were spring onions and summer radishes to be pulled out of the earth and washed.

There were cucumbers to be picked too.  You have to look under leaves and hunt for them because sometimes they are difficult to spot.

But you have to think ahead when you work in a garden and there were little leek seedlings to plant outside to be harvested much later in the year.

Autumn peas have to be planted now and the crops in the green house have to be fed as well as watered because of course even if it does rain, it doesn’t rain inside the green house.

And if it doesn’t rain for quite a while, the vegetables in the beds outside have to be watered.

So there always seems to be watering or weeding or picking or sowing to do in a big and productive garden at this time of year.

And of course, there were eggs to be collected every day too.

 

Auntie Alice thought that to speed up production she would buy herself a tricycle.  She could put a little trailer on the back and fill it up with deliveries.

She could then get into town and back more quickly than ever.  Riding her tricycle would be much quicker than walking.  She wouldn’t have to carry heavy bags or pull a heavy shopping trolley anymore.

And her tricycle wouldn’t produce any pollution.

The children had fun riding it!

The only person not happy was Auntie Alice’s dog because he got left behind when she went out with her deliveries and he was used to going with her.

Until Auntie Alice discovered that he would fit into her handlebar basket!

Now he whizzes along the country lanes with the wind in his hair – sorry I mean fur.

Don’t worry, he still gets taken for walks – that is another job the children can do. 

 

 

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With all of this hot weather closing in on us, there is nothing nicer than going for a swim. 

 

 

But please be careful!

 

Salty Sam says

 

Don’t go swimming anywhere except a swimming pool where there will be a life guard to help you if you get into trouble, or in the sea when someone like your parents are there to look after you.

 

And do not jump into cold water when you are very hot – get in slowly.

 

It's the Spring Equinox and it's time to get overexcited – Now ...

 

You must drink lots of water to keep healthy 

 

 

And put on sunscreen so that you don’t get red and sore in the sun!  

It is best to stay out of the sun altogether in the middle of the day.

 

 

 

And don’t forget the birds and animals. 

 

 

Please put drinking water out from them in this drought even if you don’t usually do that. 

Bird water can be put off the ground, but foxes and badgers and hedgehogs need the water dish to be on the ground.

 

 

And if you have any newly-planted trees near you, please put a bottle or can of water down their drinking tube for them.  The tube will probably be black.  

You can use your ex-bathwater and ex-paddling pool water to water plants!  🙂  

 

The animals and plants will be very grateful!

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

What do the following phrases mean?

 

  1. A rolling stone gathers no moss
  2. Knocked me for six
  3. Mud sticks
  4. Take the bull by the horns
  5. Don’t cross your bridges
  6. Don’t cry over spilt milk
  7. To keep the wolf from the door
  8. His eyes were bigger than
  9. lt is in the bag
  10. Whiter than white

 

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A CANDY STRlPE DOLL OUTFlT

This outfit is for the doll on Blog Post 381.

This pretty doll makes a lovely companion.

 

You won’t need more that 100g of yarn in any of the colours used.

 

TUNIC FRONT (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and pink dk yarn cast on 26 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 28 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Cast off

 

TUNIC BACK (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and pink dk yarn cast on 14 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 20 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 16 rows of garter stitch

Cast off

 

TUNIC SLEEVES (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and pink dk yarn cast on 22 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew up the back seam using over-sew stitching and right sides together only along the stocking stitch knitting
  2. Sew 2cm along the shoulder seams from the arm end with right sides together
  3. Sew the tops of the sleeves to the shoulders
  4. Sew up the side and under-arm seams using the correct colours
  5. Tidy up all ends
  6. Crochet 40 chains into a length of yarn twice
  7. Neaten one end of the chain and sew the other into one corner of the opening at the back of the tunic

 

 

DRESS WAIST BAND (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and mauve dk yarn cast on 52 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Cast off

 

DRESS SKIRT FRONT (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and mauve dk yarn cast on 50 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to white

Knit 30 rows of garter stitch

Don’t cast off but thread about 20cm from the end of your yarn through your stitches so you can pull the top in

 

DRESS SKIRT BACKS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and mauve dk yarn cast on 26 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to white

Knit 30 rows of garter stitch

Don’t cast off but thread about 20cm from the end of your yarn through your stitches so you can pull the top in

 

DRESS STRAPS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and mauve dk yarn cast on 34 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Change to white

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off

 

DRESS BIB (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 12 stitches

Knit 16 rows of garter stitch

Change to mauve

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off

 

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew the side seams of the skirt together
  2. Gather the top of the skirt and sew onto the waist band leaving the gap at the centre back
  3. Sew the straps into place along the sides of the bib
  4. Sew the bottom of the bib and straps to the top of the centre front of the skirt
  5. Attach the ends of the straps to the waist band at the back
  6. Neaten all the many ends of yarn
  7. Crochet 40 chains into 2 lengths of white yarn and attach these cords to the top corners of the back of the waistband
  8. Sew a button onto the end of each strap at the back of the dress

 

TIP

The dress is not difficult to make but it is a bit fiddly to put together so if you want to make just a long tunic to go on the doll instead, knit an extra 20 rows of stocking stitch into the body of the garment.

If you do want to make the dress, pin all your pieces in place before you sew them together.

 

 

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. A rolling stone gathers no moss – someone who keeps travelling and does not put down roots has no responsibilities or worries/they do not stagnate or get bored
  2. Knocked me for six – shocked me and affected me badly
  3. Mud sticks – it is hard to change someone’s bad reputation
  4. Take the bull by the horns – to take on a challenge whole-heartedly
  5. Don’t cross your bridges before you come to them – don’t worry about situations too far in the future/don’t worry about something until it happens (which it might not even do)
  6. Don’t cry over spilt milk – you can’t change the past so don’t upset yourself about it
  7. To keep the wolf from the door – providing enough resources for all your needs
  8. His eyes were bigger than – he thought he was able to eat more than he could
  9. lt is in the bag – a project is completed and secure
  10. Whiter than white – without blemish of fault (like a freshly painted wall that has no marks on it)

 

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