Author Archives: jane

Mad Hatters Tea Party: Hanging Photo Taking Frame

This second-hand frame is given an upgrade coat of red paint to be used at a Mad Hatters Dinner Tea Party.

I set up a picture taking station for guests to take pictures of each other in costume. I just found a blank wall (by moving furniture out of the way) and hung the frame from the ceiling with some kite string. Having a camera on a tripod is a bonus if your party is after dark but isn’t necessary.

Have fun!

Earth Hour 2011: Turn Out Your Lights

Mark your calendars! At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour. Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of sustainability issues.

Last year 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

Go to to learn more

Frog Hunting In Maryland: The Northern Cricket Frog

It is spring and time to look for frogs. Yesterday, my daughter and I went for a nature walk in the woods around our house. During our adventure, we found this frog. It is a cricket frog, Acris crepitans. Cricket frogs are non-climbing tree frog. I’ll be sure to look for their eggs during their breeding season (May through July).

This cricket frog is on a child’s hand.


They vary in color but often have a dark triangle present between the eyes and a Y-shaped stripe on their backs.

Fun With Cattail Spikes

When exploring a wetland with my daughter, we came upon some cattail plants (Typha sp.) When I saw them, I remembered how fun they can be. We had a pleasant time together discovering or re-discovering the amazing qualities of cattail spikes.

You have got to try this! Find a cattail flower spike in winter or early spring when last year’s flowers produced a sausage-like thing that is magic: or something close to it. Try pulling a handful off and hold it tight, then watch when you open your hand. It will explode into a soft landscape full of tiny seeds. Each seed has a bit of fluff attached; the purpose is to allow wind to carry the seed off to new locations.

All I ask is that you don’t play with all the spikes. Leave most of them alone. Did you know that some birds use the fluff to line their nests?

Update Your Knowledge About What Is Recyclable Here In St. Mary’s Co. MD

If you live in St. Mary’s County MD, there is a good chance that Waste Management is the company that carries away your trash. All the public schools in St. Mary’s County use this same company. They have a single stream recycling program. Single stream means that you don’t have to sort your recyclables anymore. They all go in one bin. (Let me be clear here: motor oil, clothing and a few other items are still collected separately but the bulk of your recycling will go in one bin. It’s so easy. No more excuses!

You probably knew that soda cans, plastic drink bottles, plastic shopping bags, aluminum foil, and paper are recyclable. But did you know that juice bags, juice boxes, milk and juice boxes from school lunch programs, zip closure bags, plastic utensils, plastic chip bags, and candy wrappers are also collected for recycling?

Local students spread the word about what is recyclable at their schools.

Several students from Leonardtown Middle School in St. Mary’s County MD took pictures of recyclable items and these pictures were used to make posters for several local schools. As a result, recycling at these schools has increased tremendously.

To learn more about this poster project done in support of

For more details about recycling in this area: