Nature’s Classroom-By Cedar

forest explorationCreative Commons License Robert DB via Compfight

Nature’s Classroom is a sleep away camp located in Becket Massachusetts. The 6th and 7th grade took a trip there this April for 4 days. It was very science focused with a lot of nature based classes. Although I liked the camp I missed home a lot.

At Nature’s Classroom we were split up into field groups with one counselor and about ten students. My counselor was Kelly. Kelly was really nice and I had a lot of fun hiking through the woods with her and the rest of the group. I think one of my favorite experiences while I was there was a particular class I took with Sassafras (who was one of the counselors, which was about how our eyes work in the dark. I learned a lot of interesting facts about our eyes. We all sat in a circle in a empty cabin in the dark while Sassafras performed multiple experiments concerning our eyes. I learned that Altoids have Triboluminescence which is light made from two molecules rubbing together. I learned about the rod and cone in our eyes and much more.
In the end a lot of us were excited to get home even though most of us liked the camp. It was a really great camp. I wasn’t too sure it would be fun going in but it was definitely better than I expected it to be. One example of how it was better than I thought is as follows. I was very grateful for the vegetarian options they served since I’m vegetarian so I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to eat while I was there. In fact they served exceedingly substantial alternatives for vegetarians like me. I was very excited to go home afterwards although I was certainly sad to leave.

The Peculiar Habits of Snails – By Cedar

Snail shell_Z7326 Barry via Compfight


The first thing that you need to know about me is that I love snails. They are so sweet and cute!  I used to have four pet garden snails but eventually I set them free. Now I have two new ones, Speedy and Fudge, and they are just as cute. This story is about the first snails I had.


It was a clear, cloudless, spring day. The sun was shining through the trees and into the house. Upstairs my mom was working on her computer, and my friend and I were downstairs sitting on the wood floor. We were setting up a tray for the snails with wet paper towels and salad greens just how they liked it. After washing our hands we went into my room and got the snail habitat. Like any other day we took off the lid and pulled out the little cuties.


“Aww” we would say as Big Guy, Root Beer, and Persephone emerged from their wee shells.


You may have noticed that I only mentioned three snails even though I had four. Why did I do that? Because Quartzy didn’t come out! She had a odd skim over the opening to her quartz green shell.


“Is she dead?” we asked each other. “She must be or she would open up” was our train of thought. Heartbroken my friend and I galloped up the stairs like a herd of wild buffaloes.


“Mom, Mom!” I yelled, “I think Quartzy is dead!” Mom was sad too but there was nothing to be done. Tearfully we wandered back to the snail tray.


As it is the nature of the human race we were still hopeful. Dutifully we poked at the odd skim over her shell. Then with a slip and a slide out came my beloved snail. Slowly, slowly she emerged and then with a pop there were the darling antennas I thought I would never see again. The god of snails must have come to our rescue!

Actually this event had nothing to do with the god of snails. In reality Quartzy was just hibernating like some snails do in the winter. We did some research and found out that we had simply woken her up from her winter slumber and that she hadn’t come back from the dead. Still we were very relieved when Quartzy emerged from her shell. Now I know not to jump to conclusions and if I don’t know something to research it first.

The Amazing and Mostly Unknown World of Snails – Cedar

ThrillerCreative Commons License Serena via Compfight

Hi everyone!

Before I begin to write this post I need to make something entirely clear: I am a little obsessed with snails, and I think they are one of the most awesome animals ever! Ok, so it all started when I was about nine years old. I wanted a pet snail, but I didn’t know why… I just really wanted one. I asked my parents for a snail and they didn’t want to just go to the pet store and buy me a one immediately because I had never wanted one before. Another problem was that we couldn’t find a snail at any of the pet stores we did go to. Time passed and I still didn’t have a pet snail, but that summer something wonderful happened.  One day I was hanging out at my beach house on Fire Island, NY and my mom walked up to me with two little, adorable snails she had found just chilling out on the boardwalk. I couldn’t believe it! I was so happy! That is the story of how I started loving snails and how I got my first pet snails.


That was just a bit of an intro, now the real post begins. There are thousands of different types of snails. Some snails live on land and some live in the water. I am going to write about land snails mostly. There are countless species of land snails but they all have a shell and a slimy body. Here are some interesting facts about snails:

  1. In the winter some snails hibernate by sealing up their shell with a mucus skim (see personal narrative for more information).
  2. Some snails eat limestone for the calcium to keep their calcium carbonate shell strong.
  3. Snails can have up to a few thousand teeth!
  4. Some scientist theorized that snails have magnetic teeth, which they use as compasses.
  5. If a snail was to slide across a razor blade it would not get cut because snails float on slime.
  6. Some people including me, think snails have associative thinking abilities.
  7. The largest snails in the world can weigh up to 39 pounds!
  8. Snails can live any where from five to twenty-five years.


Now I’ll tell you about snail biology. All snails have a shell although they come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. If you pulled a snail’s shell off its body it would not be a slug because there is no skin under the shell. Snails have a lot of organs like us, including a liver, heart, lungs, and a stomach. They also have some organs that we don’t have like a mucus gland, which they make slime with. Snails also have four tentacles on their head, two for seeing and two for smelling. If a snail’s eye hits a hard object it contracts it through a tube in its top tentacle and into its head really fast. Under the smelling tentacles there is the snail’s mouth which is so small it’s hard to see. Well that’s just a little bit about snail biology.

 Now it’s time for the fun part, snail habitats and species! Snails can live just about anywhere ranging from a rain-forest, where no one has been, to my very own house. The Australian Trumpet Snail is the largest snail in the world. The largest land snail in the world is the Giant African Snail. Some snails live in the rain-forest, climbing up tall trees, and others live in the high grass near my beach house. Most snails like wet places so they don’t get too dry. If the weather gets too dry then they curl up inside their shell and seal the opening with a mucus skim like they do when they are hibernating. Those are just a few cool things about snail species and their habitats!


Cedar’s Holiday Post

Four Christmas Trees Stanley Zimny (Thank You for 16 Million views) via Compfight


In my family the winter months, December and January in particular, are a time for merrymaking. We celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years. Each Chanukah my mom and I give each other presents each one of the seven nights. For Christmas I love to set up a tree, decorate it, then put presents under it. I usually get present from my parents, my friends, and Santa Claus. Then for New Years sometimes I stay up all the way till midnight so I’m awake for the beginning of the new year. Also we have a tradition to eat black colored food on New Years. One other New Year’s tradition that we do is we make our own white currant jam from currents that we grow in the summer, and then we eat it on New Year’s Day. I love the winter holidays and can never sleep on Christmas Night because I’m always too excited! What winter holidays do you celebrate? This is a link to a wikipedia page about Christmas. 

Final Blogging Challenge- Cedar

IMG_0598.jpg emulibra via Compfight

In my class we did almost all of Miss. W’s blogging challenges this year. This taught me a lot about both writing posts of my own and commenting on other people’s blogs. These challenges were a very good tool for learning how to publish your work online. My favorite week was #7 when we wrote about nature. I liked it because I know a lot about nature and am very interested in it. I wrote about Arachnocampa glow worms. When I went to New Zealand last year and I saw the most amazing cave with glow worms in it! I am very happy that we got nominated as one of the best class blogs! And I think that we learned a lot about blogging from the blogging challenge this year! My nature post

The Unknown World of Glow Worms- Week #7- by Cedar

Hi Readers,

This post is about Arachnocampa glow worms (Arachnocampa is a genus of glow worm). When you think of a cave you most likely think of a creepy rock hole. Well some caves have glow worms, and glow worms are awesome! On some nature documentary you probably have heard something about glow worms. But this post is going to tell you all about them. Basically, a glow worm is an insect (yep, that’s right, an insect not a worm) that lives in dark caves and actually glows.

In the next few paragraphs I’m going to tell you about glow worms in the genus Arachnocampa: 


The glow worm has a green light on its backside which it uses to attract prey during its larval stage. However, glow worms make their light in all stages of their life except as eggs. The light is made through a chemical reaction. During the pupa stage the female makes a glow and attracts the male. When they are fully matured into fungus gnats they can’t fly well and only make a little light.

Eating and Hunting

Glow worms eat small insects like moths and mayflies. They catch them on their sticky strings. If food is short they eat each other! But they have to be careful since spiders, centipedes, and birds like to eat them. The fully matured glow worm can’t eat and only lives about 14 days. In order to catch their prey they hang 70 or so silk threads from their nest on the ceiling with mucus droplets which are sometimes poisonous.

Life Cycle

Glow worms start as eggs and hatch after about 20 days. Their larval stage lasts 6-12 months, which means they spend most of their life as a larva. Next, the larva becomes a pupa and hangs from the ceiling. The pupa stage lasts 1-2 weeks. When the glow worms come out as adult fungus gnats they can’t eat, which means they only live for a very short period. All they focus on is finding a mate and reproducing. They usually lay around 130 eggs.

Well that’s just a little about Arachnocampa glow worms. To learn more you can visit these cool websites about glow worms:


A-Z Animals

Te Ara Glow Worm Story

Waitomo Glow Worm Life Cycle



I made this picture on an app called Paper. CC-BY Cedar15







Week three blogging challenge #3 – Cedar

I asked my mom these questions:

 Q. What did you do for fun in the 1980s (when you were a teenager)?

 A. I skateboarded, saw bands, watched movies, did art.

 Q. Did you have a electronic device?

 A. Sony Walkman, TV with cable, boombox, bass guitar.

 Q.   What wars were going on in the world?

 A. War in Central America, Cold War, beginning of Iraq war.

 Q. Ok now this is at any time period in your lifetime you want. What were some interesting things that happened in the world?

 A. 1989 San francisco earthquake, 9-11 bombing. Eye witness.

 Q. In the 1990s who were the presidents?

A. Bush, and Clinton.San Francisco City Hall, 1906Creative Commons License CIR Online via Compfight

The Awful Bug – by Cedar

THE THING’S eyes glowed blood red and she screamed! The young girl had left her room for a midnight snack on Halloween night. It was a dark night and so quiet she could hear her own breath. When she returned to her room the door creaked open slowly. Inside was her worst nightmare… a bug, but not just any bug. This bug was as big as herself and had evil red eyes with a dart black body. “Help heeeeeelp,” she whimpered in terror. All she could see was its shape and glowing demon eyes. Then suddenly it spread its wings and with a screech flew at the helpless child.

 The girl heard an inhuman scuttling. A dim light shone through a shaft in the roof, but not her roof. It was a slimy, cave ceiling. She slowly rolled over to see the most horrid hairy beetle legs. “Eek,” she said in disgust.

“What is that you say?” said a screeching voice. The girl looked up and saw a leering bug with the most awful red eyes.

“Nnnnothing,” the young girl stammered. “Aare you going to eeeeat me.”

“Only time will tell…..”  

 “Ppplease please please no.” Without a word the awful creature scuttled away leaving the doomed child in silence. She looked around for a way out, but the shaft of light was too small to fit through. Maybe the way the beetle had gone would lead to an exit. She crept through the dark passageway. It was awfully spooky but she kept going.

The girl heard a sound and in a split second she knew what it was… THE MONSTER. The glowing red eyes came around the corner. With a woosh the horrid bug flew at her again. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!” Creative Commons License Mick Talbot via CompfightColeoptera - Mordellidae cf sp.

Week One Blogging Challenge

Week one blogging challenge


  1. I think that I am a slightly different person online than I am on in real life. In real life I am pretty shy unless I am around people that I know well but on the internet it is more simple because I am not actually talking to people, I’m just writing.


  1. I chose this avatar because I like animals and I thought it was neat.


3.  Hi I’m Cedar, I’m 11 years old. My favorite subjects are art and science. Both my parents have college degrees in art so I like it. Ok here’s some facts about me: I think that snails are awesome( although cats are pretty sweet too). Also, I was home schooled in Honolulu, Hawaii for the past year, now I am on swim team ( no wonder). Well that’s just a little about me.