Blog thing

Bog Discovery!

posted Sep 13, 2009, 11:58 PM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated Sep 14, 2009, 12:01 AM ]

A quick public shout out of thanks to the thirteen fantastic members of the BA community who gave up a big chunk of their Sunday morning to join Bill and I in clearing out the bog. It was tough work (positively slimy for some) and together we made a tremendous amount of progress beating back invasive weeds to encourage native species to thrive.  And Mr Maxwell made a discovery....

We took some pics of the workers in action.  See them here.

The discovery?...  Wildlife - that's what Mr Maxwell discovered.   No, we didn't find any stranded students from last year - but we did find an elusive frog.  Not quite done being a pollywog, but well on the way to adulthood kind of a frog.  Why the mention?  Well, dear reader, as you know, frogs are something of a sentinel species.  Finding a healthy frog tells us that there's a complex and bustling web of life developing up there in our bog.  No longer a neglected damp spot up by the big play structure, but a blossoming little habitat, encouraged and supported by the BA community.

Here's the honor roll - give these guys a high five when you see them around school, because.... they ROCK!

Kevin Berce
Tric Foster
Mike Foster
David Mackey Pam Gallant John Triska Marianne Jett (provider of lovely coffee cake) Jack Alger Kristin Hendricks Chris Panero Mark Maxwell
Betsy Parkhurst
Aaron Halpern
Thanks again, folks!
Bill and Bill

Pool Party! Sunday September 13th

posted Aug 25, 2009, 8:43 AM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated Aug 25, 2009, 12:32 PM by Bill Sharratt ]

September 13th is set as the date for our Pool Party, or Bog Bash.  We have to get in there in a hurry and reverse the encroachment of non-native aquatic plants and general weeds before they get too well established to pull out.  Those of us who participated in the mega makeover of April '08 (before and after pics here) know that the only way to remove well established aquatic plants is with a backhoe, which is not an entirely sensitive approach!  Right now the bad guys can be pulled out by hand.  So let's give the natives a chance and go pull some stuff out hand.
The Bog Bash will be a casual drop in affair between 9:30 am and noon on Sunday.  There's plenty to do on dry land as well as pond wading, so if the thought of mud oozing between your toes doesn't do it for you, then your talents and enthusiasm can be put to good use in other areas too.
Bring the kids to play with their friends on the play structure while you give BA half an hour of your time!
Contact the Bills to learn more:
If you can make it please let us know by signing up here

Summer server blues...

posted Jun 9, 2009, 10:10 AM by Bill Sharratt

In case you're rummaging around the 'hive over the next few weeks you'll notice that the lesson plan links are defective.  We're integrating them with the new and improved BA website and have to do a bit of URL juggling to get things back to normal again.  Give us a little while and normal service will be resumed...

'Mater Madness

posted May 26, 2009, 10:44 PM by Bill Sharratt   [ updated May 26, 2009, 11:30 PM ]

Sharratts went on a quest for the perfect tomato plant this weekend. Following a lead found in Sunset magazine we drove out to "Love Apple Farm" in Ben Lomond.  A wide variety of heirloom tom starts were still on sale, delicious home made jams and chutneys, chickens and "Dali" the pot bellied pig to be admired by the kids, an expansive herb "physic" garden and more.  Highly recommended as an excuse to explore the Santa Cruz mountains area and coast-side in general.  Check out their website here: 
Contact me if you'd like to know where I found my fish heads.  Fish heads?... Yes, folks, this is hardcore 'materville..

We're totally like "OMG"!

posted May 21, 2009, 12:38 PM by Brittan Acres Bugs

Wow!  Last night the BUGS Bills were awarded an Honorary Service Award by BA's PTA.  Gosh!  To say we were surprised is an understatement.  Bill and I both feel a little undeserving, being members of such an amazingly involved parent and teacher community, but hey, we'll take the glory and bask in the glow for a little while, won't we, Bill?  This is a big deal for us and want to let everyone know how much we appreciate the award and look forward to doing more of what we've been doing.  Thanks, folks!

Brownies + BUGS = fun learning

posted May 21, 2009, 11:30 AM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated May 21, 2009, 11:55 AM ]

Wednesday 5-20 - the girls of Troop # 30935 descended upon the upper garden and Bog to learn what they needed to know to earn a new "plants and flowers" try it.  In break out groups the girls learned more about seed production and the primary function of flowers, and the why's and hows of seed dispersal.  Then we switched to "observer" mode and spent some time in the bog.  Brownies found a host of insect life, and just about every plant, from iris to willow, busily making new seeds.  Lastly we followed up with a fun game seeing who could carry seeds the fastest.  This BUGS Bill would like to thank troop 30935 for their willingness to learn, and the excellent qualities of responsibility and respect they exhibited.  Well done, girls!


posted May 11, 2009, 3:37 PM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated May 12, 2009, 10:41 PM by Bill Sharratt ]

Sighted during Room 19's last session on Thursday May 7, a pair of Mallards. Perhaps "sighting" is a little inaccurate.  "Flushed out" would be closer to the mark.  The kids really tried to be quiet observers, but perhaps made a tad too much noise and startled the happy couple.  Anyhow, there they were, making themselves at home in the Bog.  How cool is that?  This author just wishes he'd had his camera handy at the time...

So, just what is going on "in the garden"?

posted May 11, 2009, 3:32 PM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated May 12, 2009, 10:43 PM by Bill Sharratt ]

Oh, gosh, dear reader, you must have read our mind.  Just this Friday we did a quickie garden survey and posted the pics here.  As of Monday 5-11 we have 5 - yes FIVE beds prep'd for summer. Interesting really, seeing as 7 classes have been scheduled for this month already.  We shall hold off from "outing" those who should have prepped their beds, as we know they're probably about to pop in and do it very soon.

New site update

posted May 11, 2009, 3:28 PM by Brittan Acres Bugs   [ updated May 12, 2009, 10:44 PM by Bill Sharratt ]

Doing a bit of website housekeeping and moved some "headlines" off the front page.  BUGS babies, for instance, has moved here, with the rest of the pics.  Good thing really - those newborns must be about ready to graduate by now!

Spring Clean up

posted May 4, 2009, 10:58 AM by Bill Sharratt   [ updated May 4, 2009, 11:02 AM ]

Spring cleanup was so well attended that some poor volunteers were assigned to the upper gardens.  Under Mr Biggers' harsh and inhuman treatment they pulled invasive weeds in the bog and helped clear around the compost bins.  Thank you to all who participated!

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