The Battle of the Chesapeake

There have been many posts about the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem, and things going on now, but what about the huge roll it played in the past?

Besides being a major port for throughout most of American history, the Chesapeake Bay was the site of a key naval battle during the last major engagement of the American Revolution; the Battle of Yorktown,

On September 5th, 1781, French naval forces, fighting on behalf of the Americans, went up against the British ships, but it was hard for either side to secure a sure victory because of a shift in wind angle that neither party was expecting. The French returned to the Chesapeake after four days and were met by 7 more ships to help them. With 34 in their fleet, the French were able to trap the British and keep them from escaping the area.

This was a crucial battle, because it allowed the French to lead British forces away from the Chesapeake so that the British troops on land could not be rescued.

Although many ships were damaged beyond repair, and there were over 320 casualties, this battle, is what led to the American success in the Battle of Yorktown, and ultimately, American Independence.


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Chesapeake Bay Animals in the Winter

With the winter months approaching and the weather getting colder many animals are starting to hibernate in the Chesapeake Bay area. But some are just reaching their peak season. Here are some animals to watch out for in the coming months!

  • 1.       Lion’s Mane jellyfish
These Jellyfish are the largest known species in the world! They travel north during the winter because of the cold water. The biggest know Lion’s Mane jellyfish was recorded in Massachusetts in 1870 with a body that was 7.5 feet wide! The father north you get the larger the jellyfish are.
  • 2.       Tundra Swan
These swans normally live and breed in the arctic, but when it gets too cold for them up there they usually fly down to the Chesapeake Bay for some warmer weather. They fly over five miles high and usually touch down and spend their time in marshlands but they have been spotted as far inland as Laurel, Maryland.
  • 3.       Bald Eagle
These birds were almost extinct in the 20th century because of pesticides and pollution but have made a comeback and were taken off the threatened species list in 2007. Bald Eagles generally steer clear of heavily-populated areas, and instead prefer sitting in tall trees, stalking prey. They are also the national bird!
  • 4.       Canvasback
These birds stop by the Chesapeake Bay on their way to the Prairie Pothole in an area of the northern Great Plains. Many believe that they visit us just for the wild celery, and the decrease in the plant has caused the number of Canvasbacks in the region to decrease from 250,000 in the 1950s to 50,000 today.
  • 5.       Bobcat
Unlike a lot of other mammals and wild cats, bobcats don’t hibernate during the winter, they actually wonder farther than during the warmer months. They have padded paws to protect them from the cold snow and also excellent hunters. They hunt mostly during dusk and dawn and can travel between 2 and 7 miles any night.
  • 6.       Northern Cardinal
Although these birds are active all year round they are usually more common in the winter because it’s the time of year when they go out to search for seeds and berries, and will also be easier to spot when their red feathers stand out against the white snow. Cardinals are one of the only female birds that sing!

Bundle up and keep your eyes peeled!

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With all the talk about Hurricane Joaquin recently, I thought it would be helpful to know exactly what a hurricane is and some other information about them.

What Are They?:
They are a certain type of cyclone: a spinning storm that rotates around a low pressure center. Hurricanes that hit the Bay Area usually form in the Caribbean and travel up the east coast. They consist of large thunderstorms and high winds reaching up to 155 miles and hour, and spin counter-clockwise.

When the winds in a cyclone reach 39 miles an hour the storm is named based on a 6-year rotating list while male and female names are alternated every storm. This eliminates confusion if meteorologists are tracking more than one storm. Hurricane names are taken out of circulation if a particular hurricane causes serious damage to an area.

Hurricanes are also classified by wind speed based on category. A category 1 storm has the lowest winds while a category 5 has the highest. These labels can sometimes be deceiving because a low category hurricane may cause more damage than a higher category storm because of flooding and the amount of rainfall.

Watches and Warnings:
A hurricane watch is when the storm is likely to come in the next 48 hours. When a watch is issued you should be on the lookout for high wind and heavy rain and start preparing just in case. A hurricane warning is when it's likely to come in the next 36 hours. When a warning is issued you should make plans for the next few days and purchase food, water, and other essentials in case you're not able to get supplies during the hurricane, or it leaves you without power. Be sure to always check local weather websites when one of these is issued in your area.

Keep updated with local weather and stay safe!


If you want to know more about being prepared visit this website:

If you want to read more about this topic and see where I got my information, visit these websites:
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Fun Games!

There are so many fun things to do especially when your a kid! It's no fun to run out of things to do so here are some fun and simple games and ideas!

1. Make an I spy sheet and walk around the neighborhood with your kid helping them find the objects along the way! This is a great way for your kid to have a nice walk and get fresh air and appreciate nature while having lots of fun 

2. Get a couple old pool noodles that are laying around your house that you don't need anymore and cut them  up in to equal pieces about 4-5 inches long. Stack them up and make a bunch of different towers out of them and think of some creative ways to knock them down. for example your kid could have to mick a soccer ball at them, or while one kid throws water balloons (or snowballs) at the towers have another kid try and catch the balloons so the towers won't knock over

3. Water Pinatas! next time a hot day rolls around pick up some really big strong balloons at the store and fill them up with water about 3/4 of the way then hang them up on your monkey bars or some rope that you can put up going across your backyard.

4. Play Dead Fish Polo! This requires around 6-8 people. 2 teams are formed and each team has there own "boat" (a section of the yard) and all around/in the "boats" are "dead fish" (wet sponges). Each team has to get in there "boat" and when you yell go they have to throw the wet sponges into the other teams "boat" when a sponge is thrown where someone can't reach it while sitting down in there "boat" then only one person can get up from the "boat" and go get the sponge but they can't throw it until they sit back down. If they do throw it before they sit down then there "boat gets" 2-3 more wet sponges put in it. The "boat"with the most sponges in it by the ens of the round loses.

5. If you wanna go for the classic outdoor games here is a list.
~Hide and Seek
~Kick the Can 
~Jump Rope
~Four Square
~Red Light, Green Light
~Freeze Tag
~Musical Chairs
And that's just a short list there are so many more fun things to do with your kid even just sitting down and reading a book with them can one of the best memories!
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Hello every one !
Before starting to write about my reverse cultural shocks i would like to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you who made my exchange year a success..Its because of the great oyster harbor community that it was worth staying away from home.. I could not write a goodbye note to you guys as i was in my town with poor internet services and after that when i moved to the city i was stuck in exams but any how i am glad to be in touch with you guys again.

So starting with my reverse cultural "shocks" i would like to start when i met my other exchange friends who were in the states too and we were going to leave together .I noticed huge changes in them .They all seemed more matured, more confident and more creative than before.And their accent were no different than American accent .But we did start to converse in our national language "URDU" ( even though my host mom told me not to :P ) sorry about that mommy , and we all could barely talk clearly. It was all ambiguous and hard to understand .There was no consistency while talking in Urdu and every body had a hard time in doing so .
SO i met my friends and we were taken to the airport and our flight got delayed for about 6 hours at the airport and we were stuck inside the plane for such a long period.And it was really hard to believe that my exchange year had came to an end and i was going back to my country.I still remember how terrible i felt flying away over Washington Dc ,I felt as if i was leaving my home, my family,my community behind and i don't know when i will be able to see them again.It was just awful and such a terrible feeling.
So our first stop was Dubai after a tiring and long flight of about 23 hours . We got off from the plane and stayed at the airport for a while and got to catch another flight to Pakistan which would take us about 3 hours from there .
So i was seated with two gentlemen from ISLAMABAD .( Pakistan's capital city) .They started to talk to me about who i was and why was i traveling alone with out any parent ?
So i told them that i was an exchange student to America and now going home all the way from there .
He was shocked for a while thinking of how small i was for such internationals tours but any how he took a deep interest about my exchange year and kept asking me how did it go ? It was nice talking to them and i felt like i was some one very special and indeed its a rare opportunity for teenagers to go on such great experiences.
So finally after a long long journey of one year and a lot of great memories to remember we landed at Islamabad international airport Pakistan.
It was great to be back after a successful one year. Its hard to describe in words how i was feeling at that time.I felt both happy and sad.Happy because i was reuniting with my family after a year and sad because i was missing my host family ,community and obviously the states.
 So When we approached the gate the watchman kept looking at us and he said to enter through another gate .It was very weird that he was talking in Urdu to us .And i answered him back in English and he was like " sorry i cant understand English , could you please talk to me in Urdu " and suddenly i realized where i was and what i should be speaking .We kept laughing at our selves and thought that this was just the beginning of reverse cultural shock. So we enter the airport and carried our baggage to the main gate where our family were waiting for us .
Me and my other friend were the first to exit the main gate and what we see was a crowd of people holding flowers ,smiling at us and congratulating us for our successful exchange year.
It was such a great feeling that time .And suddenly i see my uncle there waiting for me and i remember running and hugging him. My parents could not come as my dad was out of country and mom was in the town which was really far from the airport.
So we got out of the airport and i remember there was a feeling as i was being fried in a hot pan . it was really really hot.
we sat in the car and started to go towards home .Every thing seemed strange ,as if i was traveling in a stranger country.
So after staying over my uncle's for a day i went to my town CHITRAL. When i reached home after another 12 hours of drive from the capital ,i was really really tired but the excitement of meeting my family made it seemed nothing.
So finally i reached home and my mom got in to tears and i got in to tears and it was just so emotional .They were happy to have me back . I met my siblings and they all were very excited to hear about my exchange year and waiting for their gifts.
I gave my siblings their gifts . My host mom had bought an American football for my brother. He was like" umm okay whats this for and why is it not round ?
I told him about American football and showed him how to play .He was over excited to have some thing very different .
So it was all excitement for like some days and then i began to feel old as if i was stuck there. I was starting to get severe cultural shocks i did not like the food, the weather ,and the people around me. I was more open minded than the rest of the people and i was more diversity loving than people around me.It was just hard to make the people around me understand about how i felt.
My friends were not as excited as i thought they would be .They were like" oh you came back nice to meet you , have fun ." And i was like why would not you ask me about my exchange year and all that in details .They did not understand how this had changed my life and how i was excited to tell them each and every thing but they seem to not care and this was bugging me.
But i did not just sit quite i visited many schools around my town and gave them presentations about my exchange year and how it impacted my life .They were glad to have me.
They kept asking me all these weird questions like "Did they hated you ? as you are a Muslim ?
Did you eat pork? (which is not supposed to be eaten by a Muslim).
And i tried to give them my best possible answers .They were shocked to know that how i was being loved my an amazing host family and community .And how grateful i was for this.
And also by the fact that i was not forced to eat any pork. They started to get motivated and at the end of the presentation a girl came up to me and  whispered in my ear" i want to be just like you and experience an exchange program.your my inspiration".
This made my day and i was really glad that i was positively influencing my community .
After a month i moved with my family to the capital city ISLAMABAD and now i reside here .But i do visit my town during my vacations for different community services .And it feels good to serve your community.
And then i started to settle gradually , i was in the same daily boring routine.A Pakistani girl wearing the cultural dresses and speaking Urdu  but i wont ever forget how great my exchange year had been . It just feels like a beautiful dream now and i don't want to break it by waking up .But no this is the bitter truth ,its gone.
But i am sure i will reunite again with my host family and my host community some day soon.


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How to Stop Pollution!

Here are 5 EASY Ways To Reduce Pollution Levels.

1. Ride a bike whenever you can.
When you need to take short ride somewhere you usually hop in to your car and drive to where you need to go but in actuality you could just hop onto your bike and cruise over there. This will help reduce greenhouse gases (CO2).

2. Carpool!
Carpooling is a great way to reduce the production of greenhouse gases! instead of using 5 cars for 5 try using 1 or 2.

3. Use Reusable items. 
Instead of wasting a bunch of plastic buy one metal water bottle and keep reusing that, Use empty cartons and cardboard to do crafts! It's a fun thing to do with your family!

4. Turn Off The Water When You Brush You Teeth!
It explains itself for the most part, but when you brush your teeth don't leave the water going only turn it on for the couple of seconds you need it to be on.

Tell everyone you know to reuse reduce and recycle. Tell everyone about bikes ,carpooling ,teeth brushing, reusable items, and everything else you know about saving the earth because you could be the next superhero that saves the earth!!!
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Sea Nettles and Jellyfish Facts!

What Are Sea Nettles?

Sea Nettles, also know as Chrysaora Quinquechirra are a widely spread species of jelly fish. They live in tropical and subtropical parts of the atlantic and indian ocean. They are very often seen on the east coast of the United States such as the Chesapeake Bay. Yikes! don't worry although the sting may be annoying it is noir dangerous to swimmers!

How Can We Avoid Being Stung?

One obvious reason is that you can stay away from the area's of the water where jellyfish like to migrate, but since we live right on the east coast that's a little hard to do. If you happen to be going out in deep waters try wearing a wet suit and rubber socks to keep the jellyfish from stinging you. Even if the jellyfish happens to be washed up on the beach STAY AWAY!!! Jellyfish stingers can be active out of water for up to 3 whole days! If there isn't a way out of the water without getting stung stay calm and very still they usually don't attack unless scared or provoked.

What Do I Do If I Get Stung?

This first part goes without saying if you or anyone else get's stung seek medical treatment immediately! Rinse off the tentacles with salt water, DO NOT rinse them off with fresh water because that will make the sting much worse! Make sure to watch for severe reactions to the sting. You can put vinegar on the sting to neutralize the venom. Advil or Acetaminophen will help ease the the pain, ice or heat may also help.

Some Facts About Jellyfish!

A group of jellyfish is called a swarm or a smack!
Jellyfish are %95 water!
Jellyfish don't have bones!
There is proof that jellyfish existed 400 million years ago!
There is a species of jellyfish that live FOREVER!!!
Jellyfish can sting even when they are dead! Ew!
People eat jellyfish!
Jellyfish don't have a brain, a heart, and a head!1
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