Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Writing

I have really been neglecting my blog lately - I apologize.
It seems that summer is a very busy time for us here at The Blackberry Patch.

But - I promise you, I am still writing.  And, I am still surfing the web and reading helpful, wonderful blog posts of my friends.

To go out of July with a bang - below is my Two-Lane Livin' July column for kids.


     What would you get if you crossed George Washington with cattle feed?
     The Fodder of Our Country!

    WHOOOOOOOOSH! BOOM! HISS! CRACK! On July 4, 1777 fireworks lit up the sky celebrating the country’s first anniversary.  Many towns still have celebrations and fireworks on Independence Day.  Our town of Ripley, West Virginia boasts of having the largest small town celebration in the nation. After parading, eating, and celebrating all day, the fire department puts on a dazzling display at night. Fireworks flash across the sky in a sparkling array of color and sound, creating big booms and bright lights.
     Did you know that fireworks are also called pyrotechnic devices and the experts that handle the explosives are pyro technicians?  And, since fireworks are explosives, they should only be handled by experts
     They have been around for a long time and are as American as apple pie, but fireworks originated in China. The Chinese roasted bamboo, which explodes with a bang when heated due to the hollow air pockets.  Later in history they began stuffing saltpeter, charcoal, sulfur and other ingredients into bamboo shoots that were then thrown into the fire to produce a loud blast.
     BANG! The first fireworks were born.
     The colorful displays we know today began in the 1830s, when Italians added trace amounts of metals that burn at high temperatures, creating beautiful colors. Calcium produces orange and is the easiest color to create. The hardest color to create is blue. It is done with copper compounds and the temperature has to be just right. Sodium makes yellow and barium makes green. Lithium salts and strontium salt create red. Aluminum makes white and is a common ingredient of sparklers. Just like you produce different colors by mixing primary colors, pyro technicians mix copper (blue) and strontium (red) to create purple fireworks.
     Iron flakes create sizzling sparkles. Titanium powder creates crackling sounds and sparks.  The whistling sounds are created by using cylindrical tubes with an open end.  When the oxidizer and salts burn a layer at a time, the pulses of escaping gas produces the whistling sound.  Zinc creates smoke clouds.
     Not everyone likes fireworks. Dogs whimper, cats hide under the bed, birds may become startled and fly into things and even some people shake with fear.
     With my poem, Freedom Song, I wish everyone a fun, safe and sparkling Fourth of July.

WHOOSH! Fireworks
streak across the sky.
POP! Fireworks
dazzle way up high.
BOOM! Fireworks
sparkle in the night.
CRACK! Fireworks
whistle and take flight.
BANG! Fireworks
bellow loud and strong.
ZING! Fireworks
sing our freedom song!

I hope you enjoyed it. My column is titled, Fun Facts for Kids, so I always like to include fun information for kids. I've been told by many adults, that they also love my column and learn something new when reading it.

My book, Fun Through the Seasons, is filled with these type of articles, fun recipes,crafts and stories for kids and adults to enjoy.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I'll start blogging more soon - I promise.