Monday, April 27, 2009

Children from Chapel School in São Paulo, Brazil - and all the children that usually read this blog

Dear Children -

Today I am happy to respond to the second-graders at Chapel. First of all, I am so proud of you for celebrating Earth Day and paying attention to Global Warming. Thank you for using some of my photos and calling attention to my WALK. It makes me feel very special and encourages me to keep walking. 

I want to answer your questions:

- "How is the temperature in the state where you are now?" 
It is Spring, and in Alabama the flowers are blooming and the trees have filled out with leaves. I had some very cold nights, below freezing, in the first part of April but now it's in the 50's at night and in the 70's and 80's in the daytime. Soon it will be so hot that I will try to do most of my walking early in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening. 

- "Is there much pollution where you are today?" 
Actually, I haven't noticed much pollution along the way as I've walked. The air seems clear and often I smell the flowers. However usually the streams and rivers look quite dirty and full of litter, and sometimes I worry about all the fumes from the trucks and cars that rush by me.

- "Are you feeling tired?" 
I haven't felt tired. Sometimes, especially the first few weeks, my body would ache after I walked several miles. I had to learn to deal with sore muscles, but now I feel invigorated and energetic. It's wonderful to get up and walk every day.

"What's the most beautiful place that you've passed so far?" 
I'm posting 5 photographs of pretty places I saw as I walked. I can't think of any spectacular place along my journey, but Spring is a beautiful time and I often stop to appreciate flowers and trees, rivers and fields.

(See below) 
Some of my favorite sights:

Pine trees in Mississippi.

 A field in Alabama.

An abandoned home in Mississippi.

A swamp, could be in Louisiana or Mississippi.

The Black Warrior River in Alabama.

A big hug to all of you,

Nana Greta

PS - You can look at other pretty photos I posted on earlier entries.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beautiful Alabama countryside

Dear Children -

I've walked more than 250 miles now! Today I saw a sheep farm, and yesterday I had breakfast in my motor home where I could look at the beautiful cows below.

Can anyone guess why I took the photograph below? I was excited because I saw something really good for climate change, for the first time on my walk.
And isn't this tree just perfect? I hope it can survive for many years to come.
I'm going home to Pennsylvania tomorrow, riding the train, which is a good way to travel if you're worried about global warming. In two weeks I'll be back in Alabama ready to walk some more.

Love, Nana Greta

Monday, April 13, 2009

Responding to your comments

Dear Children -

To Christina, Tiffany, Xavier, Kiara, Paul, Jenna, Bianca, Sashala, Jordan, Lucas, Alasdair, Tony, Emanuel, Zelaya, Kevin, and Dianna (corrected list):

I was very pleased to see so many comments on my last entry. You are a wonderful bunch and I want to respond to your observations and questions. This time I will group my answers together instead of trying to write to each one of you.

As of yesterday, I had walked 219 miles between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Birmingham, Alabama. You can see my path on the map I told you about a few days ago. There's a link to it at the right hand top of the page. 

About the forests: I don't know how long it takes for the trees to grow and mature. Different trees grow at different rates, and I think that pines grow faster than many other trees. The pecan trees probably take longer. Whenever we damage or cut down a tree we need to think about how long it takes for a tree to grow and how important trees are for our health.

About the boat that was abandoned near the river: I agree with one of you that the most likely explanation is that the boat was lifted up during a flood and then left high and dry when the waters went down again.

I was surprised by your idea that so many people are crazy - crazy enough to put a boat in that spot. Why do you think that people are crazy? I guess I don't see many crazy people where I travel. You said that people sometimes don't know what they're doing where they are, and I agree with that. I believe that there are lots of reasons for people to feel bewildered, frustrated, and confused. 

I'm not sure why some of you talk about radiation. Yes, radiation is a danger, not only to human beings but to many animals as well. And now that summer is coming it will be important for you to protect your skin with sun lotion from the harmful rays of the sun. 

Finally, yes, Alabama is beautiful, especially at this time of the year when the flowers are blooming and the trees are covered with bright new leaves. I also love the rivers and creeks. I'll take some more pictures to send you later this week.

Let me know if I missed anyone's name or question. (Thanks, Christina, for sending me two names that I'd missed.) 

Love, Nana Greta

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trees and Rivers

Dear Children -

Do you remember the sign I posted in a blog last month that talked about planting trees? I wondered how long it would take for the trees to grow. Well here is a sign, in Alabama, saying that these trees were planted three years ago. It will be a long time before they're big trees.

Can anyone guess what kind of trees these are. This is a plantation of trees, an orchard that will provide a good income to the owner. They are pecan trees. Pecans are very healthy and nourishing if you don't eat too many of them. I love pecan pie!

How do you think this old boat ended up beside the river instead of on it? I had never heard of this wide and beautiful river, that runs through the city of Tuscaloosa in Alabama. It's called the Black Warrior River. 

Trees and rivers provide human beings with many resources and we should take good care of them, never using them in ways that destroy them. Sometimes people draw so much water from rivers to irrigate their farms that the rivers run dry. Another problem occurs when farmers use fertilizers and pesticides that pollute rivers and even the ocean where the rivers disgorge.

Love, Nana Greta