My Learning Journey with Battalion Hawk Bloggers (Global Grade 3) continues

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Battalion Hawk Bloggers

Hello The Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

It seems my little birthday secret wasn’t so secret. 🙂  With many of my adult Facebook friends former students of mine, I had a number of birthday greetings come in.

Awakino – There was more than normal driftwood on the beach that day. I suspect heavy rains had brought the trees down the river and heavy sees prevented it escaping. I have other photos where not so much driftwood was around.

Koalas – You may know this from your research but koalas survive on a diet of eucalypt tree leaves. The leaves don’t have much nutrition so the koala’s sleeping habit is a way of conserving energy while the leaves are digested. They normally don’t drink water, relying on water within the leaves but can sometimes come down from tree to drink if  there is a need.

In a recent bushfire, a firefighter found a koala suffering some burns. Cupping water in his hand, the female was able to take a drink before being taken to see a vet. Here is a link to the news article…

I don’t have a video of koalas walking on the ground but here is a series of photos showing one walking from one tree to another…

Schools and students have permission to use this "Koala Walking" video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Mt. Tarawera – Scree seems to get into things easily as you go down the steep slope. I think some even made it into my pockets as my legs dug deep intot he slope with each step. Considering how deep my legs went with each step down. I wasn’t worried about falling and rolling down. Maybe a sled would make a very quick trip down but stopping mightn’t be fun. 🙂

Hawaii – I understand the confusion with coral and pumice. The pumice came from an underwater volcano between Fiji and Tonga if I remember correctly, probably nearer Tonga. Large amounts floated all the way to Australia. I picked up samples on a beach in Queensland. It also had coral on the beach, although the coral came from Australia’s The Great Barrier Reef. The samples can look similar.

Alberta – Alberta certainly has collection of provincials. I’ve heard of the big horn sheep, great hormed owl and bull trout and have petrified wood in my rock collection. While I don’t have ammolite in my collection, I do have a similar gemstone called opal. We have white and black opal in Australia.

I must admit I didn’t know my state’s motto but found New South Wales’ state motto is “Newly risen, how brightly you shine.”

I like the idea of having the Canada Goose as a national bird. They are magnificent birds and their migration south in winter is fascinating. I can remember the 1996 film “Fly Away Home” showing the way young orphaned Canada geese imprinted on humans were guided south by humans un ultra-light aircraft as would normally. I thought it a little strange the girl starring in the film in Canada was New Zealand’s Anna Paquin.

New Australian Flag? – Many have proposed designs for a new Australian flag yet nothing official has been decided. Below is a link to a group called Flags Australia. Scroll down and you can see some suggestions for a new Australian flag. You will see kangaroos in some designs.

A sleepy koala on our flag would be an interesting idea but some might look at the flag and think Aussies are sleepy so I chose a noble looking koala for the koala flag below (besides, when I checked, surprisingly, I hadn't any photographs of sleepy koalas).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I would love to see your ideas for a new Australian flag. 🙂

I remember when Canada changed its flag. Back then I thought it would be a great idea if Australia did the same. Perhaps it will in time. 🙂

Which country is larger, Australia or Canada? – I knew Canada had a larger area but I wondered by how much. A quick check online showed me…

Canada    – 9,985,000 square kilometres

Australia – 7,618,000 square kilometres

Canada is therefore 2,367,000 square kilometres larger than Australia. Another check on population at 2011…

Canada    – 34,482,779

Australia – 22,620,600

Canada had 11,862,179 more people than Australia in 2011. I love working with numbers so I was wondering how many Canadians and Australians there were per square kilometre in 2011. I divided population by area and found…

For every square kilometre of Canada there is approximately 3.45 Canadians.

For every square kilometre of Australia there is approximately 2.97 Australians.

This means Australians have about half a person less per square kilometre than Canada. I know much of Canada has few if any inhabitants due to the arctic cold. Australia also has large areas with few or no population but in our case it’s because of desert. I suppose this also means Australia is a much drier place than Canada. In fact, I think the only continent with less average precipitation (rainfall/snowfall) than Australia is Antarctica.


Thank you for again sharing interesting information and helping me learn more about Canada and Alberta. You always start me thinking about the world when I read your posts and comments. 🙂


Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

2 thoughts on “My Learning Journey with Battalion Hawk Bloggers (Global Grade 3) continues

  1. The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    We’re glad that your little secret wasn’t such a secret … we felt excited to be able to wish you a happy birthday! Did you celebrate it by doing anything special? We hope you had birthday greetings come in from ALL over the world!

    We LOVE your extended comments. We always learn SO much! You have helped to make our Rocks and Minerals exploration VERY exciting!

    Mrs. Renton thinks that koalas are SO cute! LOTS of us do! It’s hard to believe that they don’t need to drink much water. A few of us have been lucky enough to see koalas in zoos … but MOST of us haven’t. They don’t look like they move very quickly … but … we COULD be WRONG!

    We had NO idea you could sink so far down into scree to be able to get it into your pockets. If it was someone very short … and it’s that deep … they might get covered right up to their neck. Maybe it depends on the weight of the person too? So, if you are a child … you wouldn’t sink as far down as an adult. We wonder if you could ever sink deep enough to cover yourself in scree. If that is the case, you sure wouldn’t want to go jumping in the scree without a friend!

    We think it’s neat that pumice can float on the ocean currents and move to different places on earth. We think that some could even reach Canada … and … if you KNEW what you were looking for on the beaches … you could find it. Sometimes pumice feels a little like styrofoam and coral is usually smooth and less rough. At least that’s what we discovered when we felt the samples here. We wonder if pumice can EVER been really smooth … and coral can ever be really bumpy like pumice.

    We think it’s ironic that we usually have to research to learn more through your comments and this time you had to do the same to find out your state’s motto! We LOVE that we are learning together!

    Ross, we love YOUR flag idea. We think the koala is SUCH a GREAT idea … especially a wide awake one … and not a snoozie one! We don’t think ANY country would want to be known as “sleepy”!!! We like the colours and the six starts. Some of us think the union jack should be replaced with something like a koala or even a kangaroo! We understand that some people want to keep the same flag because it has been used for 100 years! Change is sometimes good, though!

    Some of us might try to design a new flag for you over our winter break. If we come up with any cool ideas, we will share them with you! 😉

    We always smile when we see a new comment from you, Ross, because you extend OUR thinking TOO! We love that every time we read your thoughts you push our learning too! Thank you for being our OTHER teacher … in Australia!

    The Battalion Hawk Bloggers 🙂

  2. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

    I do get some birthday greetings from assorted places, including from former students of mine. Many come through Facebook.

    Koalas can be cute and generally don’t move very quickly but I would never recommend trying to handle a wild koala. Like many wild animals, they can scratch and bite if frightened. Our local nature park, Potoroo Palace, has koalas that don’t mind being patted. Blinky (boy) and Suzie have been there quite some time. I have also seen them in the wild but they are a rare sighting since they are often asleep high in trees.

    The Mt. Tarawera scree slope was deep but mostly you sink in because the slope is quite steep. Taking a step down, you are almost sitting on the slope as you move the other foot. Being a big guy, I tend to sink deeper than many but didn’t have any real problems moving down. Coming out of the crater was much easier as there is a trail leading out much further along the crater.

    Pumice is capable of floating long distances on the ocean. The pumice I collected off a beach in Queensland would have travelled around 2,300 miles (3,700km) to reach the beach. Travelling all the way to Canada would be difficult but some might make it.

    Did you know there are main ocean currents around our world? I have two Wikipedia links below. One is the information link on ocean currents and the other shows one of the maps in close-up. They do tend to have some mixing between them but you might notice the main ocean currents in the southern hemisphere travel counter-clockwise and the northern currents travel clockwise.

    Wikipedia ocean current information
    Wikipedia ocean current graphic

    To make the epic journey from its source along the main currents, the pumice would have to travel along Australia’s east coast before heading east all the way to South America then crossing into the equatorial counter current. From there, it would have to enter the north equatorial current, travel west before heading north and again turning east near Japan. Finally reaching North America, it would need to enter the Alaskan current. That is one very epic journey yet it is possible some pumice might make it. Our world can be pretty amazing.

    Can pumice be smooth? Because it is so laden with small bubbles, it would be hard for it to be truly smooth. It can become rounded like any other pebbles but it still has an almost sandpaper like roughness.

    Learning together? One of my joys in blog commenting is discovering new things while researching topics. This comment, for example, I knew about the world ocean currents but had to do a search to provide information links for you. My learning journey has never ended. Blogging has made it pick up speed. We are learning together. 🙂

    In time Australia, like Canada, will adopt a new flag. It’s part of growing as a nation. I will be interested to see what designs you can suggest.

    Your other teacher,
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia


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