General information and resources for students and adult learners.


    Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein


    The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you go. - Dr. Seuss

  • Research Is . . .

    Research means that you don't know, but are willing to find out.-Charles F. Kettering

Crepe Myrtle Tree

Plant Details

  • Common Name: Crepe Myrtle
  • Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia indica
  • Plant description: A deciduous, vase-shaped tree about 6 - 8 m (about 18-25 ft.) tall with a 5 m (about 15 ft) spread.

Crepe Myrtles are plants for all seasons. They flower in late summer with clusters of white, pink, lavender or deep red crepe-like blooms.

In autumn, the leaves color before dropping. Autumn foliage color depends on the variety grown but may range from yellow and copper bronze or orange-red to dark red.

The crepe myrtles have many good points, it has beautiful flowers and have flowers till autumn. 

These trees also get better with age, as the trunk develops a wonderful appearance and the bark exfoliates in summer to give a gorgeous look with patches of pink, grey and brown. During the winter months the beauty of the smooth silver and gold colored bark can be appreciated

It can be heavily pruned in winter to encourage the development of arching branches of flowers. 

Crepe myrtles can be propagated by hard wood cutting in winter or by seed in spring.


Photos of trees

The Dragon Tree is a native tree of the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Madeira and Morocco.
 The Guanche people of the Canary Islands used the sap for mummification purposes.

Trees always attract attention, the shape, texture, color and lines of trees always fascinates people, trees inspired and spiritually uplifting.

There are a lot of trees with an unusual shape, they are a perfect model. Trees are everywhere and most of the time you'll just get lucky and find interesting and unusual trees along the way.

Bottle Tree
Sometimes you can compare trees to people, some are stout, others are slim, some are massive and tall. What I find is that some older trees have a stronger presence, than the rest.


Jacaranda Tree

Common NameJacaranda
Botanical Name: Jacaranda Mimosifolia. The species name mimosifoloia refers to the foliage, which resembles that of the mimosa or wattle tree.
Jacaranda grow around 10-15m (30-45ft) tall and have lacy green foliage which turns yellow in autumn before falling. The trumpet-shaped flowers appear before the leaves return, then drop to form a blue carpet underneath the tree. The color of the flowers varies from soft blue through to mauve-blue and almost purple.

The Jacaranda, is a native of the dry, high plains of Brazil and Argentina, jacarandas are popular in Australia and some people think they're Australian natives.
Jacarandas prefer sunny position, rich well-drained soil and protection from wind and frost when still young. One important thing to remember is that it's better not to prune jacarandas because after pruning they send up lots of ugly vertical shoots that spoil the appearance of the tree. Jacarandas grow well in most areas of Australia with the exception of the mountains and Hobart.
Jacaranda gives a spectacular display of blue-mauve flowers which create an attractive carpet when they fall to the ground. It has pretty foliage and low maintenance. It looks great for any average to large garden. Jacaranda also makes excellent street trees.

Jacaranda Festival 
In Australia, Jacaranda's flowering time is October. The best place to see to see the magnificent spring display of flowering jacarandas is during the Jacaranda Festival held yearly in Grafton, Northern Rivers New South Wales when the street are lined with vibrant purple blooms.
History tells us that in 1879, a Grafton seed merchant by the name of Mr H. A. Volkers was contracted to plant trees for the Grafton Council and during 1880 he was instrumental in supplying and planting hundreds of Jacaranda trees in the streets of Grafton.
In 1935, 55 years, after planting those Jacaranda trees, the people of Grafton held the first Jacaranda Festival, to celebrate the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees which grow in Grafton's broad tree lined avenues. This festival expresses the people's thanksgiving for the generosity with which nature blesses this part of the globe.


What is legend?

Long ago, people told stories that were based on history but were not completely true.  They are are called legends.  

Legends tell of time, place or person as though the event took place.  Robin Hood is an example of a legend.  In real life, Robin of Loxley was probably in trouble with the law.  in legend, he became Robin Hood, a man who took money from the rich to help the poor.

Legends were first told aloud and passed down through many generations.  This meant that many versions of the same story were told. Eventually legends were written down. The legends we read in books today were first told long ago.  

Why are legends told?
People have always told stories about the past.  They told legends to each generation to teach them about their culture.  Today, legends teach us something about the culture of people in the past. 

Theme in legends
There are legends from different parts of the world. They all tell stories of people and their actions.  There are many legends about kings and heroes who shaped nations.   There are also legends about places that ate important to a group of people.  They explain how the world around them was created. 

Examples of legends:
  • The Legend of King Arthur
  • The Legend of Hiawatha
  • The Legend of Atlantis
  • The Legend of El Dorado
  • Alligators in New York
  • The Legend of Big Foot


Johnny Appleseed

There once was a man named John Chapman.  He was born in the eastern part of the United States. As a child he loved the flowers that grow on apple trees in the spring.  He would pick them and smell them. Sometimes he would eat them.  When the apples came, he loved those even more.  

When John Chapman grew up he went to school. He learned a great deal.  His family wanted him to make lots of money. But John has other ideas.  He had never lost his strong love for apples. He wanted to find a way for people all over the country to have apples.

By this time, the Chapmans had moved toward the west, to Pennsylvania.  A great many apple trees were growing there.  In the fall, the apples were pressed to make juice. John went around to the apple pressers.  He asked to keep what was left after the juice was made.  In the presses were apple seeds.  He took the seeds and laid them out to dry in the sun.  

The next spring  he packed the dried seeds into big grain sacks. Then he set out toward the west and south.  He has one idea in mind- to plant those apple seeds.  He made it his job in life to plant the trees that would bear apples for the people. 

John didn’t wear shoes.  He dressed in the empty grain sacks.  He slept under the stars.  He cooked his meals over an open fire.  When it was time to move on, he put his cooking pan on his head.  That was his hat.   In all kinds of weather, he walked along with the sack of apple seeds.  People began calling him Johnny Appleseed.

He would stop in this place or that to plant a grove of apple trees. He would wait to make sure the seeds came up.  Then he would walk on to another place.  Sometime later he would come back to check on the new trees.  He enjoyed tasting the apples, knowing they were there because of him.  Over the years, Johnny Appleseed covered a lot of ground.  Apple trees grew wherever he had been.  

Next time you eat an apple think of Johnny Appleseed. Some people say it is because of him that apples grew almost everywhere in the United States.


The Great Pyramid of Giza

During the Ancient Egypt period, the Egyptians built pyramids, as tombs to protect the mummified bodies of their Pharaohs and their family. The Egyptians believed life continued after death. Their mummies were meant to stay in the pyramids forever, while the pharaohs spirits traveled to the afterlife.

Historians believe that the triangular shape of the four sides of these huge structures may have been designed to indicate the journey of the pharaoh to the heavens and the afterlife.
The Egyptians built the pyramids on the west side of the Nile River in the path of the setting sun.

The most famous pyramids of all are those at Giza, just outside the city now known as Cairo in Egypt. These three massive tombs were built more than 4,500 years ago. The pyramids at Giza were built for Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops), Pharaoh Khaefre and Pharaoh Menkaure.

Khufu's pyramid is known as "The Great Pyramid", it is the largest, but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

The Great Pyramid of Giza built around 2550 BC was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It covers an area of about five hectares and was approximately 147 metres high. It is one of the largest stone monument on earth and is an example of Egyptian scientific skill - each of its sides aligns almost exactly with north, south, east and west. The Great Pyramid also represents an amazing building effort.

Its sides are built at an angle of 51.5 degrees and it consists of at least 2,300,000 blocks of granite weighing 2.5 tonnes each.

At its base are three smaller pyramids one for each of Khufu's queens . Historians think that it took approximately 100,000 men and 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.

How the pyramids were built?
How the pyramids were built remains a mystery. Historians think that the Egyptians organised peasants labourers to work on the project and that each stone was brought by a barge along the Nile from the quarries, lowered into the wooden rollers and dragged by group of workers up the earthen slopes.

As each level of blocks was positioned, sand ramps had to be built so that the next layer of stones could be moved into position,once all the blocks were in place, a smooth covering of limestone was placed on the outside of the pyramid. This meant the pyramid could be seen from a great distance, sparkling brilliantly in the strong sunlight.

Architects designed the inside of the pyramids to include chambers, tunnels and storerooms. Artists covered the wall with beautiful paintings of the pharaoh's life and sculptors carved many intricate scenes. These paintings still exist and give us a very good idea about what life was like for the important people of those times.

One of the biggest problems facing the builders of these enormous tombs was creating secret passages or false tombs, to trick the grave robbers.

The Pyramids

Khufu - Khufu's great Pyramid was surrounded by mastaba tombs build for the wealthy elite and three queens pyramids. Originally there was a mortuary temple attached to the pyramid but this was vanished. It is the largest but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

Khaefre - Khaefre was Khufu's son. Khaefre's pyramid is smaller than the Great Pyramid, but looks larger because it was built on higher ground.

Menkaure - The grandson of Khufu, Menkaure, built one large pyramid, plus three smaller pyramids for the most important royal women.

Guarding the Royal Pyramids
The pyramid of the Pharaoh Khaefre is guarded by the Sphinx -- a huge limestone statue of a lion with the head of a man, presumably that of the pharaoh himself. Egyptians believed that the Giza sphinx was a form of the sun god.

For most of its 4500 year life, the Sphinx was covered in sand. Pollution from nearby cars and factories in modern times resulted in large amounts of the Sphinx being worn away. However, the Egyptian government has recently restored parts of it.


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