get the picture?
The following information israted D = duckling
tale = story
Croc = (keep reading and you'll see)
Croc and his friends live on the sunny beaches of South Florida where they have fun come rain or sun.
Each picture tells a little story and if you look closely you might discover there's more to CROCTALES than just cute little drawings. You'll figure it out; just take a close look . . .
So, why is an alligator called Croc? There's a simple explanation:
When the little ducklings first met the alligator, they didn't know a lot of words, let alone the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. As hard as they tried - whatever they said sounded like QUACK or CROC - so the name stuck. They never managed to say his full name, which is Francis the Friendly Alligator.
(to follow the story in pictures click on the small pictures; the big picture will appear below)
Of course over the years the ducklings learned a lot of words and how to tell a crocodile from an alligator - by looking at the snout - from a safe distance. The snout of an alligator is rounded. A crocodile's snout is pointed and even when the mouth is closed you can see a crocodile's sharp teeth. Now, take a good look:
Do you see any teeth or a pointed snout? Right, nothing like it, because Croc is an alligator.
Usually alligators are just as dangerous as crocodiles, but not our pal Croc. He eats bagels, fruit and most of all he loves cookies and doughnuts. So do his little friends. They share everything; including their love for word games.
A few months later the Cookie-Mouse joined Croc and his friends. Yes, "she" is a mouse girl. She had to leave the house she had lived in, because the owners bought a cat. Croc and the ducklings were happy to take her in.
She's still a little shy but that's o.k.; not everybody can be as wild and adventurous as the ducklings. Sometimes it's even better to be extra careful.
Can you find the Cookie-Mouse?
One year Croc took his friends on a trip around the world in a hot air balloon.
The even went to Pisa, Italy:
Hey, it wasn't us!
The leaning tower in Pisa looked like that before we even arrived!
You speak Italian, right? No? Of course you do!
It's a bird, it's a plane . . .
. . . it's a PIZZA. (See, you DO speak Italian)
Do you know, where Italy is?
Italy is located in Southern Europe. You can easily make out the
boot-shaped Italian Peninsula on any map.
But that "boot" is only a part of Italy. There is also the area to the North between the peninsula and the Alps and a number of islands. The two biggest islands are called Sardinia and Sicily.
For more pictures from the trip around the world click HERE
Now that you've discovered a funny shaped country let's take a look at the United States of America.
There are 50 states in the USA, some are square like Colorado, small like Delaware and some are odd shaped like FLORIDA, the home of Croc and his friends.
Can you find FLORIDA on the big map? It's in the south-east of the United States of America,
which means you can find it in the lower right corner.
Florida is nicknamed the "Sunshine State" because of its generally warm climate. In central Florida and the northern part, called panhandle, the climate is subtropical and rather mild.
Do you know what the Florida state fruit is? Chances are, the juice you had for breakfast was made from it - the ORANGE. But did you also know, it was a group of elementary school students we have to thank for having a state fruit in Florida? In 2004 those students discovered, even though the state beverage was the orange juice, Florida didn't have an official state fruit. They put together a petition, wrote letters to their local lawmakers and even wrote a song about the orange. They were so persistent the orange finally became the official Florida state fruit in 2005.
Kids CAN make a difference!
In the South where Croc, the ducklings and the Cookie-Mouse live, the climate is tropical. Which means instead of seasons like spring, summer, fall and winter Floridians enjoy the "dry season" with mild and sometimes even cool temperatures from October to March, April or even May and the "rainy season" usually from May until September. Those aren't fixed dates as you can tell; it depends on the amount of rain during the month.
There is also a "third" season: HURRICANE SEASON. It officially starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th.
What is a HURRICANE? It's a large storm in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 64 knots (74 mph) or greater. Just think about the speed of cars on the Interstate, it's usually 50-65 mph, so 74 mph is really fast.
A hurricane develops over the ocean and builds up strength as it moves across the water. The worst hurricane which hit South Florida in recent years was hurricane ANDREW in August 1992. ANDREW reached wind speeds of 125 kt (about 145 mph), with gusts of at least 150 kt (about 175 mph). Andrew was a category 5 hurricane according to the on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale, which measures hurricane winds on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 = extremely dangerous).
Most hurricanes start out as Tropical Depressions. When wind speed exceeds 38mph a Tropical Depression becomes a Tropical Storm and gets a name. The next step is a Hurricane with wind speed of 74mph or higher.
But don't let the wind speed and Saffir/Simpson Scale fool you. When hurricane WILMA reached Ft. Lauderdale in October 2005 it was only a category 1 hurricane but the damage was huge. Thousands of people were without power for days. It took residents months to get new windows, some buildings were damaged beyond repair.
It can take days or even more than a week for a Tropical Depression to become a Hurricane. But not every storm goes from Tropical Depression to Hurricane. Some storms diminish over the ocean, some storms start as Tropical Storms or even as Hurricanes. When a Hurricane reaches land it's called land fall.
Now, that you know something about Hurricanes - let's compare HURRICANE and TORNADO:
What is a tornado? A tornado is a storm that develops usually on land, with no warning, and moves in a circular motion with heavy winds with a funnel shape, picking up and carrying dirt, dust, and even objects. A tornado can demolish entire neighborhoods in a matter of a few seconds to a few minutes.
For more information check out the NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER web site. Stay safe!
Pass the word - ENJOY and come back soon.
If CROCTALES® makes you smile at least once - mission accomplished! If you happen to learn something at the same time - even better!
Croc & Pals, on the Beach, now with their very own web site
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