Cunningham Family's Adventures Thru the USA


Sea World – San Diego, California

Sea World San Diego is a theme park located in San Diego, California. The park was founded in 1964 by four graduates of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). They had originally considered the idea of building an underwater restaurant, but the concept grew into the idea of a marine zoological park on 22 acres (89,000 m2) along the shore of Mission Bay in San Diego.

With an initial investment of $1.5 million, 45 employees, several dolphins, sea lions, and two seawater aquariums, Sea World drew more than 400,000 visitors its first year.

To date, the park has now surpassed 130 million visitors since opening.

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey Bay, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row in Monterey, California, is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It has an annual attendance of 1.8 million and holds 35,000 plants and animals representing 623 species. Among the aquarium’s numerous exhibits, two are of particular note.

The centerpiece of the Ocean’s Edge wing is a 33-foot (10-m) high tank for viewing California coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp using a wave machine at the top of the tank allowing sunlight in through the open tank top, and pumping in raw seawater.

The second exhibit of note is a one million gallon tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world’s largest single-paned windows (crafted by a Japanese company, the window is actually four panes seamlessly glued together through a proprietary process). The Monterey Bay Aquarium maintains a close relationship with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Free Children’s Education

One of my Favorite site’s and my most used (at this point) is called Schoolexpress.comBetween the free worksheets, free weekly Units (if you sign up for their weekly news letter), to the ability to create your own Worksheets, this is a Great Site.

 A great site for Math is I like to use this site for the Pre-made Worksheets (which are grade appropriate). But I also love the great Teaching advice they provide in their weekly news letters.

and one must not forget to mention Dad’s where you will find over 7,400 free worksheets.

Another awesome site that we have come across is Here children can play educational games aimed mostly toward Math and Reading.

My kids & I love Science.

And what’s Not to Love?

Anatomy, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science

We Love it all.



Fun Facts about Alaska

State Flag

Origin of Name: from the Aleut work Alyeska, meaning The Great Land.

  • State Abbreviation – AK
  • State Capital – Juneau
  • Statehood – January 3, 1959
  • Number of Counties – 27
  • State Flower – Forget Me Not
  • State Tree – Sitka Spruce
  • State Bird – Willow Ptarmigan
  • State Insect – The Four Spot Skimmer Dragonfly
  • State Mammal –  Moose
  • State Marine Mammal – Bowhead Whale
  • State Nickname – The Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun
  • State Area Code – 907
  • State Sport – Dog Mushing
  • State Motto – North to the Future
  • State Gem – Jade
  • State Mineral – Gold
  • State Fossil – Wooly Mammoth
  • National Forests – 2
  • State Parks – 100+

Fun Facts about Alabama

State Flag

Origin of Name: from Choctaw meaning “thicket-clearers” or “vegetation-gatherers”

  • State Abbreviation – AL
  • State Nickname – Yellowhammer State, Cotton State, Heart of Dixie
  • State Capital – Montgomery
  • Statehood – December 14, 1819
  • Number of Counties – 67
  • State Flower – Camellia
  • State Wildflower – Oak-leaf Hydrangea
  • State Tree – Southern Longleaf Pine
  • State Game Bird – Wild Turkey
  • State Freshwater Fish – Largemouth Bass
  • State Saltwater Fish – Tarpon
  • State Amphibian – Red Hills Salamander
  • State Reptile – Alabama Red-bellied Turtle
  • State Insect – Monarch Butterfly
  • Area Codes – 205, 251, 256, 334
  • State Motto – Audemus jura nostra defendere (We dare defend our rights)
  • State Nut – Pecan
  • State Gemstone – Star Blue Quartz
  • State Rock – Marble
  • State Forests – 21
  • State Parks – 22

How to Identify House Cat Tracks

If you have found some animal prints, you may be wondering which species of animal put them there. While some prints may require an expert to identify, others are relatively easy to distinguish.

House cat animal tracks are easily identifiable by examining their distinct size, shape and presence or lack of claw marks in their print.

So first, you want to look for claw marks. If claw marks are visible, the animal print likely does not belong to a cat. Cats keep their claws sharp and, therefore, do not use them for general movement. Their claws are usually retracted while walking and running but will sometimes be visible when pouncing.

Next, count the number of toes on the front and back prints. Cats have five toes on the front feet but only show four in their print; but there are four on the back.

If you are carrying around a ruler or tape measure, measure the animal prints. Most domestic cats make prints that are about 2 inches long. The width of the cat print should be slightly greater than the length.

Now examine the main pad of the paw print. Cats have more of a rounded pad while dogs have pads that are more triangular in shape. The rear edge of a cat pad will have three rounded lobes.

Next, check for visible fur marks in the print.

Cats have fur between their pads which often shows up in prints. The fur markings look similar to brush strokes, and you will see them between the pad prints, especially between the main pad and the toe pads.

Finally, look for other evidence such as scratching on trees, fences and other wooden objects. Cats often sharpen their claws or mark their territory on wooden structures.

How to Identify Wild Dog Tracks


To accurately identify different animal tracks takes practice. Every animal has a distinct print, and with time, you will be able to identify these prints made with ease.

First, look for 4 toe imprints. All dogs have 4 toes.

Next, look for a small space between the pad of the foot and the toes. A wide gap indicates a track from another type of animal.

Then, determine if the track from the front foot is larger than the track from the hind foot. If the front and back foot leave the same size imprint, it is probably not a wild dog.

Finally, look for nail prints above the toes. The nail prints on the middle toes should be prominent. You may also be able to see lighter prints for the outside toes.




Tracking basics

The easiest places to find tracks are in the soil, wet sand, mud or even snow and are the most helpful in survival situations. It would be best to carry around a guide with pictures of the different tracks in it until you can recognize them on your own.

Keep the animal track(s) between you and the sun. This helps cast a shadow that allows you to see the print better. When following a trail of tracks, remember if the sun is opposite of you, you’ll be less likely to lose the trail.

Next check to see how fresh the tracks are. If vegetation that was stepped on is dead in the track, you know the animal didn’t come through recently. You’ll have better luck tracking an animal that is closer to you.

Look for signs that they have been feeding near by. Animals sometimes drop fruits or nuts when the food supply is ample. They have the luxury of picking and choosing their preference. Pine cones are stripped so the animal can eat the seeds. Bark is torn from trees for food, often leaving clear bite marks.

  • Sheep and goats have slanted bite marks where deer teeth marks are up and down.
  • Squirrels usually feed from bark higher on the tree than bears or deer. They also tend to drop bark pieces on the ground at the foot of the tree.

Study the droppings. You can tell how big an animal can be by the size of its waste.

  • Strong smelling feces usually indicates a mammal.
  • Animals with diets of vegetation usually produce waste that’s straw-like.
  • Long tapering feces indicate a meat-eater.
You can break open the droppings to get ideas for what to use as bait. Birds that live on seeds usually have small, fluid droppings. Meat-eating birds yield pellets.
And finally, hunt when your prey is out and about. 
  • Most mammals are active in the early morning and early evening.
  • The ones who are out during the middle of the day are the large, powerful animals.
  • Rabbits and other small animals venture out only at night to eat.
  • Big, plant-eating animals usually eat constantly all day, as do extremely small ones.

For emergency survival situations, you will probably want the largest animal that you can skillfully kill that will provide you the most meat.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, it contains the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades marshland region of southwestern Florida. It is visited by one million people each year, and it is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. Unlike most other U.S. national parks, Everglades National Park was created to protect a fragile ecosystem instead of safeguarding a geographic feature. Thirty-six species designated as threatened or protected live in the park, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee.

Robinson Preserve

1709 99th St. NW Bradenton, FL 34209

Robinson Preserve was a great place to take the kids.

 There are 56 acres of marshland with 2 1/2 miles of kayaking and canoeing streams.

10 acres of uplands complete with 6 nature trails and as many bridges winding around the mangroves.

 The 500 foot boardwalk makes it a great location for bird watching…

and the trails are great for hiking, biking or simply chasing around tots.

While the family went fishing…

Gabbie and I hung back to take pictures of the marsh.

Finally after becoming bored, I decided to go canoeing with the family. That was pretty fun, but Gabbie did add a challenge… Okay A LOT of a Challenge.

But it was so worth it…

How to Track

  • Badger
  • Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Deer
  • Fox
  • Hare
  • House Cat
  • Mice
  • Mountain Lion
  • Rabbit
  • Raccoon
  • Skunk
  • Snake
  • Squirrel
  • Turkey
  • Wild Dog
  • Wolverine

Fishing with Children

  • Have Patience

There is absolutely no way that you can be successful in teaching a child to fish without patience. They are going to frustrate you, aggravate you, and in all likelihood will either loose or break at least some of your tackle in the process.

  • Don’t Use Your Best Tackle

Locate some tackle that is in good working order that will not be a great loss to you if it doesn’t come back.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice

Like other skills, casting and handling a rod and reel takes practice. Maybe try practicing casting dummy lures (that means with NO HOOKS!). Adjust the casting reel to help prevent most backlashes, and then sit down with them and advise them on how to fix the backlashes that would occur. They need to be confident that they can do it themselves. Otherwise they will come running to you on every backlash.

  • Patience, Patience, Patience

Remember to be Patient!

  • Take Them to Fish Where They Might Actually Catch Fish

This may mean going to a local park or duck pond. Remember it really doesn’t matter what kind of fish they catch as long as they catch fish! The worst thing to do at this point is to take them on an all day expedition where you do all the fishing and they get banished to the front of the boat because they are “in the way”. You MUST make these fishing trips specifically for them. They need to catch, not just fish. Nothing turns a kid off faster than fishing for several hours and either not catching anything or having to stay out of the way while you catch everything!

  • Cheer and Encourage

Cheer every time they catch a fish. Encourage them when they miss a bite. Always be positive. You can’t cheer enough. They actually are looking to please you by catching a fish. They want to catch a fish to show you that they can do it.

  • Patience, Patience, Patience

Did I mention patience?

  • Catch and Release or Catch and Eat?

Try to catch at least a few fish that you can take home, clean (with the youngster’s help, of course) and then cook and eat.

For all the rest of the fish you need to explain – in their terms – why we need to keep only what we plan to eat and release all the others. Plant this seed early and they will practice conservation of the resource their whole life.

  • Clean Up

If you were fishing in your boat, let them help while you clean it. Let them know that, especially in saltwater, they need to wash their tackle after every trip. This is another seed to plant early.

  • And Lastly – Have Patience -smiles-

This is obviously the most important factor in all you do. Loosing your temper or getting angry will absolutely turn a kid off.

Fishing for Beginners

  • Complete beginner on this topic then this is great site: Learn How to Fish
  • Another great site is It was created to introduce fishing knowledge for the beginning angler and fishing enthusiasts through a series of how to fish articles, how to fish tips and fishing instructional videos.

Learn How to Fish

Fishing for Beginners

Fishing with Children

How to Clean a Fish

Campfire Fish Recipes

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Most North American snakes aren’t poisonous. Some exceptions include the rattlesnake, coral snake, water moccasin and copperhead. Their bite can be life-threatening.

Of the poisonous snakes found in North America, all but the coral snake have slit-like eyes. Their heads are triangular, with a depression, or pit, midway between the eyes and nostrils.

Other characteristics are unique to certain poisonous snakes:

  • Rattlesnakes rattle by shaking the rings at the end of their tails.
  • Water moccasins’ mouths have a white, cottony lining.
  • Coral snakes have red, yellow and black rings along the length of their bodies.

To reduce your risk of snakebite, avoid touching any snake. Instead, back away slowly. Most snakes avoid people if possible and bite only when threatened or surprised.

If a snake bites you:

  • Remain calm
  • Immobilize the bitten arm or leg and stay as quiet as possible to keep the poison from spreading through your body
  • Remove jewelry before you start to swell
  • Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart
  • Cleanse the wound, but don’t flush it with water, and cover it with a clean, dry dressing
  • Apply a splint to reduce movement of the affected area, but keep it loose enough so as not to restrict blood flow
  • Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice
  • Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom
  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol
  • Don’t try to capture the snake, but try to remember its color and shape so you can describe it, which will help in your treatment

Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention, especially if the area changes color, begins to swell or is painful.

Puncture wounds

A puncture wound doesn’t usually cause excessive bleeding. Often the wound seems to close almost instantly. But these features don’t mean treatment isn’t necessary.

A puncture wound — such as from stepping on a nail — can be dangerous because of the risk of infection. The object that caused the wound may carry spores of tetanus or other bacteria, especially if the object has been exposed to the soil. Puncture wounds resulting from human or animal bites, including those of domestic dogs and cats, may be especially prone to infection. Puncture wounds on the foot also are more vulnerable to infection.

If the bite was deep enough to draw blood and the bleeding persists, seek medical attention. Otherwise, follow these steps:

  1. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If they don’t, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If bleeding persists — if the blood spurts or continues to flow after several minutes of pressure — seek emergency assistance.
  2. Clean the wound. Rinse the wound well with clear water. Use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove small, superficial particles. If debris still remains in the wound, see your doctor. Thorough wound cleaning reduces the risk of tetanus. To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a clean cloth.
  3. Apply an antibiotic. After you clean the wound, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin to help keep the surface moist. These products don’t make the wound heal faster, but they can discourage infection and allow your body to close the wound more efficiently. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  4. Cover the wound. Exposure to air speeds healing, but bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out.
  5. Change the dressing. Do so at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty. If you’re allergic to the adhesive used in most bandages, switch to adhesive-free dressings or sterile gauze and hypoallergenic paper tape, which don’t cause allergic reactions. These supplies are generally available at pharmacies.
  6. Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor if the wound doesn’t heal or if you notice any redness, drainage, warmth or swelling.

If the puncture is deep, is in your foot, is contaminated or is the result of an animal or human bite, see your doctor. He or she will evaluate the wound, clean it and, if necessary, close it. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot within five years, your doctor may recommend a booster within 48 hours of the injury.

If an animal — especially a stray dog or a wild animal — inflicted the wound, you may have been exposed to rabies. Your doctor may give you antibiotics and suggest initiation of a rabies vaccination series. Report such incidents to county public health officials. If the bite is from someone’s pet, it’s important to contact the pet owner to confirm the animal’s rabies immunization status. If unknown, the animal should be confined for 10 days of observation by a veterinarian.

Animal bites

Follow these guidelines if an animal bites you or someone you know:

  • For minor wounds. Treat it as a minor wound if the bite barely breaks the skin and there is no danger of rabies. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and cover the bite with a clean bandage.
  • For deep wounds. If the animal bite creates a deep puncture of the skin or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding and see your doctor.
  • For infection. If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately!
  • For suspected rabies. If you suspect the bite was caused by an animal that might carry rabies — including any wild or domestic animal of unknown immunization status — see your doctor immediately!

You are recommended on getting a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your last one was more than five years ago and your wound is deep or dirty, your doctor may recommend a booster. With that being said, you should have the booster as soon as possible after the injury.

Domestic pets cause most animal bites. Dogs are more likely to bite than cats are. Cat bites, however, are more likely to cause infection. Bites from non-immunized domestic animals and wild animals carry the risk of rabies.

Rabies are more common in skunks, raccoons, bats, and foxes than in cats and dogs.

Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely carry rabies.


Misc. Animal Photos