Category Archives: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol from Central Texas

I’m finishing up the last of my midterms, and soon I’ll be off on Christmas break. It’s been such a busy semester for me that I haven’t been able to post as much as I’ve wanted to.

During my sophomore year in high school, I’ve been having a great time learning about chemistry, world history, and a lot more. I’ve also been enjoying strength training, getting stronger to battle those invasive species!

I love the Christmas season because it is so festive, and when I was younger, I created a fun video called An Invasive Carol where I get to play Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and all the ghosts too! If you haven’t had a chance to see it, I hope you’ll enjoy it. (It’s a classic! 🙂 )

I hope that you and your family have a merry Christmas!

Your friend,

Leave a comment

Filed under A Christmas Carol

Ghosts of Invasive Species Past, Present, and Future in A Christmas Carol

This Christmas Carol tale begins on Christmas Eve with Ebenezer Scrooge, a man with a stingy heart, a disdain of native plants, and a phobia of dirty feet. His former business partner, Jacob Marley warns Scrooge of visits by three spirits.

Overnight, the ghosts lead Scrooge through his innocent past, misguided present, and possible dire future overrun by invasive species. They help to transform him into a man of joy and compassion, both with the family of his impoverished clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his diverse ecosystem.

I hope you enjoy my video from last year based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption!

Merry Christmas and happy new year everyone! I look forward to more adventures with you as we learn more about invasive species, science, and dyslexia in 2013!

Your friend,

Leave a comment

Filed under A Christmas Carol, An Invasive Species Carol, Battles with Invasive Species, Bob Cratchit, Charles Dickens, Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge, Giant Reed, Invasive Plants, Invasive Species, Jacob Marley, Redtip Photinia, Texas Live Oak

Invasive Species Hunter Teams Up: Commander Ben and Science Weekly

Commander Ben battles invasive species on the cover of Science Weekly
Image credit: Science Weekly

I was so excited to get the latest issue of Science Weekly in the mail today!

This issue is extra special to me because it’s about invasive species, and it talks about my adventures as Commander Ben, the Invasive Hunter, to help kids learn more about invasive species.

Science Weekly included a special section about me, and I especially like the cartoon action figure they made of me battling different invasives, including the Zebra Mussel and Bamboo. That’s really cool!

Fun learning about science and math

Science Weekly is a great publication for K-6 students to learn more about math and science in a fun way with pictures, informative text, labs, puzzles, and games. Each grade level has a customized issue of Science Weekly with the younger grades getting more pictures and the older grades more text with in-depth information.

This issue is fantastic. You’ll get to read about invasives, practice your vocabulary, polish your math skills, conduct a fun lab, and complete a puzzle—all while learning about invasive species.

Commander Ben battling different invasive species in Science Weekly
Image credit: Science Weekly

If you’re looking for my invasive species videos that Science Weekly talks about, check out my Battles with Invasive Species playlist on YouTube, including my Invasive Species Carol—Special Christmas edition!

If you’re a teacher, you won’t want to miss getting Science Weekly for your classroom, and if you’re a parent, and you’re interested in getting issues for your own budding scientist, you can order issues online.

Thanks Science Weekly for featuring me and for helping to teach kids about invasive species. I can’t wait to see more Invasive Hunter Academy graduates!

Your friend,

P.S. If you have a fun adventure with invasive species, let me know. I would love to hear from you!


Filed under A Christmas Carol, An Invasive Species Carol, Battles with Invasive Species, Golden Bamboo, Heavenly Bamboo, Invasive Hunter, Invasive Hunter Academy, Invasive Species, K-6 math, K-6 science, Parents, Science Weekly, students, Teachers, Zebra Mussel

Commander Ben’s “An Invasive Carol” Video Featured in the iWire Invasive Species Newsletter

Wow! What a nice surprise on New Year’s Eve to receive the December 2011 issue of iWire, the monthly e-newsletter about invasive plants and pests in Texas, and to see that they featured my latest Battles with Invasive Species video, “An Invasive Carol”, as part of their newsletter.

The newsletter picture shows my Ghost of Christmas Present costume and my Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council (TIPPC) water bottle cozy that I got at the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Watch my “An Invasive Carol” video and let me know which Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future costume you like the best.

Thanks! 🙂

Commander Ben signing off…

Leave a comment

Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, A Christmas Carol, Battles with Invasive Species, Christmas, Giant Reed, iWire Texas Invasives Newsletter, Redtip Photinia, Texas Live Oak

Merry Christmas with Luminarias at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Earlier this month, I had a great time walking through the luminarias at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Luminarias are a New Mexican tradition where people put candles or lights inside a brown bag weighted with sand, and they place these bags along their driveways and walkways to help illuminate the way for the Christ child to visit their home.

I enjoyed climbing the wildflower tower and watching everyone walking among the luminarias throughout the center. It was great that many held real candles inside sturdy brown plastic bags with a protective layer of water at the bottom. It was great to enjoy hot chocolate on that chilly December night.

Here’s the Ghost of Christmas Present from my Christmas video, “An Invasive Carol”, wishing you, your family, and your native plants a Merry Christmas!

Commander Ben signing off…

Leave a comment

Filed under A Christmas Carol, Christmas, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center