Sunday 30 April 2023

Brain Plasticity and Care Offspring – Part 1 - Brain Plasticity 4

Stress is one of important experiences for parents to have a baby. But, parenting provides other opportunities such as learning and enrichment.

Image 1- Maternal and brain plasticity 
(credit to Semanticscholar).

These experiences would change the parent’s brain significantly. Hormonal changes have impacted on the brain region that relates to mood and cognitive adjustment or adaptation.

During pregnancy, parturition and lactation, then followed by mother and infant contact will influence female hormones.

During these important periods, hormones were regulated by decreasing estrogen, but increasing prolactin and oxytocin. The expression of parenting was indicated by present of prolactin and oxytocin in substantial amount.

Image 2- Crowd of people on the street

Prolactin and oxytocin hormones collaborate to maintain feeling and milk production during care offspring.

In specific, hormone of prolactin is to elevate lactation activity. The lactation is processing to produce milk, where milk is pivotal for a baby to develop immune system.

Image 3- Colorful flowers, illustration

# To be continued to Part 2

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Friday 28 April 2023

The Mulberry Fruit at Neighborhood – Food 41

The ripen Mulberry’s fruit is almost the same color with Blackberry, but they are different in shape in which Mulberry is longer than Blackberry.

Image 1- Fruits of Mulberry tree

We have Blackberry plants as a bush which climbs our fences. We don’t have Mulberry tree.

We know one of our neighbors has a Mulberry tree. The tree has scientific name, Morus sp.

When the tree produces fruit, joggers and passerby’s to sneak a snack. The owner is quite welcome to everyone to tasted the fruit.

Sure, I tried one. I think the fruit sweetness is fairly, and quite similar dried figs. The dark Mulberry almost similar taste in some degree to blackberry.

Image 2- The powder of Mulberry fruit, sold in Walmart

We tried to find fresh Mulberry fruit in many grocery stores, but no ones sell the fresh Mulberry. Walmart just sell powder and jam.

Image 3- The Painting by Hai Anh Ton, illustration

After searching through internet, we find one of the reasons as reported by Janet Nguyen (2022: Why aren’t mulberries sold at grocery stores?) that “the fruit is difficult to harvest and has a refrigerated shelf life of two to four days.”

Image 4- The Mulberry tree belongs to a neighbor

Have you tried Mulberry fruit? What do you think?

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Thursday 27 April 2023

A Blue Parakeet in the Park – Nature 67

We have talked about Green parakeet, also well known as the Monk parrot at previous post.

Image 1- A Blue Parakeet on twigs.

You may read the previous post of Green Parakeet:

Blue Parakeet also known as Blue Budgerigars has scientific name Melopsittacus undulatus, native to Australia.

This little critter was seen in our neighborhood park recently. As reported by Kai Kupperschmidst in Science (2017: How this Popular Pet Store Bird Got its Sky-blue Hue) that this blue color parakeet is very rare in nature.

Image 2- Illustration only

Hence, this lonely Blue Parakeet is highly possibility not wild one, but belong to someone as a pet. Who know that the bird escaped from its “convenient” cage, then lost the way or doesn’t know to return home.

The bird looks pretty with striped white and blue with vibrant black spots and stripes.

Image 3- A lonely Blue Parakeet in the wild

Have you seen this kind of bird as a wild bird or pet?

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Tuesday 25 April 2023

The mother duck and her Ducklings Out – Nature 66

This post is talking about the mother duck brings her duckling out of the nest after hatching.

Image 1- Ducklings, just hatching

You may follow the process of incubation from eggs to hatching at previous postings:

After hatching, babies are so sweet and precious. Colors of their body are yellow and combined with brownish. Positive and fun to watch.

Image 2- Mom and chicks

Ducklings need several hours or a while to start their first steps, and moving in their nest.

Then it will takes about 10 weeks for babies to be able to regulate their body temperatures, hence, babies will stay with their mom within this period.

Image 3- Mom and her ducklings out

By next posting, we will talk about “The Mother Duck Brings her Duckling to Swim.”

# Previous Postings:

Sunday 23 April 2023

Market Corners of the Little Town in America

Like other countries, there are many town less than 10,000 population in the USA. We just visit Denham Spring, a city with 9,300 people.

Image 1- People waiting their order from a food truck

Compared to big cities in America, roads “so narrow” with two cars wide only. In the downtown, we observed crowd everywhere in the Saturday, may be the special day for communities.

Denham Spring, Louisiana state, was developed in 1898, nowadays, we find different kinds of shops, some of them are:

- boutiques
- antique shops
- restaurant and cafes.

Image 2- Some shoppers

We have difficulty to find a parking lot. After a while, we decide to park in front of a building.

Image 3 – A narrow street

We and other “strangers” didn’t know what the building is. We just park our cars, hope, nothing happen.

Image 4- A vendor and food truck at the end of a street

Then, we were moving around the downtown “market.” We saw some vendors at the corner of shops or streets.

Image 5- A little shop

People look very enthusiasm to order whatever sold by vendors. They sell items include burger, ice cream, juice and many others.

Image 6- People walking in the narrow street

# Previous postings:

Friday 21 April 2023

Do you Know Some People Eat Alligator Meat? - Part 2 – Food 40

You may read the previous post (Part 1):

- The Rainbow Before Evening : Do you Know Some People Eat Alligator Meat? - Part 1 – Food 40

Image 1- The Alligator at neighborhood

Several other states have alligators as well, the number from several thousands to higher as millions, the states are:

- Florida
- Georgia
- Alabama
- Mississippi
- South Carolina and North Carolina
- Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas

Image 2- Just for illustration

You may notice that alligators mainly spreading in the warmer, southern states of the USA

When I asked friends of mind from Louisiana, they said that there are alligator burgers and cooked alligator sold in the certain seafood markets as well.

Image 3- Bags, Just for illustration

I tried to “googling” to find out Louisiana’s recipe for alligator meat. Unexpectedly that I found many recipes and dishes that relate to alligator meat.

It is mean Louisiana people enjoy with alligator meat.

Image 4- Sign of the Alligator meat at Tony’s Seafood

# To be continued to Part 3

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Wednesday 19 April 2023

The Hatching of Duck Eggs in the Pot – Nature 65

We have talked about duck’s eggs, the species of duck which own the eggs and incubation of eggs at previous postings.

Image 1- Ducklings, just hatching

You may read the previous postings:

Yes, after 31 days incubation, eggs are hatched. The hatching eggs were not all together or not in the same time.

The first hatching at day 31st, then followed by other eggs. The last hatching egg at day 34th.

Image 2- Mother and her babies

Since the each egg didn’t hatching at the same time, thus, the lessons we might learn:

- never mess the eggs.
- never intervene with hatching process.
- let’s nature work alone.

Image 3- Mother duck, just take a rest for a while.

I will tell you what happen with babies duck by next posting. Just wait and see.

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Monday 17 April 2023

The Blooming of Chinese Lantern Plants – Nature 64

We never seen before, the Chinese lantern like flower. We just see this unique and pretty flower in our neighborhood recently.

Image 1- Flower of Chinese Lantern

In addition to Chinese Lantern, other common names are Flowering maple, Velvet leaf, Indian mallow, Room maple and Parlor maple.

Based on the Google ID result, the species refers to scientific name of Abutilon pictum which mature could reach 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) tall.

Many believed this plant is native to South American countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

However, genus of Abutilon contains around 200 species which are spreading to regions of Asia, Australia and Africa.

Image 2- A painting from a high school student, illustration

We have observed that the ornamental flowers of Chinese Lantern could attract many kinds of pollinators, include hummingbirds and butterfly during blooming in Spring and Fall seasons.

Image 3- The flower looks pretty

Have you this kind of flower in the garden?

# Previous postings:

The Squirrel with two-toned fur - Nature 132

We have two previous postings about squirrels:  a little squirrel in her nest and four weeks old baby squirrel.  Image 01 - A squirrel with ...