Thursday 2 March 2023

Owls Population at our Neighborhood – Nature 53

About 5 to 10 years ago, we normally heard owls sound in great numbers after midnight. It seems that owls population was “quite a lot” in that time.

Image 1- The owl observes small critters.

Based on Google ID, the image of owl (Image 1) is identified as a Barred Owl with scientific name is Strix varia.

Even though the owls population is decreasing in our neighborhood recently, the barred owl is very common raptor in our city, Baton Rouge as of reported by LSU media (2021: LSU Researchers Study Baton Rouge Barred Owls).

They may live or be found in the nearby forest, city parks, big trees and even on the electric poles around our city.

Image 2- Pine trees, just illustration

In the nature, the owls may eat snakes, rabbits and creatures which are living in water such as craw-fish.

We know at our neighborhood that the owls consume rats, squirrels, mice and even pets like smaller dogs and cats.

Image 3- Owls sitting on the electric pole

Do you see owls at your neighborhood? How abundance?

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Tuesday 28 February 2023

Have you Tasted Broad Beans? - Food 39

I knew broad beans in the 4 forms that are baked, roasted, fried and dried. When I visit an ethnic grocery, I saw fresh broad beans, look like a long bean with green color.

Image 1- Dried broad beans

Americans call broad beans with other names, some of them are English bean, Faba bean, Windsor bean, Tick bean, field bean, Horse bean, Pigeon bean, Fava bean and Bell bean.

People eat broad beans with some reasons:

- source of nutrients
- weight loss
- improve immune system
- a lot of health benefits

Image 2- A single broad bean

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Image 3- Fried broad beans

As suggested by Rumwell (2021: Brilliant benefits of broad beans) that broad beans rich in vitamins and minerals.

Some important vitamins include vitamin C and B. Moreover, few examples of minerals in the broad bean are copper, zinc, iron and magnesium.

Fig 04- Fresh broad beans, sold in the grocery

Have you tasted broad beans? If so, do you like its?

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Sunday 26 February 2023

Social Status Affects on Physiology and Behaviors – Part 1 – Brain Plasticity 3

For human being, it is well known that social status will lead to success in mating, interestingly so does in animal’s world.

Image 1- Dominant male in animals (credit to pnas,org)

Higher social status or called as social dominant of animals be able to control their fertility or their reproduction.

On contrary, lower social status ones have no interest to control territory, thus less mature in respect to the sexual activity.

In fish, social status regulated reproduction of male cichlids, those who are in higher rank position will success in mating.

However, the status could be replaced either by forces (coup de tat or dethroned) or by peace (absent due to naturally died).

Image 2- Slices of pumpkin, illustration only

Physiologically, a part of brain that control neuron will ask to release reproductive hormone called Gonadotropin.

As you know Gonadotropin is a hormone or several hormones to invigorating sex glands in order to perform reproduction.

Image 3- Painted by Ruth Stuart, a local artist

# To be continued to Part 2

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Friday 24 February 2023

Blooming of Amaryllis at Neighborhood – Nature 52

Temperature is quite good in our areas in recent days. We saw blooming of several flowers, one of them is Amaryllis. This could be mean that Spring is coming.

Image 1- Amaryllis at the corner of Neighborhood

Amaryllis is a scientific name for a genus with two well known different species in the world:

- Amaryllis belladonna
- and Amaryllis paradisicola.

Amaryllis belladonna is believed from South Africa, while Amaryllis paradisicola is Mediterranian origin.

Both species are growing very well during Spring seasons in our city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Image 2- In front of a neighbor house

As you may know that Amaryllis is a perennial plant, the flowers are back to re-blooming every Spring times.

The re- blooming could be for years and years, because the plant life span is estimated to reach 75 years.

What make us love to the plants are due to their unique flower colors and foliage forms. They look so beautiful, and one of perfect flowers for outdoor or yards.

Image 3- Amaryllis flowers in the pot

Have you seen this plant in your areas?

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Wednesday 22 February 2023

Bonsai Show in Our City – Part 1 - Nature 51

Bonsai society has regular shows in our city, Baton Rouge in a year. Members and whoever interest are encouraged to come and participate in the show.

Image 1- A sign of bonsai show

When we visited one of the show, no more than 100 trees are displayed, and the visitors are less than 2 dozen. However, we think that quite reasonable numbers for a small room.

About 15 people were gathering. I guessed they both a member of society and just a common people like us.

I knew from society and other several sources about favorite trees as bonsais trees in our areas.

Image 2- A bonsai of Bougain villae tree

The names of top bonsai trees in our state, Louisiana are following:

- Bald cypress
- Trident maple
- Japanese Lace Leaf Red Maple
- Chinese Elm
- Brazilian Rain Tree

Image 3- Two most beautiful bonsai

Several beautiful bonsai trees are displayed in entrance and center room of show.

# To be continued to Part 2

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Monday 20 February 2023

Joker, PBA, and Alzheimer's Disease – Part 2 - Alzheimer's 12

You may read previous post (Part 1):

- The Rainbow Before Evening : Joker, PBA, and Alzheimer's Disease – Part 1 - Alzheimer's 12

Image 1- Uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing 
(credit to Closer Magazine)

Absolutely, Joker is associated to laugh. Out of control, improper and strange laughing.

It was a nice talk with Connie about the character in the movie. The laugh of Joker, uncontrollable laugh, is a sign of his mental disorder, actually.

Wondering about his uncontrollable laugh, we just googled it. We found that suddenly and involuntary outburst of laughing and /or crying in an exaggerated manner or inappropriately is one of signs of Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA).

Image 2- Garden entrance, illustration

The episodes of PBA can last for several minutes and often occur many times in a day.

Image 3- A cat, just for illustration

Uncontrollable laughing and/or crying often occur with unrelated to mood state or social context, so this episodes can be troublesome in everyday life.

# To be continued to Part 3

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Saturday 18 February 2023

The Crazy Chicken Pollo Loco at Neighborhood – Food 38

As you know that Pollo Loco is a Spanish word for crazy chicken in English. We have the franchise restaurant called as “El Pollo Loco.”

Image 1- Food truck of Crazy chicken.

The “El Pollo Loco” has headquarter in California with about 500 branches all over the USA.

A food truck called as “My PolloLoco” always visit our neighborhood from afternoon (around 5 PM) until night (before 10 PM).

We believe that “My PolloLoco” is not part of “El Pollo Loco” franchises. It is a local owner, a kind of small business to sell Mexican foods with Louisiana or American flavors.

Sure, the price is quite reasonable.

Image 2- Grilled chicken, one of menus

Food trucks like restaurants must pass inspections from relevant agencies for their cleanliness, food qualities and even locations or hours of business.

We have been eating from variety of local food trucks for over 15 years; never had cleanliness and food quality issues.

In addition to grilled chicken, I love several menus such as Taco, Quesadilla and many other Mexican cuisines.

Image 3- Quesadilla, other menus.

Have you this kind of food truck in your areas?

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The Minorca Rooster and Leghorn Hens - Nature 125

We talked about chicken at previous posts, the topics include "Chickens Enjoying Freedom Outside" and "The Free Ranging Chick...