Thursday 26 October 2023

An Otter from a River - Nature 102

We find an otter crossing the street in our neighborhood sometimes. There are several reasons this river otter did it.  

Image 1- An otter starts to cross street.

We think the otter crossing a road to find water or other rivers which may provide foods, and even shelters or mates.

Otters have a lot of predators, some of them might be surprising that are wolves, bears and coyotes. So, otters might try to escape from their predators by crossing the streets. 

Other reason is just curiosity, otters might to explore their environment by crossing the roads who knows they will find new opportunities. Unfortunately, they are not aware the danger of traffic.

Image 2- The Otter crossing in action.

In our areas, river otters consume fish (perch, sunfish, catfish and carp), frog, turtle, mussels and crayfish.

Image 3- The otter approaching a drain.

Actually, this animal will consume whatever foods which are available surrounding it, called as the opportunistic feeder.

Image 4- The otter reaches a drain's gate.

Have you seen this animal around your areas?

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Monday 23 October 2023

Mushrooms Found in the Yard - Nature 101

 Actually, we found several kinds of mushroom or fungi in our yards, both poisonous and edible ones.

Image 1- Mushroom in our backyard.

5 most common mushrooms that be found in the yard of our state, Louisiana are:
Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)
Shaggy mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus)
Puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)
- Enoki mushroom (Flammulina velutipes)
- Portobello mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)

of above 5 mushrooms, only Shaggy mane mushroom (Coprinus comatusis poisonous.

Image 2 - Baxkside of mushroom

The mushroom has a toxin called coprine, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Be careful, we can't destroy this toxin by cooking.

Image 3 - Rotten mushroom in the yard

Based on GoogleID, the image 1 was identified as puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea), and the image 2 was a parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota procera). Both are common mushrooms, can be found in many different places.

Image 4 - Several varieties of corns, illustration

Have you recognized mushrooms in your yards or gardens?

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Saturday 21 October 2023

The Red Shoulder Hawk at Neighborhood – Part 2 - Nature 71

Image 1- The same red shoulder hawk

Based on GoogleID, it was red shoulder hawk, a medium size hawk and found in the woodland area.

Sadly the frequency of these majestic birds of prey soaring above us on thermals high in the sky is not the almost daily occurrence that we used to see long time ago, about 30 years ago.

We so loved observing the magnificent creatures that live wild in our surrounding habitat. Red tailed hawks, white egrets, blue herons and numerous songbirds and other birds filled our skies and trees with life and song.

Image 2- Painting by local artist, illustration

It’s so rare these days to observe wild birds in their natural habitats. Very sad fact.

Image 3- Another Red Shoulder hawk

Have you seen red shoulder hawk in your areas?

Thursday 19 October 2023

Plumeria Blooming in the Fall - Nature 100

Our state, Louisiana is known for it heat and humidity, hence as tropical flowers, Plumeria will bloom in the Summer.

Image 1 - Blooming of Plumeria

This beautiful and versatile flower with another common name, frangipani, is native to "tropical" or warm climate areas such as the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Central America.

Now, we may observe the Plumeria in many areas of the world, including some states of the USA.

In addition, to popular ornamental flower, in many developing countries, this flower is used for traditional medicine, especially to promote relaxation and help to bring down stress.

Image 2 - A single Plumeria flower

Some people use this flower leaves for tea. People love the tea, because of its floral flavor and delicate.

Image 3 - Leaves of Plumeria plant.

The fragrant of flowers is also used for aromatherapy. As we know that aromatherapy is "a holistic healing treatment to promote health."

Image 4- Two flowers of Plumeria.

The flower has plenty colors, some of them are purple, yellow, white, pink and red.

Image 5- Yellow flower of Plumeria

Have you seen this flower?

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Monday 16 October 2023

Is a Chinese Pheasant more Wild than a Pet - Nature 99

 We posted a pheasant previously when we saw it at our neighborhood:
The Rainbow Before Evening : A Pheasant in Neighborhood – Nature 45

Image 1- A colorful pheasant, we meet recently

We just observed a quite pretty pheasant, and we doubt whether this colorful pheasant is a Chinese pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) or a Common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).

After using GoogleID, it is identified as a Chinese pheasant, since its body is colorful with golden yellow crest.

Several sources said that this pheasant is one of popular exotic pets, because it a social bird, and easy to care for. It is suggested to have the birds in groups or some pairs with spacy yards or large enclosure.

Image 2- The Chinese pheasant

The pheasant is omnivore, it consumes variety of foods include insects, small animals and insects.

Image 3- The bird run away when we approach.

Have you seen this pretty Chinese pheasant?

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Friday 13 October 2023

The Wandering Tortoise at the Corner of City - Nature 98

We saw a tortoise at the corner of our city recently, we believe it was a pet, belongs to someone nearby, and escaped from owner.

Image 1- A tortoise on the run

Based on GoogleID, the tortoise refers to African sulcata or sulcata tortoise with scientific name Centrochelys sulcata.

This tortoise is quite big, we think about 15 inches (38 cm) in length, and about 80 pound (36 kg) in weight.

By searching through Google, adult tortoise may reach 3 feet (91 cm), and up to 150 pounds (68 kg).The shell looks brown to yellow (yellowish brown) in color, and pretty thick.

The question then how this tortoise comes from Sahara Desert, Africa to America?

Image 2 - The African sulcata tortoise crossing the street.

The best answer, we think that the tortoise might be purchased from pet shops or breeders by someone.

Then the owners can't or unwilling to take the tortoise anymore or the tortoise just simply escape.

Image 3- Size of tortoise and feet of a kid

What do you think?

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Saturday 7 October 2023

The Cypress Vine is one of Popular Flowers for Hummingbirds - Nature 97

 The Cypress Vine is one of the popular plants in our area during Spring and Summer seasons. The little birds love this plant with several reasons.

Image 1- Two flowers of Cypress Vine

Two most reasons why hummingbirds love Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) flowers are:
1) The Cypress vine flowers contain very rich nectar as main food source for hummingbirds.

2) The plant has flowers with bright colors, include yellow, red, pink and white. These colors attractive to hummingbirds. 

For many people, cypress vine plants are easy to grow and take care, and to be popular choice to attract hummingbirds.

Image 2- Hummingbirds on the feeder, illustration

People grow Cypress vine plants both in the containers and in the ground. They may enjoy beautiful flowers display in the containers.

Image 3- Red flowers of Cypress vine.

Do you familiar with Cypress vine plants?

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A Little Fig Tree in the Yard - Nature 110

 Many people love fig fruit, but some avoids consuming it because of sweetness or high calorie contents, especially for diabetes patients. I...