Ins and Outs of Buying Garlic

Garlic, Flavoring, Food Seasoning

Buying Garlic

O Buy firm, dry bulbs with papery skin.

o Avoid wet, soft bulbs.

O Avoid bulbs with green shoots coming out.

Storing Garlic

O Store in a cool dry location.

O Keep away from foods which may pick up the strong flavor.

Peeling Guide

O Peel away the outer papery skin with your fingers before separating the cloves from the bulb.

o Use the flat side of a butcher knife to remove the skin from the individual cloves. Press firmly with the flat side of a butcher knife on a clove to loosen skin.

Slicing and Dicing

O Diced garlic is in easily accomplished after the skin is peeled away from the individual cloves. Simply lay the peeled clove on a cutting surface and using a rocking motion with a sharp chef’s knife cut on the clove into bits. Then turn the clove and cut it into smaller pieces.

o Minced garlic is best accomplished using a garlic press. When using a garlic press do not peel the skin from the garlic. Place several garlic cloves in the press and press squeezing the minced garlic out the other side of the media.

o Sliced garlic is thin slices of garlic. A garlic mandoline is the simplest way to make garlic slices. Place the peeled garlic cloves in the mandoline holder and push from the top to the bottom.

Programs for Diced, Minced and Sliced Garlic

O Diced: this variant is heartier than the other two. It is best used in soups, stews and in sautés.

O Minced: this variant is much more delicate than diced and burns easily. It’s best used in mild sauces, vinaigrettes and salad dressings.

O Sliced: this variant is light and delicate and gives a terrific flavor. It’s best used in sauces and with meat.

Try Creating Patio Furniture!

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You could be an avid do-it-yourself fan or perhaps it is something that you will try for the first time. There might be many reasons why you would like to create your own furniture which may be price or you get a unique idea.

You will have to decide what type of patio furniture you desire. To put it differently, is it made from wood or metal? For wood, you won’t need too much skill, as hopefully you would have had any experience with woodwork in college or with your dad when you’re young. For metal, you might require a bit of ability as the tools you will need are specialised.

If you opt for a metal framed patio set, then you will need to source the same type of metal. This will assist you with the structure and the soldering procedure. With metal you’ll have to solder the pieces together so that it can be sturdy. To begin the process you’ll have to measure the parts and cut them to size. Be certain that you measure twice to avoid any mishaps with the period of the parts. Place all the parts in the order you will join them. Once you are sure of every part’s positioning then begin with soldering it together. Once the pieces are together and you’ve got all your patio chairs, you can paint it the color you desire. The metal patio set will prove to be cold and hard to sit on.

The wood option is usually more popular because it doesn’t rust and it is a less expensive alternative to the metal. In most cases, people find unused pallets and use it to produce their own furniture masterpieces. With pallet wood you do not have to start from scratch. You could simply take 1 pallet as it is, add four small legs on each corner, sand it and paint it to create an outdoor coffee table. You might want to add a glass top for a smooth surface. For the seats you will need to take the pallet apart in order to piece the wood together to make it more sturdy. You will require a saw, hammer, nails and glue to achieve this. Again, make sure that you gauge the length of the wood so that your patio seats are all the exact same size and are symmetrical. If you’re delighted with the measurements, then glue and nail the wood pieces together. You can paint the wood or varnish it for a natural look. Gauge the seating and back area. Send those measurements along with your choice of material to the furniture maker who will make it for you. That part you do not have to create yourself, because sewing the cushions may be somewhat tricky if you have not done it before.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Coffee Brewing

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Mmm, there is nothing like freshly brewed coffee in the morning. For some people, coffee is the number one must have, and if you’re one of those lucky people who can’t stop enjoying coffee in the morning then you’ll be pleased to know there are different ways to brew coffee.

There are so many takes on how to brew coffee – from decorative foam to French presses. In this guide we present our top ten tips and tricks for brewing coffee.

1. Decorating your lattes

With some practice it’s possible for anybody at home to decorate their coffee in a way they probably thought only baristas could pull off. Baristas make it look simple, and if you do it then you can also become great and positive results – particularly because you are not a barista who is being rushed to perform four jobs at the same time.

The trick is to work together with the milk and make it frothy without any large bubbles and then pour it into the coffee cup at an angle.

2. Buy new whole bean coffee

Don’t purchase the pre-ground coffee. Most coffee companies don’t bother with dates for when the beans were packaged – it is likely that the beans were left there for weeks after picking. Fresh coffee goes off fairly quickly. To find fresh beans, it is best to test coffee shops, and some coffee shops will roast them , and that means fresher coffee for a great brew.

Pre-roasted coffee beans also signify the beans are discharging carbon dioxide, meaning that the escaping gases eliminate more flavor from the coffee than freshly grounded and roasted beans.

3.

The quality of your water matters when it gets into the time for you to brew coffee. Hard water, which is filled with extra minerals, won’t bond as well to the coffee that’s brewing, which contributes to a weak coffee rather than what you were hoping for. Worse, using this high content mineral water could result in limescale build up in your coffee maker. If you use this type of water then you will need to descale your coffee machine frequently, something you do not want.

Heavily filtered water can also cause other problems when you brew coffee, but lightly filtered water will be perfect. Additionally, the best temperature for water for brewing coffee is 88 to 94 degrees centigrade.

4. How to cold-brew for another flavor to your coffee

Cold brewing your coffee is a fantastic alternative if you love iced-coffee and wish to avoid buying pricey iced-coffee.

There are many ways to brew coffee that may be iced, but there are also machines that make this possible. A benefit is that this method removes the acids that java produces.

As an alternative, you may use a special jar, called a mason jar. It’s really simple – you simply take your ground coffee, pour it in the jar, and then pour in cold water prior to placing the water into your refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. When it’s ready, just strain out the grounds and serve with ice. Give it a try!

5. Quantify your coffee out

When you start to brew coffee, determine which ratio of the coffee you measure out is the strongest, and which one is the weakest so then you get a terrific coffee experience without weakening it or making it too strong for your tastes.

The most common ratio is 1 liter of water to 60 grams of ground coffee, and the easiest way to find this is to simply measure the coffee out on a pair of scales, but it’s also possible to quantify it out by just measuring out 60 g using a spoon.

6. Pre-infusion, or the blossom

Always make certain that you eliminate the carbon dioxide out of the coffee grounds or your brew will be feeble. If you’ve got a coffee machine, make sure it’s got a setting that covers this, and be sure it’s always on.

Coffee blooms are common in coffee shops. It’s created by the roasting procedure, and the center causes carbon dioxide to be captured by the bean and trapped. When the roasting is finished the gases are discharged slowly. This is called”degassing.”

7. Brewing and diluting for weaker coffee

If you want to brew coffee, that is great, do not brew it for too long, simply increase how much ground coffee you’ve already. If, however, you prefer it weaker, then just don’t brew it for a shorter time but rather brew it correctly and then you dilute it to drink afterwards.

8. Tips for using filter paper

If you prefer to use filter paper to brew the coffee grounds then gently pour hot water over the filter paper so that it is wet before use. This will remove the probability of getting that papery/cardboard like taste in your mouth that you’d likely get if you just pour the water over the coffee grounds in the event the paper is dry before you start. If you pre-wet the paper, then you will wash it and get rid of that papery taste, which means that you’ll still have a great tasting cup of coffee.

When you are brewing a cup of coffee with this method, pour the hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular motion so the water from the coffee gradually appears in the kettle. This is called the bloom. Keep pouring more water gradually over the grounds, allow it to take its time to seep, then wait for the java to collect at the bottom of the pot.

9.

If you prefer your coffee to have different tastes, for instance a little cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla or almond extracts, then pour some of those extracts into the milk or cream. Sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg over the coffee, or you could even sprinkle some other ground spices such as cardamom for a coffee which is more spiced and different than the kind you know.

10. Maple syrup drizzle

Another option for flavored and sweetened coffee would be to swap sugar with maple syrup.

Whats good about skunks?

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Is not it odd that while many men and women find skunks to be a nuisance and would like to get rid of them, they continue to be a cute little skunk to others? Many children would jump at the chance to have their very own pet skunk. Despite their odor, you may hear kids crying”Oh, can I keep it?” And believe you me, they would do just about anything to have one as a pet. While skunks may be rather cute, they’re still wild animals and I wouldn’t recommend that they are kept as pets. If your kid loves skunks, you may wish to stay with a tamer plush pet.

Many people would find it ridiculous, but these animals have a whole lot of advantages that you might like to think about. So next time you are wondering of how in the world you can rid your lawn of the white striped animal, try thinking of how you may reap the benefits from their existence.

These mammals can help keep down the number of rodents like; rodents, shrews, and moles around your property. Other animals they eat include frogs, snakes, and lizards.

The most commonly found skunk in america is about the size of a house cat. It has long black fur with 1 or two white stripes running down its back and tail. If you reside in New Mexico, Texas or Arizona you will see the hog nosed or hooded skunk.

Skunks are active after dark, so you might not find any during the day even in places where they’re populated. They like to hide in safe places like in timber piles, dens and burrows.They usually mate in January, with the feminine becoming rather aggressive and spraying that smelly liquid as a defense mechanism to chase away the males. The mother skunk will then have up to 10 offspring in May or June. The new babies will stay hidden in the den for approximately two months and then they will begin after their mother out to hunt for food.

The problems between man and the animal come in if these animals start coming to individual interests.This conflict really goes to new heights when the creature takes shelter inside houses spraying the home owners. Occasionally pets are sprayed with the smelly liquid during a confrontation. Sometimes the pet gets bitten. These animals can also be destructive to gardens and lawns through digging. They tend to uproot plants as they look for food and grub together with other insects. They’re also known to eat the eggs of ground laying birds, this includes chicken eggs.

In California, they are rated the greatest carriers of rabies, ticks and fleas. Rabies can be deadly to mammals including humans. So in the event that you have discovered a family of skunks around your house, you need to understand how to protect yourself and your pets.

If you do not want skunks around afterward, discourage skunks from even considering to take up home around your area.To make your yard less desirable to skunks, ensure that you keep all pet food and garbage locked up then remove any hiding places. Since what attracts these animals in residential areas is food, water and hiding areas, reducing or removing these items can dissuade them from coming in or taking up residence.

The best way to protect or prepare for coming in contact with any wild animal is to educate yourself about that particular species.

Playing Competitive Volleyball

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For seasoned athletes, regardless of age and a constant clock, the imperative is to stay the program. There needn’t be an expiration date stamped on the psyche, either self-imposed or by general affirmation. Put another way, if a person enjoys a healthy mind and body, if joints still flex with comparative ease and relaxation, it’s possible to play until Medicare kicks in, and for many, well beyond that venerable age. For its many devotees, it truly is a game for the ages! The game of the high internet, a remarkably fine, vigorous and aggressive sport, when played well, when played with the rules. The uninitiated need only watch college volleyball or professional shore or Olympic volleyball.

To illustrate and to mention an exemplary case in point, Steve and Gigi have played for ages, since 1974 to be accurate. The great game continues to consume their disposable leisure time. For them, it is a type of obsession, and one that has continued unabated for more than 40 years. Now at age 72, Steve, and 68, Gigi, they’re still in its grip.

Obsession is an apt description. In a way, it all started at the bell, a telephone bell, and like a current between extremes, it seems always to race between foreboding and hopeful anticipation. Spurred by that opening bell, they soon became prizefighters fired with enthusiasm, roped in, initially by the thought, but in the long term, consumed by the game itself, obsessed.

The ringing phone was loud and insistent. Steve refused to proceed. Glaring with annoyance in her eyes, Gigi put down a book and walked quickly, almost ran to subdue the obnoxious thing.

she asked with extravagant sarcasm.

Steve paid no attention initially, irritated by the instrument’s persistence, its power to interrupt.

What? Yeah, we’re both fine, just hanging out. That is good.”

Steve’s attention moved slowly, as did his gaze, to a dialogue that was one-sided and cryptic. Her eyes widened. She turned. She paced.

Gigi asked to the instrument, a question wrapped in incredulity, yet with an increasing level of excitement. Enthusiasm seemed to boost the current running through the wire.

“What,” he said. Who’s that?” The question fell flat as if inaudible, insignificant.

Steve? No. I don’t think so. Perhaps at picnics, or at the backyard with family.”

he asked. Another feckless question, no response expected or given.

“That sounds just great,” Gigi said with growing excitement. “Where? And it begins in January? That is next month! Yeah, yeah… exercise, something we can do as couples with friends. Alright, we’ll talk on Monday and you can let us know the schedule and time.” She hung up the phone.

“Was that John O’Connor?” Steve asked. “What were you referring to?

“I just love the idea,” Gigi responded. You and I, the O’Connors and the Keegan’s will play volleyball in a co-ed league. The six people. We begin next month. We are going to play in a north side school. It is near Sherman on Green Tree Road.”

“Wait a moment,” Steve began. “We have never played. We don’t know the game. Can they have strict rules? Are the other teams in the league seasoned, talented?

“Ach… do not worry,” said Gigi. “I played in school, and we’ll learn. We are going to get better. It’ll be great fun. We will have exercise, time with friends. It is going to be terrific. I’m really looking forward to this. Aren’t you?”

“Volleyball,” he said, a strong note of apprehension in his tone. And that was the sum total of any objection or argument he might have offered in opposition. But, within the privacy of his thoughts, there was this:”I’m married for, what, four or so months. I’m just getting used to things. Now I am in a volleyball league. How long does this last. My god, life’s a runaway freight train; it moves along way too fast!”

Despite an inauspicious beginning, reluctance on the part of at least one participant, their volleyball-playing career, one which would last for 40 years and beyond, began in 1974.

Six novices appeared on a wood-plank floor at the gymnasium of a north side Milwaukee school, some nervous, some serene and positive. They knew that much. The opposition won the first service. The ball was a meteor, something shot from a cannon. Among the six made contact with the ball, palms up, lifting the volleyball a few feet . It dropped to the floor, between front and rear rows of players. Even the ball seemed embarrassed.

A shrill whistle wrenched their collective focus from the shock of the function and its feckless receipt to the referee’s ladder of authority. “Illegal hit,” the referee shouted.

I mean, a number of us played a little in high school, but that was a while ago.” The reply came from Gigi.

“Well,” the referee began, with a nod of apology to the opposing team, now standing and staring at the neophytes, arms akimbo, a look of supreme annoyance on their collective expression. “The first thing you need to know about league volleyball, as well as the principles that apply, is you get a service with your arms outstretched like this, hands clasped together in some manner.” She demonstrated the”passing” technique, tossing a volleyball to each in turn so that they could learn the proper arms and arms configuration. “And when you put the ball into your hitter, you might not catch and throw the ball, but instead… well, let me show you.” She demonstrated the “setting” technique.

Not one of them recalls that first outing with any sense of pleasure or satisfaction, as they were destroyed, unremittingly. They expressed thanks to that kind and individual referee, then to the opposing team members, as they slunk away from the court that first, fateful evening of league volleyball. They may not have scored one point, unless their opponents made a mistake. Even that chance is lost — likely by design — to the element of memory that protects one’s fragile mind.

Steve met brothers Mike and Jimmy Keegan at a day camp long ago. The four of them — two sets of brothers — were all close in age, and a lasting friendship between and among them began almost instantly. Little did they know, then, how volleyball would bond their friendship even more closely.

At 8:00 PM or so the following day, Thursday, the telephone announced its summons, inserting as always to Steve’s ears a tone of urgency, possibly fomenting unpleasantness. As usual, he remained unmoved. Gigi hurried toward the repulsive instrument.

Gigi’s perceptible half of the conversation was as usual provocative, causing Steve to lay aside a novel. She began,”Hi Mike. They are? You’re kidding. I didn’t know that. Wow, that’s terrific. And they’re willing to work with us? When? Saturday! Where?”

“Huh?” Steve asked. A rare reaction, not known for laconic discourse.

Returning to the living room, the echoing “Huh” and Steve, Gigi said, “Jimmy and Carol are excellent volleyball players. They’ve been playing league volleyball for years. That is what Mike called to tell us.”

“Yeah,” Steve responded.

“They’re willing to coach us, teach us how to play, how to bump and place. Drills. We are meeting them (a west side Middle School) on Saturday at 11:00 in the morning. The six people… and Jimmy and Carol of course. This is just great!”

“I’m calling Joan,” said Gigi, as she walked away from his unheeded start of a protest, a questioning of any Saturday plans they might have made, duties. Steve’s mouth stayed open, silent and ineffectual, his hands raised, index finger pointing upward, a mime hailing a taxi.

Saturday arrived. Steve and Gigi, having donned shorts and sweat pants, T-shirts and sneakers, motored off to the school, named for a famous poet. There were eight assembled on the floor of the”borrowed” gymnasium. They greeted one another. The women chatted. The men were eager to start”the lesson,” more so the physical exercise portion of”volleyball camp 101.”

Jimmy seized everyone’s attention without preamble. In a commanding voice he began,”First let me show you the ideal way to bump-pass a volleyball. You can practice this with each other, or against a wall. It’s a fantastic drill. I suggest you do this a lot.” He demonstrated. “Here is how you get a serve. It is really important to pass the ball right to your setter. Remember, it all starts with the pass. I mean, if you pass the ball right into the setter, she, or he, can then put to one of your hitters. If you do it correctly, if you begin with a good pass, the remainder flows easily. You’ll score points.”

They passed to one another, passed against walls to themselves. For Steve — the wall, a garage roof, the side of a building, his wife, Gigi — all became regular training partners.

Carol was, nevertheless is an excellent setter. She demonstrated. “Frame the volleyball in this way.” She put to herself, hands just above her head, framing, head tilted toward the ceiling. “In a way you sort of grab the ball with mainly your thumbs, index and middle fingers. Bend your knees slightly when doing this. Your body type of acts like a torsion spring. Your hands and arms — in one fluid motion — match the ball and send it up to the batter. No, no,” she coached, responding to one who tried the method poorly. “Flex your wrists like so. They too receive the ball in a kind of spring action, as if catching and passing in the same motion.”

The rest of the novices practiced the method. Drilling and setting and passing to one another, back and forth, over and over. “OK,” said Carol. Let us try to play a match. Jimmy and I will stand the six of you.”

Said Steve, responding in shock amazement. That’s not fair.” It was. They murdered the”new kids,” the two of them, beating them easily, embarrassingly so. “They’re really great. Unbelievable.” Trite, but the only words that appeared able to escape Steve’s flabbergasted brain. Just the pair of them!”

The clinic sessions went on for weeks, stretching into months on a series of Saturdays. They practiced and practiced and drilled some more. Eventually, they, both novices, began to”get it,” to understand and then execute the departure, setting and hitting techniques. And they practiced the overhand serve, or the underhand or sidearm provider, and, of course, receipt of support. They practiced”digging” the ball, or receiving and sending aloft a hard-driven function, or a hitspike or kill, the latter term now used most widely in volleyball circles, especially by professional announcers. They truly wanted to learn how to perform, the ideal way — not like”backyard” hacks who”carry” the ball or get service with feckless, against-the-rules open-handed lifts — but like”real” volleyball players, Olympians and college varsity players and beach volleyball pros. They never stopped practicing and playing, until — like so many who’ve fallen in love with the game — all six were hopelessly hooked.

The new group of six continued to play at the Wednesday night league, really beginning to win games, not a lot, but a few. They learned a good deal of trivia regarding volleyball, the net and the court, its dimensions. The net is about 8-feet high, or to be exact, 7′ 11-5/8″ for men, 7′ 4-1/8″ for women. The court is approximately 60-feel long, 30-feet wide.

As they started to acquire skill from hours of practice and drilling, their confidence grew, along with a certain degree of bravado. They decided to name that first team. Due to the learning experience, and since the school’s name seemed to some of these remarkably obvious, they dubbed themselves,”Poet’s Pride.”

Steve doubted if the namesake would have been proud; more importantly, they were proud of these, a pride of lions ready to challenge rivals and to pursue their quarry relentlessly. They would become emboldened, fearless, a band of big cats, powerful and proud. The team wanted a sign of hard-won dedication and skill, a symbol of collective pride. “Wait! T-shirts! We have to have team uniforms,” declared John with authority.

Soon they’d team jerseys, green and white”uniforms” with the newly adopted name emblazoned on left chest place in white lettering. They were beautifully attired for conflict. Now they not only had the training, the acquired skill, the chutzpah and heart, they had the look. Uniforms, unity of purpose, precision and a keen sense of momentum, a bravado that lasted until the next time they were roundly trounced by an opposing group.

The team that vanquished theirs, on one memorable event contained a remarkable oddity. All were aware of it, but it was Steve, always bright and observant, who had been willing to give voice to his group’s collective astonishment. “See that man? His name is Milan, I think.

“Uh, no,” John replied. “But he’s definitely a heckuva lot older than the rest of us.”

“He’s in his mid-forties,” Steve continued.

“Come ,” said John. “I mean, he looks a lot older than us, but mid-forties. Can someone that old actually still play league volleyball. I mean, he’s their best player. He’s exceptional.

“He’s about 46,” said Steve. “That’s what one of his teammates told me.”

“That’s incredible. Do you think we’ll continue to be capable of playing volleyball at his age? I mean, that guy plays like he’s 26, not 46. Very good god!”

Steve pulled a quizzical face, shrugged and shook his head. “Who knows,” he said, as we both turned to stare at and respect that”old man,” perhaps the best player either of them had ever seen, live and in person. And he and his staff had just beaten Steve’s team flat, which makes it look way too easy.

But then, in the following week’s match,”Poet’s Pride” rebounded. They regained confidence, momentum and the winning side of the ledger. Such is the up and down, the ebb and flow of league volleyball play. Win or lose, it didn’t matter as much as playing, getting better, gaining experience. In the long run, of course, to most who play competitive sports, winning DOES matter, and in time they started to win championships. And they won a lot of them, together with useless trophies, eventually replaced by T-shirts, a much vaunted and far more desirable sign of volleyball achievement. None of them recalled or even cared about the win / loss record of the first pivotal season. It launched most of these — some of them — into a lifelong love affair, an innamorata, a secondary love perhaps, but real, enduring and consuming.

“Set Three” –“Sand and Storm”

Not satisfied with indoor volleyball, exclusively, usually played on hardwood courts, the newly formed team of six decided to venture into spring / summer sessions, outside court drama, and eventually onto the sand of”beach volleyball,” well, to be accurate, sand volleyball, because most courts available for league play were — and are increasingly now — in back or side enclosures of tavern and pub properties. It started in the Summer of 1975.

Amusingly illustrative of her growing passion for the sport, Gigi had asked her pediatrician,”Can I play volleyball without jeopardizing my baby in the first trimester? The third? Can I dive on the court for hard-hit spikes?” The doctor, while judicious in his advice, ultimately gave into Gigis demand for honest answers and undermine.

“Just be cautious,” said Dr. Ken. Gigi continued to play until a week before she delivered the couple’s first-born child, a daughter. Their teammates bought their newborn daughter a tiny T-shirt. It was white and green, and imprinted on the left side of the front were the words,”Poet’s Pride.”

In one of their outside playground seasons, teammate, John, caught an out-of-bounds hit by the opposition, simultaneously shouting,”Time!” They had been locked in a tie, but the timed session was running short, and John believed his team could re-group and win that season-ending championship match. The thing was, however, if one contacts a ball hit out of bounds, that is, any touch of the character causes a point for the opposing team.

“Point,” the referee shouted. The match and the championship were dropped in that case. Deflated but ever optimistic, Steve’s team solved to learn by their mistakes. “There’s always next season.” The words were spoken with faint confidence and without much enthusiasm by a few of the six as they retreated in the court, heads bowed and shaking in disbelief.

As summer surrendered to fall and fall into the invasive chill of winter, the prideful band of ever-improving volleyball combatants played in a variety of venues, high school and middle school gymnasiums — including one which has been part of a religious order’s facilities in suburban St. Francis — grade school gyms, everywhere that was devoted on a weekday evening to league play. They even played in an indoor sand facility, built especially for co-ed team volleyball. Wherever league play and obsession beckoned, they would enjoy the normal three game set, and then repair to a host’s tavern or a sponsoring centre’s pub for post-game beverages and apparently endless conversation about the evening’s play, teams and the ability, or lack thereof, of individual players. Players were philosophical and analytical, endlessly fascinated. Volleyball became, if not actually”their lives,” at least a significant and key element of those lives. And volleyball — it was Gigi who observed the obvious –“is like life itself.

As if calculated to show the assertion, teammates would come and go. Some lost interest and dropped out of the game. Partners, wives and husbands divide and eventually divorced. Fellow players with whom Steve and Gigi developed friendships came and went, moved away or disappeared from their spheres of consciousness.

Personalities in volleyball are as diverse as the teams and individual players . Fond of them as Steve especially was — certainly more than most — nicknames were attached to certain players and their idiosyncratic behaviors. John, the first catalyst to start playing the grand game, was a lefty, became an excellent hitter, or master of the”kill,” and consequently was dubbed,”Captain Southwind.” “Florence of Arabia” was famous for her dramatic dives onto sand courts in her valiant efforts to dig hard-hit spikes, creating small sand storms as she landed and then rose up triumphantly. “Sasquatch Sam” had enormous feet and was always imperiling opponents. He would jump, land unceremoniously and frequently commit”foot fouls,” sometimes wounding ankles and feet in the process, causing opposing players to howl in pain and issue loudly, frequently obscene protestations.

“Can you see that?” Someone would call time and start a harangue at the referee. “He might have broken my foot. Didn’t you see that? Pay attention to the (expletive deleted) game, fer crying out loud!” Referees, like the players , were sometimes well trained and excellent, in tune with the game and its rules, or mediocre and occasionally downright inept. Needless, perhaps, to include, player protests and complaints would often assault the ears of individual referees, and quite often players would be cautioned or even threatened with expulsion, at times ejected from the game.

Steve and Gigi’s participation has gone on and on, despite injury, pregnancy and the proclivities of a excellent selection of teammates and fellow enthusiasts. After some 20 years, or so, into their group volleyball experience, having gained and lost their first and lots of subsequent teammates, they eventually reunited with their teachers, their first”teachers,” Jimmy and Carol.

Gigi and Steve encountered Carol at a social function, possibly at a coffee shop, might have been a grocery store. “Are you still playing volleyball?” Carol asked.

Gigi replied. “We’ll play until we’re can’t play any longer.”

“Maybe’til we’re dead,” Steve added, aiming to get a touch of comic drama.

“Jimmy and I’d like to have you two join usas a team, the four of us,” Carol said. “What do you think?”

As if a set of stereo speakers, obnoxious twins doing a gum commercial, they responded almost in unison,”We’d love to. … ”

In Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1994, there was a facility built almost exclusively for volleyball and the co-ed league play phenomenon that it had become in the late 1980s, into and during the decade of the 90s, and well beyond, of course. That fine sports complex was a comparatively long drive for the four newly reunited teammates, but they would share the driving duty, each couple alternating months. They began their”four-pack” experience shortly after the volleyball venue in Waukesha opened its doors.

They were four players in a six-person league. The center contained six full volleyball courts; it was and remains an exceptional facility. The floors were made of a”forgiving” rubberized material, easy on the knees, simple on aging bodies diving to dig”kills” delivered by talented opponents. The four-person team won, perhaps, eight of ten championship rounds as many seasons or sessions of play. The four of them had”aged gracefully” to the terrific sport. If they had lost a bit of speed and quickness, they made up for it in”smart play.” Jimmy was perhaps the best positioning hitter among legions of fellow players, in fact one of the best many players had ever seen, and many remarked on it with incredulity. He had been the master of the”long dink,” a way of sending the ball into the other hand or corner of the court, an”uncovered” space. Carol and Gigi were and continue to be excellent setters, great occasional hitters and adept at protection, placement and”drop shots.” Steve was and still is a competent defensive and back row player, and a consistently competent hitter.

Within a brief period of time during its history, the volleyball center in Waukesha added an enclave of sand courts in its own”backyard,” and the four-person team won summer-league championships on that venue also. They frustrated opponents, many if not most of them half their age at the time. They’d be warming up, passing, setting and spiking the ball to one another as opponents appeared on the court. The four”more seasoned” players could see, and often hear younger opponents snickering, commenting without pretense or disguise.

“My god,” one would begin,”look how old those guys are. Is that their entire team? This will not take long.” And they’d grin and snicker and chortle into cupped hands.

Following the four beat their”six-pack” opponents handily, opinions, expressions of surprise and post-match banter were often remarkably similar. Too polite, on most occasions, to question ages directly, they’d always ask,”How many years have you been playing?” Or,”How long have the four of you’re together, I mean, playing volleyball as a team?”

And like experienced, aging warriors, with dignity and aplomb, the four could answer their questions respectfully, even paying compliments, as elder states-persons or teachers may offer to young pupils or callow youths who have come into newly acquired knowledge with a sense of wonder and astonishment. A secondary aim was to keep the younger players interested, motivated and encouraged to increase their skills.

They’ve a fantastic friend and fellow volleyball player, Gene, who’s 70-years-old. Gene is master of the”pancake dig,” a technique of diving flat for a spike and getting a hands under the ball just as it reaches the floor, causing the ball to pop up, ideally, to the setter. Abie is in his late twenties. Many of their present, fellow players are in their twenties or early to mid-forties. At 72, Steve says that he expects to play”until I am dead, or very nearly there.”

Jimmy and Carol, Steve and Gigi ended their four-person team and league play at the conclusion of the 2008, perhaps it was 2009. It was their final sand-court season at a tavern in the industrial center of Milwaukee’s”River West” neighborhood. That team experience ended for diverse reasons, but they still talk about their”seasons in the sun,” their championships on sand.

Gigi and Steve have not given up the sport, not by any stretch, but found, another league, rather a”co-ed volleyball recreation program” for adults. Gigi, Steve and Carol are, as far as they know, the only three active players one of their original cadre of fellow volleyball devotees. As with heavy sweaters on a heating spring afternoon, they shrug off the admonitions of those who indicate,”You’re all nuts for continuing to play with league volleyball at your age.”

Each reply to people who question their sanity is usually remarkably similar:”If I feel good, if my body reacts to the physical demands of volleyball, why should I stop playing? If I am still able to compete with the younger players, there is no reason to stop. I’ll play until I am physically unable to receive and pass, set, dig a hard-hit kill try and hit the ball with some authority over the internet…”

Many — the truly seasoned players who are also avid audiences — comprehend the game’s finer points, like the basic 4-2 serve – receive system or rotation, or the 5-1 rotation normally found in school campuses. Their current corps of players, however, eschews the more complex systems and concerns itself, using a simplified discussion over whether to perform”center up” or”center back,” meaning the courtroom position of the number two player, back row center, and that player’s responsibility for”kills” or well-placed long shots. At Steve’s age, at this juncture in his”volleyball career,” he just wants to perform well enough, skillfully enough to give the opposition a competitive competition.

On his 70th birthday, he played his usual Monday night volleyball session. Many fellow players noted that Gigi executed a spectacular dive to dig the resistance’s kill, Carol hit the ground with a dig and a roster. Both regained their feet in time for another play. They’re 68 and 71 respectively. Remarkable! On that very occasion, a group of young spectators witnessed the game. With shocked looks, their hands flew to their faces. Are you hurt?” Gigi is almost offended by such reactions to her”floor ”

“I wouldn’t be playing competitive volleyball if I couldn’t dive to get a kill,” she says in response.

As for Steve, he dove, rolled, scored a few kills himself, dug a variety of attempted kills, served a few aces and played a respectable game. His teammates feted Steve with a happy birthday song, a card and, of course, cake, homemade cake, decorated in a volleyball motif. “What a perfect way,” he remarked,”to gain entrance through the septuagenarian gate.” Steve has always been rather poetic.

After passing through that gate and enjoying rigorous volleyball for two solid hours on a Monday evening — a session that begins after 7:45 PM! — he strutted like a proud young rooster out to the high school’s parking lot and into his car for the drive home. But shortly after climbing in, out of sight and earshot of his fellows and driving homeward, he groaned from the aches and pains of this session’s combat, then when he hit the door of his home and was able to wrestle the cap off the bottle, swallowed three aspirin! A weekly and very necessary ritual.

In many ways, volleyball is its own ritual, a kind of faith to those still obsessed, even after 40 years. Through it and their history as enthusiastic participants — not only as players but as spectators of faculty, Olympic and shore volleyball — Steve and Gigi have appreciated its various stages of development, made lasting friendships, reveled in its own society and its camaraderie and benefitted enormously from its health-enhancing, vigorous exercise. Quit? Not yet. Their new purpose, they state , is to play with until Gigi reaches age 70. “Then, who can say? Eighty? Eighty-five? Stay tuned. Maybe we’ll begin a blog, perhaps film a documentary,” says Steve. The obsession continues to hold and enthrall, and will, the two insist,”until something unexpected comes along and breaks the spell.”

Bread made from bananas

Bread, Banana, Food, Healthy, Homemade
There is certain is nothing that says home like the smell of fresh-baked bread. Except for, possibly, when the baker takes it up a notch and the bread in the oven is banana bread.

The leavening agent in banana bread is generally baking soda instead of yeast. What’s more unlike regular bread, banana bread is baked from batter rather than dough. And evidently, it includes bananas that’s normally mashed and set into the batter.

A enormous family favorite, this has been around for years! The truth is it came into popularity in the 1930’s, and since then a number of varieties have appeared in cookbooks. Banana bread is relatively simple to create, and therefore popular among home bakers. In addition it can frequently be found in the display cases of bakeries and coffee shops.

It is not only tasty but also flexible. Usually a great on-the-go breakfast thing, either at home or grabbed at the coffee shop where the busy professional stops for his or her daily dose of java. Additionally it can be packed in a lunchbox that makes it a great ending to the afternoon meal, but is just as likely to be a hot after-school snack waiting when kids hop off the bus. What is more it can also function as a last-minute dessert option when guests turn up unexpectedly and you find yourself whipping up a fast meal. If whipped together before dinner and popped into the oven it creates a wonderful accompaniment to a relaxing cup of tea whilst watching evening television.

This homey treat is so versatile because it is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s an adequate amount of a dessert-like texture and flavor for it to function as a candy meal-ender. But its dessert like qualities are milder than overpowering, and banana bread can be just as fulfilling accompanying a meal or as a standalone fast breakfast with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

It is usually baked in loaf-shaped pans and can be cut into thin pieces or larger wedges for serving. There are loads of variations on banana bread on the market. Of which, some banana bread recipes have been passed down by a number of families from generation to generation, and each will announce theirs the best. Perhaps the most common varieties are banana nut breads, which are created from regular banana bread recipes but also include walnuts or pecans.

In fact there are many other kinds of fruit or even vegetable-based breads. As these are also often-enjoyed treats, banana bread still seems to take the front concerning popularity.

When sharks attack

Shark White Shark Sea Ocean Fish Carnivoro

Sharks are dangerous creatures of the sea. They consume humans and animals alike. They are intelligent animals that incorporate three basic methods of Pest Removal attacking their preys. Each means of attacking is very effective and smart.

First, sharks can use the sneak and surprise attack. It occurs in deeper waters where they’re hardly seen before attacking. It grabs their prey by surprise. In this kind of attack, there’s no initial contact. This is the same reason why there are multiple odds of bites. The shark brings out to its prey apparently from nowhere.

The basic idea for this sort of attack is to be quiet and unnoticed so the prey won’t have the time to run away. Discretion is essential.

This sort of attack normally occurs in the middle of the sea, maybe while one is fishing or simply enjoying a calm boat ride at bay. There are also unusual circumstances when sharks attack the vacationers at the shore. This however doesn’t happen often as most sharks are in the deeper parts of the ocean most of the time.

The second kind of attack is known as hit and run, usually taking place at the surfing zone. The sharks target the legs of the surfers resulting to severe lacerations. In these instances, sharks leave the scene simultaneously after biting. The legs are just confused for food due to their inherent poor visibility in water.

The hit and run attack is more of a basic instinct for sharks, like a defense mechanism which sharks employ when they feel they are being aggravated. Seeing a surfer for example is unusual for a shark. An exposed leg will make a shark think it’ll be attacked so it bites.

The third kind of attack is bump and bite. In this attack the shark tests if the sufferer is moving by bumping them to see if they are alive. After bumping it, they decide whether to take a bite or not.

The victims of the assault get to have severe injuries, and most are fatal. The bumping of the shark to the victims results to more accidents. This attack assesses the defensive response of the sufferer. Given the colossal size of most sharks, bumping a human is definitely a major and serious assault.

All these three types of shark attacks are unpredictable. When you’re in the sea water, you must bear in mind that you are in the nation of the sharks. To be secure, before going to water scan the water . If there’s just a single fin then you are safe because the ones that are present in there are just dolphins. But if you see two hooks, then you must be aware. Sharks exist in the region. Sharks attacks people rarely but if you understand a few precautions, then it is possible to reduce the risks.

The first thing you do is do not swim by yourself. Swim in a group because sharks attack lone swimmers. Don’t get far away from the group and from the shore. As much as possible avoid night swimming. Also avoid swimming in the dusk and dawn. These are the time that bees get out to search. Don’t enter the water when you’re bleeding since shark can easily detect blood. Don’t wear jewelries. Avoid clothing that is brightly colored. Get out of fishing places and don’t enter in the areas where it is known to be areas of sharks.

Emperor Penguin’s amazing migration

Free stock photo of cold, snow, sea, bird

 

Each year the Emperor Penguin follows a long, tough, migration route to a location in Antarctica away from their regular residence by the edge of the sea. They do this because during the fall Emperor Penguins mate and the female lays an egg. The reason they migrate inland away from water is so that when the egg hatches there’ll be more ice beneath the newborn penguin’s feet and much less chance of it falling through to the sea.

Once the female penguin lays the egg she is exhausted from all of the work and needs to leave to return to the ocean to get something to eat.

In early spring the egg will hatch and the mother will return. The hungry father who has not eaten for about four weeks will return to the sea to feed. The mother will stay with the chick for some time then leave to return to the sea again. This time the young penguin is going to be left alone.

If it grows it’s swimming feathers it too will go to the sea to feed. Then someday it’ll follow the same migration path that it has parents followed and that Emperor Penguins have been after for countless generations.

The Emperor Penguin’s amazing migration cycle shows us that many animals endure a tricky journey to raise their young. This journey requires strength, Orlando FL Animal Removal, care, and lots of patience.

Hammerhead sharks

Hammerhead Shark Fish Shark Swimming Preda

Hammerhead is one of roughly 360 kinds of sharks. The hammerhead sharks are included in the category of aggressive predators. Hammerhead sharks are usually located in warm waters of coastlines and continental shelves. There are hammerhead sharks in the Gulf of Mexico near the western Florida waters. This type of shark is protected by conservation agreements.

They can normally grow from a little less than one meter to nearly 6 meters. Their eyes and nostrils are situated on those parts resembling hammer. There are beliefs that the unusual shape of the head enables the shark in finding food and maneuvering. The specialized designed vertebrae enable the shark to perform exact turnings. The hammer shape of the head of the shark served as some sort of wing for lift functions.

The color of the hammerhead shark is grey-brown on the top. The belly is somewhat dirty-white. The dorsal fin is large and pointed. The teeth are triangular like saws.

The hammerhead shark is using its enormous smell in locating its prey. They are cannibalistic.

The hammerhead sharks are harmless sea creatures. These sharks do not normally attack people, only when they are provoked.

The hammerhead sharks are in subtropical and tropical waters around the world. These sharks travel to cooler waters during the summer. These sharks are viviparous that is giving birth to live offspring. The great hammerhead sharks give birth to some 20 – 40 young at the same time.

It can be stated that sharks are complex evolutionary species. Sharks are in existence for around twenty-five million decades. There are attributes sharks displayed which only mammals and a couple of animals have. Sharks fertilization is internal. As stated previously, sharks are born alive. Sharks have large brains and have a high learning ability.

Hammerheads aren’t any difference with other sharks. They have developed senses. These sharks are sensitive to the blue-green portion of the spectrum. Red can also be seen by sharks. Hammerhead sharks may also be sensitive to low or without light. Ocean floors are dark places.

Hammerheads sharks hearing could be put in the greater degree. The assortment of sound sharks hear is similar to of human can. Low frequency vibration is the specialization of sharks. Additionally, there are canals from the hammerheads sharks for balance and detecting motion.

Hammerhead sharks also have enormous sense of smell. Detection is possible even if the chemical is one part per million of water. This is why sharks can easily smell blood mixed in sea water. These sharks can smell the scent of wounded prey from miles away.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is including to its 2008 Red List the scalloped hammerhead. It is tagged as”globally endangered.” There’s a collective concern among the scientists to preserve these unique creatures.

Panda bear

Panda Panda Bear Sleep Rest Relax China Ma

These beautiful bears can be found in the zoos in Shanghai and Beijing, and in locations like the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base in Chengdu, or in the Wolong Nature Reserve in the Sichuan Province. In the United States, pandas can be seen at the National Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. Visitors can see the bears eating, playing and sleeping.

Giant Pandas are big, like most bears, but they generally have thick white and black fur with a short tail. The bears have very good vision. They also have strong jaws and teeth so that they can chew tough foods such as bamboo shoots. Giant pandas have a special bones in their hand that works like an opposable thumb to help in holding their food.

The pandas are native to just about six small locations in China. They live in the high mountainous regions near the center and southwest of China, one of woods full of bamboo. The weather is mostly cloudy, rainy and misty through the year. The famous Chengdu Breeding Giant Panda Research is found on the mountain of Fu Tou. It is by far the favourite food of a giant panda. However, bamboo is extremely low in nutrition, meaning a giant pand will have to eat for 10 to 14 hours per day.

The bears are very shy and prefer to live independently. The females and males only see eachother about twice a year, in the late spring or early summer seasons to strain. A few months later, the female bear will usually give birth to only one or possibly two cubs in a den she has dug in the floor. Usually, only one of the bear cubswill live to adulthood. They are very small and helpless when they are born, and can’t see. The newborn pandas are pink with almost no fur on their bodies. The mother panda nurses her nurse for about six months. At about one year old, the panda cubs will be able to live on their own. Normally, a giant pandas can live to be between 17 and 20 years in the wild.

Only a little more than a hundred years ago there wer thousands of giant pandas in China, but their population has steadily declined due to the destruction of the forests to make way for new homes and businesses. Thankfully, pandas are protected by law and can’t be hunted. They are also able to live at safe places like the Wolong Nature Reserve.

Different types of ducks

White Duck With 22 Ducklings in Green Grass Field

If you love outdoor animals and have been looking into the different types of ducks, we have put together a little list for you. Although you might already know about a number of them, there are others out there that the majority of society continue to be oblivious to today. From the time you’re done reading this, you’ll definitely feel smarter in regards to the various varieties of ducks out there.

If this is a new name to you, it might be better called the knob-billed duck. It gets it’s name from the distinctive rounded piece on top of the bill. This tropical species spends most of it’s time in the areas of South America in addition to other areas like Pakistan, Madagascar, southern parts of China and some other places.

Known for it’s vegetarian eating habits, the Comb Duck spends most of it’s time searching for seeds, small fish, and grain. They are attracted most often to rice farms and have been known to make several problems for farmers on a daily basis. You will find that they are among those few duck species that love perching themselves in trees to stay in shady areas.

One of the most colorful ducks you’ll find on the planet, the Mandarin Duck can be found spread across the continent of Asia. However, the majority of these species are either farmed or placed in zoos around the world for spectator viewing. The Mandarin Duck has been known over the centuries as a Chinese symbol for fidelity and used in weddings.

You can also find the Mandarin Duck in the uk, but several debates over their species have caused issues regarding security in the country. This is mostly due to the habitat being enriched with 1,000 pairs of male and females, but since they aren’t a native species there, they are left unprotected by conservationists.

Probably among the most entertaining ducks to view, the Ruddy looks as though it’s shaving cream underneath the bill. This is very distinct on account of the blue bill on men along with their rustic look on the body.

This is just a few of several duck species across the world. While we shared some of the more intriguing ones, there are many who have tropical and colorful appeal. If you would like more information on the ducks above or others such as the Mallard, the Red-Crested Pochard, Muscovy Duck and several others, you can locate them below. Let’s have some fun!

Information about Jelly fish

Jellyfish Illustration

The box jellyfish gets its name as they are bell shaped or cubed shaped with four sides being very prominent, thus the name box jellyfish. They may be as long as 20 cm on each side of the block, and have up to 15 tentacles on each corner. These tentacles are not actually triggered by any sort of touch, instead, this species of jellyfish stings because it senses a presence of a form of chemical on the outside of their prey.

A box jellyfish is very portable, with their bodies to propel themselves forward at speeds up to 4 knots. These types of jellyfish travel towards the shores in the calmer weather, and settle around the mouths of both creeks and rivers after the rain. It’s assumed that after a good rain, food is washed down to the jellyfish, and they intuitively realize this.

These jellyfish are also known as sea wasps and marine stingers. Their primary habitat is in water off of Northern Australia and in the Indo-Pacific. A box jellyfish has venom that is so deadly, it considered to be one of the worst poisons on the planet today. This venom is so strong that the toxins set about attacking the heart and nervous system, as well as skin cells. Their venom was developed so that it would immediately paralyze or kill its prey, and also so that there was less of a struggle. In this manner, the box jellyfish will take care of its delicate tentacles.

The sting is so deadly; help must be received immediately if one hopes to survive. The pain is reported to be excruciating, and people who do survive experience lots of pain for weeks to months after being stung. The sting is proportionate to the size of the person; for example, a young child needs less of a sting to cause dire consequences than an adult.

Rhino Facts

Free stock photo of animal, big, zoo, outdoors

The Rhinoceros, abbreviated as Rhino is a title used for this uneven-toed ungulate that’s in the household of Rhinocerotidae. There are two five living species in this family and Two of which are in Africa. Also referred to as the Square-lipped Rhinoceros, the white rhino isn’t physically white in color and the same applies to the black rhino/the Hook-lipped Rhinoceros is not black in color. They’re all greyish and whitish.

The name white originated from a form of description”wyd” which meant”wide” in reference to its wide, square silence.

The black rhino is totally gray and they flounder in ditches with water to coat themselves with sand and this makes them look darker. Black rhinos regardless of the fact that they love playing in muddy water that they do drink clean water and they do visit the very same sports of clean water everyday.

The black rhino is now seriously becoming endangered and it is easily spotted in east Africa. It’s a mammal that grows to about 14 feet long and 4.5 feet high and weighs over 3,850 pds. They have a thick skin about 5 cm with 3 feet on each leg recognized by both prominent horns composed of millions of tightly compacted hair like fibers, the Black rhino is a herbivore that’s tough to deal with as it feeds on thousands of plants.

The hook-lipped rhinoceros is know to be so antagonistic and it usually strikes from panic, confusion and fear and this is more attributed to their poor sight they charge in the event of any sense of risk. Strange but true Rhinos aren’t too antagonistic to other animal species it’s just a fake kind of antagonism. It pretends to be aggressive but it doesn’t fight with other animal species. The man rhinos fight with the horns and therefore the males tend to avoid each other.

A rhino is one of those animals that no man would mess with, however now day’s folks have poached and killed them leading them to extinction. They kill them for their horns which are used as symbols of wealth in oil rich countries, making handles for Djambia daggers and powder for spiritual purposes. Rhinos love rubbing there skin onto a log and this is one of their best moments. You may go to Africa and watch some of the few staying aggressive and large mammals until they become extinct; though we hope and pray they don’t.

Fastest animals

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There are many super fast animals on the planet. Everybody understands the cheetah, which runs at sixty miles an hour only for a short time, but what about other creatures with rate? I know a couple that are quicker than any on earth. It is a bird and a bug and like the cheetah, these two have problems with their speed also. The fastest bird appears to be the peregrine falcon. It goes around two hundred miles a hour by power diving but never stops until it hits something it aims like prey. In the world wars, the Nazis trained and employed peregrine falcons to hunt down and kill carrier pigeons. So far, some of the pigeons succeeded in bringing messages back and avoiding falcons that is one of the reasons why the Nazis lost. He trains it to fly around with such speed they can scare away geese preventing airplane wrecks.

The bug I am spoke about in the first paragraph, despite its size, is the fastest in the world and it is known as the tiger beetle. Whether this beetle is the size of a human, it can reach speeds up to three hundred miles an hour and it would take a drag racer to catch up with it. The problem it has with its speed is its eyes. In easy words, it literally runs blind.

Where are the honey bees?

Free stock photo of food, wood, drink, glass

The 2008 calendar indicates another spring has arrived in North America and also the signs of the new season are everywhere. Buds have appeared on trees, heralding the arrival of new leaves. The higher daylight and the warming sun act as harbingers for the appearance of flowering plants that will soon begin their summer cycle of growth.

Indeed, the familiar signs of spring are everywhere. However, once again this season, there’s a real problem in character which is tempering agricultural excitement for the upcoming growing season. It is an issue which was diagnosed in 2006. The problem continues to be the disappearance of the honey bee. Once again there is little progress to report from research into this mystery surrounding the honey bee named Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

CCD happens when all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the honey and pollen behind. Few, if any, dead bees are located around the hive. Between 50 and 90% of the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in america have been affected with CCD and the issue is making it difficult for U.S. commercial beekeepers to pollinate crops. About a quarter of beekeeping operations were affected by CCD during the 2006-2007 winter alone. It’s estimated that up to 70% of honey bees in the USA have just disappeared due to Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem has continued throughout the winter of 2007-2008.

Besides the continuing problem of CCD, believe news reports indicate significant regional problems with dying honey bees this spring in the United States. In Hawaii, a microscopic mite is catastrophic Oahu’s honey bee population and the long term impacts could wipe out much of the island’s agriculture. Western Washington State has a growing agricultural catastrophe as bees are dying from a new pathogen called Nosema Ceranae. This fungus attacks the bee’s gut, making it impossible to process food and the bee eventually starves to death.

In general, the various problems with disappearing and dying honey bees are quickly taking a toll on the entire United States beekeeping industry. It has been reported that the number of keepers who produce more than 6,000 pounds of honey annually has declined from 2,054 in 2005, (the year before keepers started experiencing colony collapse) to approximately 1,100 annually.

Internationally, a lack of a sufficient number of honey bees is responsible this spring for problems in blueberry pollination in Canada. The Fraser Valley produces about one-fifth of the world’s blueberries, but no longer has a sufficient number of honey bees to support its blueberry pollination, and honey bees are now being imported for pollination.

In England and Wales, proposals to protect honey bees have recently been announced by the government. However, bee keepers complain of a lack of research funding and the slow pace of governmental reaction since the amount of honey bees proceeds in decline.

It is now estimated that nearly half of Italy’s 50 billion bee population died last year. That bee mortality rate is going to have a drastic influence on the country’s 25-million-euro honey sector (which could plummet by at least 50% in 2008) and wreak havoc on fruit crops. The worldwide bee epidemic has also hit France, Germany, Britain, Brazil, and Australia.

The increased cost of energy in food manufacturing and transportation has led to a world food price inflation of 45 percent in the past nine months alone. There are serious worldwide shortages of rice, wheat, and corn. The increasing cost of food has recently been in charge of deadly clashes in Egypt, Haiti, and several African states.

But if the population of the honey bee continues to decrease, worldwide events from higher prices and shortages of food will have only just started. The pollination of the honey bee is crucial to agriculture and the world’s food supply. With no honey bee, prices of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, and dairy prices will all spiral much higher.

The disappearance of the honey bee poses a threat to eating premium ice cream as well. Haagen-Dazs, (owned by General Mills) said bees are responsible for 40 percent of its 60 flavors, such as strawberry, toasted pecan, and banana split. The company is launching a new flavor this spring named Vanilla Honey Bee to raise consumer awareness about the issue. Proceeds from the sale of this ice cream will be used to fund CCD research.

The ramifications to our lifestyle and diet are enormous, but government’s response to the growing food crisis has been limited and slow. The evaporating honey bee issue hasn’t been discussed in any Presidential debate or in any campaign forum. In fact, both of our major political parties have been silent on the issue.

Hopefully, American politicians on the campaign trail from the 2008 United States presidential election like Haagen- Daz solutions. The truth is that Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream might be the only way to bring the candidates focus on a serious, developing, agricultural crisis. A world with no honey bee pollination will create a food crisis of economic, national, and international ramifications. Indeed, it is another year without a solution to the problem of disappearing honey bees.

Information about hummingbirds

Green And Black Hummingbird

Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.

I hope you’ll find some good ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.

This is one of the best stress relieving hobbies in the world, I promise!

It’s getting that time of year again. Spring Time! So, grab your binoculars, a nice tall glass of iced tea, and lets get started.

For birdwatchers from the southern states, hummingbirds are already returning. The rest of you, in the Midwest and Northeast, are still awaiting the first hummingbird of spring to arrive.

In my backyard are several hooks for hummingbird feeders. I’ll fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just before the oldest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see is going to be a male, since the men migrate about two weeks ahead of the females.

Did you know most small birds, such as hummingbirds, migrate at night? I’m not certain why. Maybe they do this to make the most of the more calm air of night, or to avoid the predators that are hunting during daytime hours, or maybe they use the stars to guide them north.

As migration period draws near, daily activity begins to change. Birds who migrate at night, but normally are busy during daytime hours don’t sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake a lot more at night.

And beginning to feel hungry… real hungry. He needs to put on some fat. He weighs about 2.5 grams, but now he starts to eat more, to gorge himself. He eats his weight in food every day. He eats insect eggs and lions, bugs, gnats and the nectar of flowers. He will double his weight, and still only weigh about 5 grams.

Every day the north calls for him to come,

To the North he flies into complete darkness, all by himself, weighing no more than a nickel.

Hours pass as he flies, burning off the fat he stored like a truck burns diesel fuel.

If the hummingbirds fat stores are adequate, he’ll reach the Gulf Coast. If the hummingbirds fat stores are not sufficient, he’ll die. If he’s prepared himself well, he will have flown for 18 to 22 hours, crossed 500 miles with no food or rest.

Toward the second week of April I’ll see my first hummingbird of spring. I will have those feeders out early, ready to greet the little fella as he hovers in to land for the first time this year in my own backyard.

Elephant Facts

Black Elephant Near Trees

Elephants are the largest animals on earth. There are two types of elephants, African elephants and Asian elephants. Both the species of dinosaurs used to subsist in good numbers around Africa and parts of Asia. At present, these two calm giants are dying out. Twenty five years ago, there were approximately 1.3 million elephants in Africa, but now it is expected that there are about 500,000. In New York City Animal Control, the number of elephants left is even lesser than Africa. The reason for the danger of extinction of the giant species is that the over hunting of elephants for ivory trade. Fortunately, much effort is being made to ban the ivory trade and regulations are made to limit the hunting of elephants by the countries of African and Asia.

The Asian elephant, Elephas Maximus, has a massive arched head with comparatively tiny ears, a domed back and a single finger like protuberance that is situated in the tip of their trunk. An Asian elephant has five toes on the front of their feet and four on the back. The African elephant has only four toes on front feet and three on the back. Interestingly, it has yet another vertebra in the lumbar section of the spine.

Generally the elephants are grayish to brownish in colour. Elephants naturally attain puberty at thirteen or fourteen years of age. They have offspring up until they get about fifteen. Its long trunk, huge head with large flat ears and columnar legs describe this gigantic creature. An elephant’s trunk is a mix of the nose and upper lip, is an extremely sensitive organ with over 100,000 muscle components. Elephants do not use their trunks for drinking, but use them as”tools” to drink with.

Info on Mountain lions

Cougar Puma Mountain Lion Predator Cat Fel

Every year mountain lions are spotted in many great outdoors locations throughout the nation. Even though it’s not uncommon to have a mountain lion sighting in the country, it’s somewhat alarming when they are seen in highly trafficked areas, putting people and domestic animals at risk of being attacked.

Due to the forthcoming summer months when people tend to be out and about in the great outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, etc., here’s a refresher course on what to do if you come into contact with a mountain lion.

* Do not go in the country alone. It is ideal to bring a friend or at least a puppy with you. Having a walking stick may also serve as some protection in the event of an attack. Making loads of noise while out will prevent you from sneaking up on an unknowing lion, which might cause them to attack.

* Keep children close to you. Mountain lions seem to be especially drawn to small children. It is imperative that you keep them near you and within your website at all times.

* Do not run away. Pick your child up without bending over. Do your best to stay upright, facing the lion.

* Make yourself appear as large as possible by lifting your arms slowly. Don’t bend over or crouch down to avoid looking like a four-legged creature. Throw rocks or sticks if they’re within reach and speak in a loud, firm voice.

* Never approach a lion. If you see one, follow the instructions above and give it a chance to escape.

* If the mountain lion attacks, fight back. Try to remain standing to prevent being bitten about the neck or face. Use any objects available to protect yourself, such as a rod, hat, fishing rod, etc.. Lots of people have survived mountain lion attacks by fighting back.

If you website a mountain lion, or an animal carcass that could be attributed to a lion kill, always contact your regional Department of Fish and Game or Pembroke Park Wildlife Removal. Always be aware of your environment and that of your family, especially smaller children, when enjoying time in the great outdoors.

All about dolphins

White and Gray Dolphin on Blue Water

Dolphins are amazing creatures and here are a few of their best facts.
1. Dolphins are mammals; they nurse their young from mammary glands and feed them with milk in the mother. Dolphins can swim up to 260 m. below the surface of the ocean, even though they’re primarily shallow divers and they stay near the surface. Dolphins can remain up to 15 minutes under water although they usually stay just a couple of minutes diving before they go up to breathe.
4. Dolphins use a technique called echolocation to find food and navigate.
5. Dolphins are social beings that live in groups and collaborate among each other for activities like getting food and calf rising.
6. There are 32 species of sea dolphins and 5 species of river dolphins.
7. The biggest dolphin is the”killer whale” (orca), which can grow to 6.1 meters long.
8. The most famous Shrimp is the”bottlenose dolphin” which can grow to 2.5-2.8 meters.
9. Dolphins are warm-blooded and their internal temperature is about 36 degrees. To preserve this temperature they’re surrounded by a thick layer of fat called”blubber” just beneath the epidermis.
10. The average botllenose dolphin brain weighs 1500-1600 grams, while average human brain weighs 1200-1300 grs. This isn’t a conclusive evidence of dolphin intelligence as many other factors might be the cause of intelligence according to Dania Beach Wildlife Removal.
11. Dolphins can make a special signature whistle that may help individual dolphins recognize each other or perform any other kind of communication still unknown.
12. Bottlenose dolphins can swim 5 to 12 km per hour, although they can reach up to 32 km/h.

Take care of your lawn

A lawn is an indispensable part of your household. It is also possible to use your lawn in order to throw a holiday party or arrange a barbecue or relish any other recreational activity, which is meant to be enjoyed outdoors. Your lawn should be maintained well so that you may enjoy these fun activities. Effective lawn maintenance is essential to keep it in great shape. Check out 5 selected lawn care tips, which will be effective in this regard.

Level the yard

You need to level your lawn in the first place if you have an eye for true lawn maintenance. When you set yourself to do the job, you need to keep the structural feature of the lawn in mind. Be realistic in your approach. To begin the maintenance activity, you should make certain that the first layer of soil is removed from the lawn. Then you must put in your attempts in leveling the subsoil. A good lawn should be free from lumps. So you must make some extra efforts to eliminate the lumps. After the first phase of leveling is done you want to add the first layer of soil or top soil once more.

Use fertilizers

You may benefit if you apply organic lawn care composts strategically. Fertilizers should be applied when the temperature is still warm. You may fertilize again in October. Be sure that you use fertilizers, which are specifically meant to be used on lawn grass.

Choose grass seeds sensibly

Proper selection of grass seeds forms a part of a successful lawn care technique. When you choose grass seeds, you should consider durability in addition to good looks. Depending on your requirement and the size of your yard you can opt for carpet grass, Rye grass, Centipede grass etc.. Before you buy any of these variations, you want to make sure is the perfect time to plant them.

Mow carefully

Mowing is an essential part of a streamlined lawn maintenance practice. You need to chop the blades of your lawn grass carefully. It is important that more than one third of grass blade elevation doesn’t get removed during mowing.

Dethatch the grass of your yard area

Occasionally, you might notice dead thatches in some parts of your yard area. Ordinarily, these thatches develop between the soil surface and green blades. The process of dethatching is an effective lawn maintenance approach which you can apply in such a circumstance. You will be required to pick up all loose thatches by raking them up. Make it sure that you do this during summer or spring. Remember to water the exposed roots.

These methods will give you a satisfactory result in form of a perfect lawn maintenance approach. It is possible to maintain the beauty of your lawn with these approaches. However, you need to implement them properly by hiring Boca Raton Rat Removal.

Got Moles?

Getting rid of moles in your lawn or garden can be a frustrating and fruitless chore even in the event that you know what you are doing. The multitude of misinformation and home-spun recommendations out there don’t help matters either. Individuals have used smoke bombs, red pepper, poison peanuts, razor blades, chewing gum, human hair, vibrating apparatus and long list of dangerous substances to get the moles out of their lawns. There’s hardly any evidence to support these methods. After years of trialing this method or that method I am of the conviction that there is only one mole control strategy is effective. Effective mole control consists of:

1. Effective mole traps

2. A good knowledge of a moles behaviour and customs.

3. Call Boca Raton Raccoon Removal for assistance.

These are the key ingredients to appropriate mole elimination. Number two is the most significant. Without this understanding the traps won’t help you very much. One might be asking why grub prevention is not listed. While moles do consume the white grub it’s not their main food source. You can spend a good deal of money treating your lawn for grubs but it is my opinion it won’t be an effective course of action.

There are an assortment of mole traps on the market. The two most common styles are also the most effective. They work on exactly the same assumption as far as using a trap pan placed on the upper side of the mole tunnel and striking when being pushed upward. That’s where the similarity ends as the killing mechanisms are different.

This plunger or harpoon style mole trap seems to be the most popular and available of the various varieties and is designed for being set on-top of the earth directly over the mole runway so that its supporting stakes straddle the tube and its spikes plunge down and harpoon the mole as it pushes up on the trigger pan.

The scissor traps have large scissor-like blades which are inserted across the mole tunnel after shoving down a small area for the trigger. When the mole excavates the collapsed area of the tube, the scissors slam shut and kill the mole. These traps work well on the deeper main mole tunnels that are usually 8 to 12 inches beneath the surface.

Good positioning of mole traps is the key to success or failure. This is where a great knowledge of mole behavior and habits is vital.

The mole is a solitary and territorial creature. In reality there are only 2 – 3 moles per acre. This territorial nature is a key factor in mole control. After a mole is removed by trapping your lawn may soon be maintained by a neighboring mole searching for new grounds causing you to believe your mole control plan is not working.

Molehill Mole Earth Meadow Secret Service

Moles make two kinds of tunnels. Mole hills are constructed as the mole digs deep runs and pushes soil up through the surface of the lawn.

The interconnecting trails visible above ground and just under the surface are feeding tunnels and might frequently be used only once. Too find deeper tunnels use a stick and probe between or alongside fresh mounds. When the ground gives way, the rod has probably broken through the burrow.

Locating surface runways that are active will take you a bit more time. Start looking for great straight tunnels. Tunnels which are more likely to be active seem to be those connecting feeding areas or people running adjacent to driveways, walks or garden borders. You’ll have to collapse a little area of several tunnels and mark the spots. Over the next couple days you’ll have to check to see which tunnels are re-expanded. These are the active tunnels and this is where you would like to place your traps.

Mole traps are sharp, spring-loaded fast and very powerful. These traps do not know the difference between a mole and a hand. Be very careful. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. And most importantly keep them out of the hands of a child and educate your children so they know better than to play a set mole trap.