Garlic: the Ins and Outs of Buying, Slicing, and Dicing

Garlic, Spice, Ingredient, Aromatic

Buying Garlic

O Purchase firm, dry bulbs with papery skin.

O Prevent bulbs with green shoots coming out.

Storing Garlic

O Store in a cool dry place.

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

Peeling Guide

O Peel off the outer Bat Droppings with your fingers before separating the cloves from the bulb.

Press firmly with the flat side of a butcher knife on a clove to loosen skin.

Slicing and Dicing

O Diced garlic is in readily accomplished following the skin is peeled off from the individual cloves. Simply lay the peeled clove onto a cutting surface and having a rocking motion with a sharp chef’s knife cut on the clove into bits.

When using a garlic press don’t peel the skin from the garlic. Put several garlic cloves in the media 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 create garlic slices. Put 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’s best used in soups, stews and in sautés.

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

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

Ever Wanted To Make Your Own Patio Furniture?

Outdoor Furniture, Patio, Outdoor

You might be an avid do-it-yourself enthusiast or perhaps it is something that you will try for the first time. There might be many reasons why you would like to make your own furniture which might be price or you have a special idea.

You’ll have to decide what sort of patio furniture you desire. To put it differently, will it be made from wood or metal? For wood, you won’t need too much ability, as hopefully you’d have had some 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 have to source the identical type of metal. This will assist you with the construction and the soldering process. With metal you’ll need to solder the pieces together so it can be sturdy. To start the process you will have to measure the parts and cut them to size. Make sure you measure twice to prevent any mishaps with the period of the parts. Place all of the parts in the order that you will join them. As soon as you are sure of every part’s positioning then begin with soldering it together. Once the parts are together and you have all of your patio seats, you can paint it the color you would like. The metal patio set will prove to be cold and hard to sit on. For this you can just gauge the seating and back areas so that an upholsterer can make the cushions for you.

The wood option is typically more popular because it doesn’t rust and it’s a cheaper alternative to the metal. In most cases, people find unused pallets and use it to create their own furniture masterpieces. With pallet wood you do not have to start from scratch. You could simply take one pallet as it is, add four little legs on each corner, sand it and paint it to make an outdoor coffee table. You might want to bring a glass top for a smooth surface. For the seats you will need to spend the pallet apart in order to slice the wood together to make it sturdy. You will require a saw, hammer, nails and glue to accomplish this. Again, make certain that you measure the length of the timber so that your patio chairs are all the exact same size and are symmetrical. If you’re happy with the measurements, then glue and nail the wood pieces together. Gauge the seating and rear area. Send those measurements together with your choice of material into the furniture maker who will make it for you. That part you do not have to make yourself, because sewing the cushions may be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before.

10 Tips and Tricks for Coffee Brewing

Coffee Beans Coffee The Drink Caffeine The

For some folks, coffee is the number one must have, and if you are one of those lucky people who can’t stop enjoying coffee in the morning then you’ll be very happy 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 techniques for brewing coffee.

1. Decorating your own lattes

With some practice it’s possible for anyone at home to decorate their own java in ways they probably thought just baristas could pull off. Baristas make it seem easy, and if you do it then you can also get great and positive results – particularly since you aren’t a barista who’s being hurried to perform four jobs at the same time.

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

2. Buy fresh whole bean coffee

Don’t buy the pre-ground coffee. Most coffee companies don’t bother with dates for when the beans were packed – it’s likely that the beans were left there for months after picking. Fresh coffee goes off fairly quickly. To find fresh beans, it is ideal to check 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. Use good quality water

The quality of your water matters when it gets to the time for you to brew coffee. Hard water, which is filled with additional minerals, won’t bond as well to the java that’s brewing, which contributes to a weak coffee and not what you were hoping for. If you use this type of water then you’ll need to descale your coffee machine regularly, something that you don’t want.

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

4. How to cold-brew for a different flavor to your coffee

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

There are a number of ways to brew coffee that may be iced, but there are also machines that make this possible. An advantage is that this system removes the acids that coffee produces. This method also brings out different ranges of flavor for the coffee lover to indulge in, however some dislike it since there is no acidity.

As an alternative, you may use a special jar, known as a mason jar. It’s really easy – you just take your ground coffee, pour it into 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 the grounds out and serve with ice. Give it a go!

5. Measure your coffee out

When you begin 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 measure it out by simply measuring out 60 g by using a spoon.

6. Pre-infusion, or the blossom

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

Coffee blooms are common in coffee shops. It’s made by the roasting process, and the heart causes carbon dioxide to be captured by the bean and trapped. After the roasting is finished the gases are discharged slowly. This is called”degassing.” Ideally, if you use freshly roasted beans, the coffee will have more flavor than roasted and ground beans that have been left untouched for days.

7. Brewing and diluting for weaker coffee

If you want to brew coffee, that’s great, don’t brew it for too long, just increase how much ground coffee you’ve already. If, however, you prefer it poorer, then simply don’t brew it for a shorter time but rather brew it properly and then you dilute it to drink later.

8. Strategies for using filter paper

If you would rather 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 which you’d likely get if you simply pour the water over the coffee grounds in the event the paper is dry before you begin. If you pre-wet the paper, then you’ll clean it and get rid of that papery taste, which means that you’ll still have a fantastic tasting cup of coffee.

When you’re brewing a cup of coffee with this procedure, pour the hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular motion so the water from the coffee slowly appears in the kettle. This is called the bloom. Keep pouring more water slowly over the grounds, let it take its time to seep, and 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 to 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 java that’s more spiced and different than the type you know.

10.

An alternative for flavored and sweetened coffee would be to swap sugar with maple syrup.

Whats good about skunks?

Hooded Skunk, Wildlife, Portrait

Is not it odd that while many men and women find skunks to be a nuisance and would love to get rid of them, they are still a cute little skunk to other people? 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 very cute, they are still wild animals and I wouldn’t recommend that they are kept as pets. If your kid loves skunks, you may wish to stick with a tamer plush pet.

Many people would find it ridiculous, but these creatures have a good deal of advantages that you might like to believe about. So the next time you’re wondering of how in the world you can rid your lawn of that white striped animal, try thinking of how you may reap the benefits from their existence.

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

The most commonly found skunk in the United States is about the size of a house cat. It’s 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 may see the hog nosed or hooded skunk.

Skunks are active after dark, so you may not find any during the day even in places where they are populated. They like to hide in safe places like in timber stacks, dens and burrows.They usually mate in January, with the feminine getting rather competitive and spraying that smelly liquid as a defense mechanism to chase away the males. The new babies will stay concealed in the den for approximately two months and then they will begin after their mother out to search for food.

The issues between man and the animal come in if these creatures start coming to human interests.This conflict goes to new heights once the animal takes shelter inside houses spraying the house owners. Occasionally pets have been sprayed with the smelly liquid in 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 are 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 found a family of skunks around your home, you will need to know how to protect yourself and your pets.

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

There are humane ways to trap these animals if you feel they have become too much of a nuisance or are possibly putting your family in danger. The best way to safeguard or prepare for coming in contact with any wild animal is to educate yourself about that particular species.

A Sport for the Ages!

Beach Beach Volleyball Open Air Recreation

“Set One” — Lesson One

For seasoned athletes, in spite of age and a relentless clock, the imperative is to stay the course. There needn’t be an expiration date stamped on the psyche, either self-imposed or by public affirmation. Put another way, if a person enjoys a healthy mind and body, if joints still flex with comparative ease and comfort, it is 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 competitive sport, when played well, when played by 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 terrific game continues to consume their disposable leisure time. For them, it’s a type of obsession, and one that has continued unabated for over 40 years. Now at age 72, Steve, and 68, Gigi, they are still in its grip.

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

The ringing phone was loud and insistent. Steve refused to move. 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 at first, irritated by the instrument’s persistence, its capability to interrupt.

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

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

Gigi asked to the instrument, a question wrapped in incredulity, yet with an increasing level of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm appeared to improve the current running through the wire.

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

“Join a league? Couples, co-ed. Yeah, I played a little in high school. Steve? No. I don’t think so. Maybe at picnics, or in the backyard with family.”

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

“Where? And it begins in January? That’s next month! Yeah, yeah… exercise, something we can do as couples with friends. OK, great! 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 talking about? What league?”

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

“Wait a moment,” Steve began. “We’ve never played. We don’t know the game. Can they have strict rules? Are the other teams in the league experienced, talented? How are we going to do that?”

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

“Volleyball,” he said, a strong note of apprehension in his tone. “A league,” he continued, a heavy sigh punctuating. And that was the sum total of any objection or argument he might have offered in opposition. But, within the solitude of his thoughts, there was this:”I am married for, what, four or so months. I am just getting used to things. Now I am at a volleyball league. How long will this last.

Despite an inauspicious beginning, reluctance on the part of at least one participant, their volleyball-playing career, one that 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 understood that much. The opposition won the first support. The ball was a meteor, something taken from a cannon. One of 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. 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. The question was wound in a thread of astonishment.

I mean, some of us played a little in high school, but that was a while ago.” The answer 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 in their collective expression. “First thing you should know about league volleyball, as well as the principles that apply, is that you receive a service with your arms outstretched like this, hands clasped together in some fashion.” She revealed the”passing” technique, tossing a volleyball to each in turn so that they might learn the proper arms and hands configuration. “And when you set the ball to your hitter, you might not catch and throw the ball, but instead… well, allow me to show you.”

None of them remembers that first outing with any feeling of joy or satisfaction, as they were destroyed, unremittingly. They expressed thanks to this kind and patient referee, then to the opposing team members, as they slunk away from the court that first, fateful evening of league volleyball. They might not have scored one point, unless their opponents made an error. Even that chance is lost — likely by design — into the element of memory that protects one’s fragile psyche.

“Set Two” — The Birth of “Poet’s Pride”

Steve met brothers Mike and Jimmy Keegan in a day camp long ago. The four of them — two sets of brothers — were all close in age, and a lasting friendship between and one of them started 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 phone announced its summons, adding as always to Steve’s ears a tone of urgency, possibly fomenting unpleasantness. As usual, he remained unmoved. Gigi raced toward the repulsive instrument.

Gigi’s perceptible half of this dialogue was as usual provocative, causing Steve to put aside a novel. She started,”Hi Mike. They are? You’re kidding. I didn’t understand that. Wow, that’s great. And they’re willing to work with us? When? Saturday! Where?”

“Huh?” Steve asked. A rare response, 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 have been playing league volleyball for years. That’s what Mike called to inform us.”

“They’re prepared to coach us, teach us how to play, how to bump and set. 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 am calling Joan,” said Gigi, as she walked away from his unheeded start of a protest, a questioning of any Saturday programs they may have made, duties. Steve’s mouth remained open, silent and ineffectual, his hand 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 gathered on the ground 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 captured 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 one another, or against a wall. It’s a great drill. I suggest you do this a lot.” He demonstrated. “Here’s how you receive a serve. It’s really important to pass the ball correctly to your setter. Remember, it all begins with the pass. I mean, if you pass the ball correctly into the setter, she, or he, can then put to one of your hitters. If you do it right, if you start with a good pass, the rest flows easily. You’ll score points.”

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

Carol was, nevertheless is an exceptional 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 sort of acts like a torsion spring. Your arms and hands — in one fluid motion — meet the ball and send it up to the batter. No, no,” she coached, responding to one who tried the technique badly. “Flex your wrists like this. They too get the ball in a sort of spring action, like catching and passing in the same motion.”

The remaining 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 children,” the two of them, beating them easily, embarrassingly so. “Good god,” Steve said to Gigi and their four partners. “They’re really great. Unbelievable.” Trite, but the only words that seemed able to escape Steve’s flabbergasted brain. Only the pair of them!”

The practice sessions went on for months, stretching into months on a series of Saturdays. They practiced and drilled and practiced some more. Eventually, they, both novices, began to”get it,” to understand and then implement the passing, setting and hitting techniques. And then they practiced the overhand serve, or the underhand or sidearm service, and, of course, receipt of support. They practiced”digging” the ball, or getting and sending aloft a hard-driven serve, or a hitspike or kill, the latter term now used most widely in volleyball circles, especially by professional announcers. They all truly wanted to learn how to play, the right way — not like”backyard” hacks who”carry” the ball or receive 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 playing and practicing, until — like so many who have fallen in love with the game — all six were hopelessly hooked.

The new group of six continued to play at the Wednesday night league, actually beginning to win games, not a lot, but a few. They learned a whole lot of trivia regarding volleyball, the net and the court, its measurements. The net is all 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 training and drilling, their confidence grew, along with a certain degree of bravado. They chose to name that first team. Due to the learning experience, and because the school’s name seemed to some of these remarkably obvious, they dubbed themselves,”Poet’s Pride.”

Steve doubted whether 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’d become emboldened, fearless, a band of big cats, powerful and proud. The new team wanted a symbol of hard-won dedication and skill, an emblem of collective pride. “Wait! T-shirts! We must have team uniforms,” announced John with authority.

Soon they’d team jerseys, white and green”uniforms” with the recently adopted name emblazoned on left chest position in white lettering. Each had a number on the back in eight-inch high print, using heat-sealed numerals. They were magnificently attired for battle. 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 continued 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 guy? His name is Milan, I think. Do you know how old he is?”

“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 on,” 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 is their best player. He’s exceptional.

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

“Holy jumpin’ up and down,” said John. “That’s incredible. Do you think we will still be capable of playing volleyball at his age? I mean, that guy plays like he’s 26, not 46. 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 team had just beaten Steve’s team flat, making it look way too simple.

But then, in the next week’s match,”Poet’s Pride” rebounded. They recovered 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, becoming better, gaining expertise. In the end, of course, to most who play competitive sports, winning DOES matter, and in time they began to win championships. And they won a lot of these, together with useless trophies, eventually replaced by T-shirts, a much vaunted and far more desirable symbol of volleyball achievement. Not one 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, consuming and enduring.

“Set Three” –“Sand and Unusual”

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 play, and eventually onto the sand of”beach volleyball,” well, to be accurate, sand volleyball, as most courts available for league play were — and are increasingly now — in back or side enclosures of tavern and bar 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? What about the second? The third? Can I dive onto the court for hard-hit spikes?” The doctor, while judicious in his guidance, in the end gave into Gigis demand for honest answers and undermine.

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 green and white, 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 were locked in a tie, but the timed session was running short, and John thought his team could re-group and win that season-ending championship game. The thing was, nevertheless, if one contacts a ball hit out of bounds, that is, any contact of that nature results in a point for the opposing team.

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

As summer surrendered to fall and fall to the invasive chill of winter, the prideful group of ever-improving volleyball combatants played in a variety of places, high school and middle school gymnasiums — such as one that has been part of a religious order’s facilities in suburban St. Francis — grade school gyms, everywhere that was dedicated on a weekday evening to league play. They played in an indoor sand facility, built especially for co-ed team volleyball. Wherever league play and obsession beckoned, they’d enjoy the usual three game set, and then repair to a host’s tavern or a sponsoring centre’s bar for post-game beverages and apparently endless conversation about the day’s play, teams and the skill, 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 crucial element of these lives. And volleyball — it was Gigi who observed the obvious –“is like life itself. A microcosm of the human experience.”

As if calculated to show the assertion, teammates would come and go. Some lost interest and dropped out of the game. Partners, husbands and wives divide and eventually divorced.

Personalities in volleyball are as varied as the teams and individual players themselves. Fond of these 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 fantastic 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 attempts to dig hard-hit spikes, producing little 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 regularly commit”foot fouls,” sometimes wounding feet and ankles in the process, causing opposing players to howl in pain and issue loud, often obscene protestations.

“Did you see that?” Someone would call time and launch a harangue in the referee. “He might have broken my foot. 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 fair and occasionally downright inept. Needless, possibly, to add, player protests and complaints would often assault the ears of individual referees, and very often players could be cautioned or even threatened with expulsion, at times ejected from the match.

Steve and Gigi’s involvement has gone on and on, despite injury, pregnancy and the proclivities of a great variety of teammates and fellow fans. After some 20 years, or so, into their team volleyball experience, having gained and lost their first and many subsequent teammates, they eventually reunited with their mentors, their first”teachers,” Jimmy and Carol.

Gigi and Steve encountered Carol in a social function, possibly at a coffee shop, might have been a grocery store. “Are you two 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 love to have you two join usas a group, the four of us,” Carol said. “What do you believe?”

Like a pair of stereo speakers, obnoxious twins doing a gum commercial, they responded almost in unison,”We’d really like to. Where, when? … ”

“Set Four” — Four Decades and Counting

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

They were four players at a six-person league. The center contained six complete volleyball courts; it was and remains an excellent 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 in as many seasons or sessions of play. The four of them had”aged gracefully” to the great sport. If they’d lost a bit of speed and quickness, they made up for it in”smart play” Jimmy was possibly the best placement 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 method of sending the ball to the far opposite side or corner of the courtroom, an”uncovered” space. Carol and Gigi were and are still excellent setters, great occasional hitters and adept at defense, 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 this venue as well. They frustrated opponents, many if not most of them half of 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 competitors 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 would grin and snicker and chortle into cupped hands.

After 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 would always ask,”How many years have you guys been playing?” Or,”How long have the four of you’re together, I mean, playing volleyball for 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 might offer to young students or callow youths who have come into newly acquired knowledge with a sense of wonder and astonishment. A secondary goal was to keep the younger players interested, motivated and encouraged to increase their skills.

They have a fantastic friend and fellow volleyball player, Gene, who is 70-years-old. Gene is master of the”pancake dig” a method of diving level for a spike and getting a hands under the ball as it reaches the floor, causing the ball to pop up, ideally, to the setter. Abie is in his late sixties. Many of their current, fellow players are in their late thirties or early to mid-forties. Many are younger, twenty-somethings. In 72, Steve says he expects to play”until I’m 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, maybe 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 encounter ended for diverse reasons, but they all still talk about their”seasons in the sun,” their championships on sand.

Gigi and Steve haven’t given up the game, not by any stretch, but found, not another league, instead 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 first cadre of fellow volleyball devotees. As with heavy sweaters on a warming spring afternoon, they shrug off the admonitions of those who indicate,”You are all nuts for continuing to play league volleyball at your age.”

Each reply to those 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 quit playing? If I’m still able to compete with the younger players, there’s no reason to quit. I’ll play until I am physically unable to get and pass, set, dig a hard-hit kill attempt and hit the ball with some authority over the net…”

Many — the truly seasoned players that are also avid audiences — understand the game’s finer points, such as the fundamental 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, with a simplified discussion over whether to perform”center up” or”center back,” meaning the court position of the number two player, back row center, and that player’s responsibility for”kills” or well-placed long shots. In Steve’s age, at this juncture in his”volleyball career,” he just wants to play well enough, skillfully enough to give the opposition a competitive competition.

On his 70th birthday, he played in 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 floor with a dig and a roll. Both regained their feet in time for another play. They are 68 and 71 respectively. Remarkable! On that very occasion, a group of young audiences witnessed the game. With stunned 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 number of attempted kills, served a few aces and played a respectable game. “What a perfect way,” he remarked,”to gain entry through the septuagenarian gate.” Steve has always been rather poetic.

After passing through that gate and playing rigorous volleyball for two solid hours on a Monday evening — a session that starts 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 soon after climbing inout of sight and earshot of his fellows and driving homeward, he groaned in the aches and pains of this session’s combat, then as soon as he struck the door of his home and managed to wrestle the cap off the bottle, swallowed three ibuprofen! A weekly and quite necessary ritual.

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

Everyone loves banana bread

Banana, Bread, Brown, Food, Fruit, Green

There’s sure is nothing that says home like the odor of fresh-baked 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 and not dough. And evidently, it has bananas that’s normally mashed and set into the batter.

A huge family favorite, this has been around for several years! In fact it first came into popularity in the 1930’s, and since then numerous varieties have appeared in cookbooks. Banana bread is relatively easy to create, and therefore popular among home bakers.

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 active professional stops for his or her daily dose of java. Additionally it can be packaged 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 children hop off the bus. What’s more it can also serve as a last-minute dessert option when guests turn up unexpectedly and you end up whipping up a fast meal. If whipped together before dinner and popped into the oven it makes a fantastic accompaniment to a relaxing cup of tea while watching evening television.

This homey cure is so versatile because it is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There is an adequate amount of a dessert-like texture and taste in order for it to function as a sweet meal-ender.

It’s usually baked in loaf-shaped pans and can be cut into thin pieces or bigger wedges for serving. There are plenty of variations on banana bread out there. Of which, some banana bread recipes are passed down by numerous families from generation to generation, and each will announce theirs the best.

In fact there are quite a few other types of fruit or even vegetable-based breads. As these are also often-enjoyed treats, banana bread still appears to take the front concerning popularity.

How sharks attack

Selective Photo of Gray Shark

Sharks are dangerous creatures of the sea. They eat animals and humans alike. They are intelligent animals that incorporate three Wildlife Control basic methods of attacking their preys. Each means of attacking is quite effective and smart.

First, sharks can employ the sneak and surprise attack. It occurs in deeper waters where they are hardly seen before attacking. It grabs their prey by surprise. In this sort of attack, there is absolutely no initial contact. This is the exact reason why there are numerous chances of bites. The shark brings out to its prey apparently out of nowhere.

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

This sort of attack normally happens in the middle of the ocean, perhaps while one is fishing or just enjoying a calm boat ride . There are also unusual circumstances when sharks attack the vacationers in the shore. This however does not happen often as most sharks are in the deeper parts of the ocean the majority of the time.

The second type of attack is known as hit and run, usually happening at the surfing zone. In these cases, sharks leave the scene simultaneously after biting. The legs are just mistaken 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 use when they feel they are being aggravated. Seeing a surfer by way of example is unusual for a shark. An exposed leg will create a shark think it’ll be attacked so it bites.

The third kind of assault is bump and bite. The common victims are the swimmers and divers. In this attack the shark evaluations if the victim 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 reaction of the sufferer. Given the colossal size of most sharks, bumping a human is unquestionably a major and serious assault.

All these three types of shark attacks are unpredictable. When you’re in the sea water, you need to be aware that you are in the country of the sharks. To be secure, before going to water scan the water . If there is just a single fin then you’re safe because the ones that are present in there are just dolphins. But if you see two hooks, then you have to be aware. Sharks exist in the area. Sharks attacks people rarely but if you know a few precautions, then you can decrease the risks.

The first thing you do is don’t swim on your own. Do not get far away from your group and from the coast. Also avoid swimming at the dusk and dawn. These are the time that sharks get out to hunt. Do not enter the water when you’re bleeding because shark can easily notice blood. Don’t wear jewelries. Avoid clothing that’s brightly colored. Get out of fishing places and do not enter in the areas where it is known to be areas of sharks.

Emperor Penguin

Penguins Standing on the Snow during Daytime

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 so because during the autumn Emperor Penguins mate and the female lays an egg. The reason that 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 less probability of it falling through to the sea.

When the female penguin lays the egg she’s exhausted from all of the work and should leave to return to the ocean to find something to eat.

The hungry father who has not eaten for about four weeks will come back to the sea to feed. The mother will remain 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 is swimming feathers it also 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 centuries.

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

Hammerhead

Sharks Blue Underwater Hammerhead Sharks M

Hammerhead is one of about 360 kinds of sharks. The hammerhead sharks are included in the category of aggressive predators. Hammerhead sharks are usually located in hot 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.

There are nine known species of hammerhead sharks. They can typically grow from a little less than 1 meter to nearly 6 meters. Their eyes and nostrils are located 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 do exact turnings. The hammer shape of the head of the shark served as some sort of wing for lift purposes.

The colour of the hammerhead shark is grey-brown on the top. The stomach 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. Stingrays are a delicacy for them. They also feed on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans.

The hammerhead sharks are harmless sea animals. 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 are viviparous which is giving birth to live offspring. The great hammerhead sharks give birth to some 20 – 40 young at precisely the same time. These young sharks are about 70 centimeters long.

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

Hammerheads are no difference with other sharks. They’ve developed senses. These sharks are sensitive to the blue-green section of the spectrum. Red can also be observed by sharks. Hammerhead sharks may also be sensitive to low or without light. Ocean floors are dark places.

Hammerheads sharks hearing could be set in the higher degree. The range of sound sharks hear is like of human can. Low frequency vibration is the specialty of sharks. Additionally, there are canals in the hammerheads sharks for balance and detecting motion.

Hammerhead sharks also have tremendous sense of smell. Detection is possible even when the compound 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’s labeled as”globally endangered.” There is a collective concern one of the scientists to maintain these special creatures.

Panda

Panda Cub Wildlife Zoo Cute China Mammal N

These Gorgeous 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 USA, pandas can be seen in 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 powerful jaws and teeth so that they can chew tough foods such as bamboo shoots. Giant pandas have a special bones in their hands which works like an opposable thumb to help in holding their meals.

The pandas are native to just about six small locations in China. They live in the 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 located on the mountain of Fu Tou. It’s definitely the favourite food of a giant panda. However, bamboo is extremely low in nutrition, meaning that a giant pand will have to eat for 10 to 14 hours per day.

The bears are extremely shy and prefer to live independently. The females and males only see eachother about twice annually, in the late spring or early summer seasons to strain. A couple of months later, the female bear will often give birth to only one or possibly two cubs in a den she’s dug in the floor. Generally, only one of those bear cubswill live to adulthood. They are extremely small and helpless when they’re born, and can’t see. The mother panda nurses her nurse for around six months. At about one year old, the panda cubs are going to have the ability to live by themselves.

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 houses and businesses. Luckily, pandas are protected by law and can’t be hunted. They are also able to live at safe places like the Wolong Nature Reserve.

Quack Quack

White and Brown Wild Duck on Water

If you love outdoor animals and have been looking into the various types of ducks, we have put together a small list for you. Although you might already know about a number of them, there are others out there that nearly all society continue to be oblivious to today. So sit back and relax. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll definitely feel smarter in regards to the different 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 at the parts of South America along with 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 trying to find seeds, little fish, and grain. They are drawn most often to rice farms and have been known to create several problems for farmers on a daily basis. You will find that they are one of those few duck species that enjoy perching themselves in trees to stay in shady areas.

Among the most colorful ducks you’ll find on the planet, the Mandarin Duck can be found spread around the continent of Asia. However, the majority of these species are farmed or put in zoos around the world for spectator viewing.

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 because they are not a native species there, they are left unprotected by conservationists.

Probably one of the most entertaining ducks to see, the Ruddy seems as if it’s shaving cream underneath the bill. This is very distinct on account of the blue bill on men together with their rustic look on the body.

This is just a number 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 details about the ducks above or others such as the Mallard, the Red-Crested Pochard, Muscovy Duck and lots of others, you can locate them below. Let’s have some fun!

Jelly fish facts

Purple and Pink Jelly Fish

The box jellyfish has its title since they are bell shaped or cubed shaped with four sides being very prominent, thus the title box jellyfish. They may be as long as 20 cm on each side of the block, and have around 15 tentacles on each corner. These tentacles aren’t 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 exterior of the prey.

A box jellyfish is very portable, with their bodies to propel themselves forward at speeds up to 4 knots. These kinds of jellyfish travel towards the beaches in the calmer weather, and settle around the mouths of the two creeks and rivers following the rain. It’s assumed that after a great 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 main habitat is in water from Northern Australia and in the Indo-Pacific. A box jellyfish has venom that’s so deadly, it regarded as among the worst poisons on the planet today. This venom is so strong that the toxins set about attacking the heart and nervous system, in addition to skin cells. Their venom was designed so that it would immediately paralyze or kill its prey, and so that there was less of a battle. In this manner, the box jellyfish will look after its delicate tentacles.

The sting is so deadly; help must be obtained immediately if one expects 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 individual; for instance, a child needs less of a sting to cause dire consequences than an adult.

Rhino facts

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The Rhinoceros, abbreviated as Rhino is a title used with this uneven-toed ungulate that’s in the household of Rhinocerotidae. There are two five surviving species in this family and 2 of which are in Africa. Also called the Square-lipped Rhinoceros, the white rhino isn’t physically white in colour and the same is true for the black rhino/the Hook-lipped Rhinoceros isn’t black in color. They’re all greyish and whitish.

The name white originated from a kind of outline”wyd” which meant”broad” with regard to its broad, square silence.

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

The black rhino has become seriously becoming endangered and it is easily seen in east Africa. 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 handle since it feeds on thousands of plants.

The hook-lipped rhinoceros is know to be so antagonistic and it usually strikes from fear, 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 is only a fake type of antagonism. It pretends to be competitive but it does not fight with other animal species. The man rhinos fight with all the horns and for that reason the men tend to avoid each other.

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

Fast animals

Free stock photo of nature, animal, grass, big

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 speed? 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 too. 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 targets like prey. In the world wars, the Nazis trained and employed peregrine falcons to hunt down and kill carrier pigeons. So far, a few of the pigeons succeeded in bringing messages back and avoiding falcons which is among the reasons why the Nazis lost. 1 man in America worked at an airport with a peregrine falcon. He trains it to fly with such speed they can scare away geese preventing airplane wrecks.

The bug I’m spoke about in the first paragraph, despite its size, is the fastest in the world and it’s known as the tiger beetle. It can run as fast as a human can walk quickly. The problem it has with its rate is its eyes. In simple words, it literally runs blind.

Honey Bees disappearing?

Swarm Of Honey Bees

The 2008 calendar suggests another spring has arrived in North America and also the indications of the new season are everywhere. Buds have emerged on trees, heralding the coming of fresh leaves. The higher daylight and the warming sun act as harbingers for the appearance of flowering plants which will shortly begin their summer cycle of expansion.

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

CCD happens when all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the pollen and honey behind. Few, if any, dead bees are located around the hive. Between 50 and 90 percent of the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in america have been affected with CCD and the issue is making it hard for U.S. commercial beekeepers to pollinate plants. It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of honey bees in the USA have just disappeared because of 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 issues with dying honey bees this spring in america. Western Washington State has a growing agricultural catastrophe as bees are dying from a new pathogen named Nosema Ceranae. This fungus attacks the bee’s gut, which makes it impossible to process food and the parasitic eventually starves to death.

Generally speaking, the numerous problems with disappearing and dying honey bees are quickly taking a toll on the complete United States beekeeping industry. It’s been reported that the amount of keepers that produce more than 6,000 pounds of honey annually has dropped out of 2,054 in 2005, (the year before keepers began experiencing colony collapse) to approximately 1,100 annually.

The Fraser Valley produces about one-fifth of the planet’s blueberries, but no longer has a sufficient number of honey bees to encourage its blueberry pollination, and honey bees are presently being imported for pollination.

But, 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’s currently estimated that almost half of Italy’s 50 billion bee population died annually. That bee mortality rate is going to have a drastic influence on the nation’s 25-million-euro honey sector (which could plummet by 50% in 2008) and wreak havoc on fruit plants.

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

But if the population of the honey bee continues to decrease, global events from higher prices and shortages of food will have only just started. With no honey bee, prices of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, and dairy prices will spiral much greater.

The disappearance of the honey bee poses a threat to ingesting premium ice cream also. The business is starting a new flavor this spring named Vanilla Honey Bee to raise consumer awareness about the issue.

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

Hopefully, American politicians on the campaign trail from the 2008 United States presidential election like Haagen- Daz solutions. The reality is that Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream might be the only method to bring the candidates focus on some severe, developing, agricultural crisis. A world with no honey bee pollination will produce a food crisis of economic, national, and worldwide ramifications. Indeed, it’s another year with no solution to the problem of disappearing honey bees.

Hummingbirds

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Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.

I hope you’ll get some great ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.

It’s getting that time of year again. Spring Time! backyard birding Time!

For birdwatchers in the southern countries, 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 will fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just prior to the earliest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see will be a male, because the males migrate about two weeks before the females.

Did you know most small birds, including hummingbirds, migrate at night? I’m not sure why. Maybe they do this to take advantage of the more calm air of night, or to avoid the predators who are hunting during daytime hours, or perhaps they use the stars to guide them north.

As migration time draws near, daily activity begins to change. Birds who migrate at night, but normally are active during daytime hours do not sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake much more at night.

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

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 the fat he stored the same as a truck burns gas.

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

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

Facts about Elephants

Free stock photo of nature, animal, grass, trunk

Elephants are the largest animals on earth. There are two kinds of elephants, African elephants and Asian elephants. Both the species of dinosaurs used to subsist in great 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’s anticipated that there are approximately 500,000. In New York City Animal Control, the amount of elephants left is much lesser than Africa. The reason for the threat of extinction of this giant species is the over hunting of elephants for ivory trade. Fortunately, much effort is being made to ban the ivory trade and regulations are made to restrict the hunting of elephants by the states of African and Asia.

The Asian elephant, Elephas Maximus, has a massive arched head with comparatively small ears, a domed back and one finger like protuberance that’s located in the tip of their trunk. An Asian elephant has five toes on the front of the feet and four on the back. The African elephant has four toes on the 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 brown in color. Elephants naturally attain puberty at thirteen or fourteen years old. They have offspring up until they get about fifteen. Its long back, huge head with large flat ears and columnar legs characterize this gigantic creature. An elephant’s trunk is a mix of the nose and upper lip, is a very sensitive organ with over 100,000 muscle components. The act of drinking is accomplished by filling the back with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant’s mouth.

Mountain Lions

Mountain Lion Puma Cougar Wildlife Nature

Each year mountain lions are seen in many amazing outdoors locations throughout the nation. Even though it’s not unusual to have a mountain lion sighting in the nation, it’s somewhat alarming when they’re seen in highly trafficked areas, putting people and domestic animals in danger of being attacked.

Because of the forthcoming summer months when folks are inclined 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 nation alone. It’s ideal to bring a friend or at least a puppy with you. Having a walking stick may also function as some protection in case of an attack. Making loads of noise while outside will stop you from sneaking up on an unknowing lion, which might lead them to attack.

Mountain lions appear to be particularly drawn to little children. It’s very important that you keep them near you and within your website at all times.

* Don’t run away. Pick your child up without bending over.

* Make yourself look 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 sticks or rocks if they’re within reach and talk in a loud, firm voice.

If you see one, follow the directions 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 accessible to protect yourself, including a rod, hat, fishing rod, etc.. Lots of individuals have survived mountain lion attacks by fighting back.

If you encounter a mountain lion, or an animal carcass that could result from a lion kill, always contact your regional Department of Fish and Game or Pembroke Park Wildlife Removal. Always be conscious of your environment and that of your loved ones, especially smaller children, when enjoying time in the wonderful outdoors.

Information about dolphins

2 Dolphin during Daytime

Dolphins are amazing creatures and here are a few of their top 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 remain near the surface.
3. Dolphins can remain around 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 Dania Beach Wildlife Removal.
5. Dolphins are social beings which live in groups and cooperate among each other for activities like getting food and calf rising.
6. There are 32 species of ocean 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 known dolphin is the”bottlenose dolphin” that can grow to 2.5-2.8 meters.
9. Dolphins are warm-blooded and their internal temperature is around 36 degrees. To conserve this temperature they are surrounded by a thick layer of fat called”blubber” just below the epidermis.
10. The normal botllenose dolphin brain weighs 1500-1600 grams, while average human brain weighs 1200-1300 grs. This is not a conclusive evidence of dolphin intelligence as many other elements might be the cause of intelligence according to scientists.
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.

Lawn Maintenance

A lawn is an essential part of your family. 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 supposed to be enjoyed outdoors. Your yard should be maintained well so you may enjoy these fun activities. Effective lawn maintenance is vital to keep it in good shape. Check out 5 selected lawn care tips, which is effective in this regard.

Level the yard

You need to level your yard in the first place if you have an eye for accurate lawn maintenance. When you set yourself to do the task, you have to keep the structural feature of the yard in mind. Be realistic in your approach. To start the maintenance activity, you need to make certain the first layer of soil is removed from the lawn. Then you must put in your attempts in leveling the subsoil. A good lawn ought to be free of lumps. So you must make some extra efforts to eliminate the lumps. After the first phase of leveling is completed you need to include the first layer of soil or top soil once again.

Use fertilizers

You may benefit if you employ organic lawn maintenance composts strategically. Fertilizers should be applied when the temperature is still warm. It is better if you fertilize your lawn in August. You may fertilize again in October. Make 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 an effective lawn care method. When you choose grass seeds, you need to think about durability as well as good looks. Based on your requirement and the size of your lawn you may opt for carpet grass, Rye grass, Centipede grass etc.. Before you purchase one of these variations, you want to make sure is the perfect season to plant them.

Mow carefully

Mowing is an essential part of a compact lawn maintenance practice. You want to chop the blades of your lawn grass carefully. It is important that more than one third of grass blade height does not get eliminated during mowing.

Dethatch the grass of your lawn area

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

These methods will provide you a decent result in shape of a perfect lawn care approach. It is possible to preserve the beauty of your lawn with these approaches. However, you need to implement them correctly by hiring Boynton Beach Rat Removal.

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 do. The multitude of misinformation and home-spun recommendations out there do not help matters either. People have used smoke bombs, red pepper, poison peanuts, razor blades, chewing gum, human hair, vibrating devices and long list of dangerous substances to find the moles out of their lawns. There’s very little evidence to support these methods. After years of trialing this method or that method I am of the conviction that there’s only one mole control strategy that works. Effective mole control consists of:

1. Effective mole traps

2. An excellent understanding of a moles behaviour and customs.

 

Mole Nature Animals Molehills Mole Mole Mo

There are a variety of mole traps in the marketplace. The two most common styles are also the most effective. They work on the same premise as far as having a trap pan placed on the top side of the mole tunnel and striking when being pushed upward.

This plunger or harpoon style mole trap appears to be the most popular and available of the different varieties and is designed for being put on-top of the ground directly over the mole runway so that its supporting stakes straddle the tube and its spikes dip down and harpoon the mole as it pushes upward on the trigger pan.

The scissor traps have big scissor-like blades which are inserted across the mole tunnel after pushing down a small area for the cause. When the mole excavates the collapsed part of the tube, the claws slam shut and kill the mole. These traps work well on the deeper main mole tunnels which are generally 8 to 12 inches below the surface.

Proper positioning of mole traps is the key to success or failure. This is where a good understanding of mole behavior and habits is vital.

The mole is a solitary and territorial animal. In reality there usually are only 2 – 3 moles per acre. This territorial nature is an integral element in mole control. After a mole is eliminated by trapping your lawn may soon be maintained by a neighboring mole searching for new grounds causing you to think your mole control plan isn’t working.

Moles make two types of tunnels. Mole hills are built 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. Deep tunnels are the mole’s highways which lead between feeding areas and living chambers. These deep tunnels are where the scissor trap really shines. Too find deeper tunnels use a stick and probe between or alongside fresh mounds. After the floor gives way, the rod has probably broken through the burrow.

Finding surface runways that are active will take you a bit more time. Start looking for good straight tunnels. Tunnels that are more likely to be active appear to be those linking feeding areas or those running adjacent to driveways, walks or garden borders. You’ll have to collapse a little area of many 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 want to place your traps.

These traps do not know the difference between a mole and a hand. Be very careful. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and warnings. And most of all keep them out of the hands of a child and educate your children so that they know better than to play a set mole trap. You can also call Boynton Beach Raccoon Removal for help.