The American Bittern in the Backyard - Critter 53

Friday, September 22, 2023
This bird has been in our backyard all afternoon and this evening. Stares up at sky and only moves if we get too close.

Fig 01- The bird stare up at the sky

The American Bittern usually live in the swampy areas around water. Hence, we are lucky enough to see this bird as our visitor.

The bird has scientific name, Botaurus lentiginosus, is a species of wading bird in the heron family.

It has a Nearctic distribution, where breeding ground in Canada, the northern and central parts of the United States.

Then, wintering in the U.S. Gulf Coast states, all of Florida into the Everglades, the Caribbean islands and parts of Central America.

Fig 02 - The bird sitting on the line.

The American bittern is a carnivorous bird, consume a variety of small aquatic animals such as fish, amphibians and crustaceans.

Fig 03- The American Bittern on the line, closer

Have you ever seen the American Bittern in the nature?

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The Fig Season in the City - Food Variety 35

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
We have the variety of figs that can produce two terms in the year.  Like other typical figs, the harvesting seasons from June to early September.  

Fig 01- The fig fruit in the box

However, several varieties have second season in the Fall. The Brown Turkey fig is an example of the variety with two crops per year, Summer and Fall. This variety is well known for its sweetness.

3 favorites fig varieties in our area, Baton Rouge are O'Rourke, Champagne, Tiger and LSU Gold. 

We love O'Rourke variety; it is because the fruit is sweet flavor. The figs have a brown (beonze) skin with medium sized. The variety season is around Summer to early Fall.

Fig 02- The fig fruit on the hand.

The O'Rourke figs, we think are delicious fresh, dried, or cooked. Sure, we love fresh the most.

Fig 03- The fresh fig fruit, just picked them.

Have you tasted the fig? What do you think?

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Roaming Guinea Fowls in Neighborhood - Part 1 - Critter 52

Thursday, September 14, 2023
We saw a couple of guinea fowl crossed the busy traffic road in front of nearby
library sometimes a week ago.

Fig - A couple of guinea fowl in neighborhood

Recently, they are roaming our neighborhood. In fact, the guinea fowls love to travel around.

The birds may walk about a quarter mile (402 meters), and then return to their home base.

Guinea fowl was native to Africa, and relate to other birds such as:
- pheasants
- turkeys
- partridges

The Butterfly Garden in the City - Sign 52

Friday, September 8, 2023
Butterfly garden is one of the sections within our city garden. We saw some plants that could attract butterfly in this section.

Fig 01- The sign of butterfly garden

The plants include milkweed, zinnia, lantana, verbena, aster and hibiscus. Milkweed is important for Monarch butterfly.

Interestingly, the milkweed is the only plant that can be eaten by monarch caterpillars in nature. 

The plant contains toxic that make caterpillars to be poisonous to predators (birds, spiders, wasps and lizards). 

Milkweed plants produce high energy nectar, good for adult butterfly. In addition to high sugar, the milkweed nectar also contains high potassium.

Fig 02- One of the butterflies in the garden.

Unfortunately, the milkweed populations are declining in recently, hence, to be one of the main menaces to monarch butterflies. Declining of population is due to herbicide use and habitat loss.

Fig 03- Part of the city garden

How many are butterfly garden in your city?

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The Tamale is a Typical Mexican Dish – Part 2 – Food Variety 34

Tuesday, September 5, 2023
You may read previous (Part 1) post:

Fig 01- The Beef Tamale, sold in Walmart

The Tamale is a delicious dish with tastes of sweety, salty or spicy, made of “a corn based dog” with mixture of various stuffs such as: various meats (chicken), beans, dried fruits, olive, cheese, vegetables (carrots and peppers).

When eating Tamale, we remove the wrap first, either we throw it or used it as a plate. We may eat with:
- guacamole
- rice
- pico de gallo

As you might know that Guacamole is a kind of dip. made by mashing of avocados with other ingredients include chili peppers, lime juice, salt, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.

Have you tried a Tamale? Or which one Mexican food does you like?

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The Barred Owl just Visit our Fence - Critter 51

Monday, September 4, 2023
We saw a barred owl sitting in the birdbath this evening, then the bird flew to the fence about 5 feet away and sitting there.

Fig 01- A barred owl sitting on the fence.

We wonder how long the predator will stay there, and it didn’t seem perturbed at all by we are talking to it.

The young squirrels didn’t seem too afraid of it either, since squirrels are included in barred owl's diet.

Actually, barred owls consume a variety of prey, some of them are rabbits, opossums, mice and voles.

Yes, they mainly eat small mammals, it is because small mammals are easy to catch and quite abundant.

Fig 02- A barred owl, turns its head.

However, the barred owls are nocturnal predators, they active in daylight could be weather conditions. Higher temperature which reaches more than 40* C (104* F) makes them try to find out water.

Fig 03- Just standing on the fence.

Have you seen barred owl on daylight?

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The Trashcan Fix or Replacement in our Areas - Sign 51

Friday, September 1, 2023
 When we are jogging, we just saw a trashcan with a sign which need to be repaired or replaced. The sign has quite attractive words, make us smile.

Fig 01- A trashcan, need to be fixed or replaced.

The words: "for the love of God. Please fix this trashcan." Actually, we have similar problem several years ago.

On that time, the garbage truck caused the damage, then, we called the city (311) multiple times.

As requested by the city, we put the damaged trashcan at the end of the driveway. Our address, home number is very visible from the street.

Unbelievable, the 3rd party contractor that repairs/replaces the trash can keeps going to the wrong house and has admitted they went to the wrong house.

Fig 02- Flowering, just illustration.

Finally, it had been replaced after almost 3 weeks. It’s getting ridiculous, especially for the amount of money we are charged.

Fig 03- A flowerbed, illustration only

Have you ever had a similar experience?

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