A Sign with 4 Languages in Singapore - Sign 63

Tuesday, January 9, 2024
 As you might know that Singapore is a small Island, a modern country, locates in the South East Asian region. 

Fig 01 - A sign with 4 languages

The country has multi-ethnic citizens. The four main societies are: 
- Chinese
- Eurasian
- Indian 
- and Malay.

No surprise, important signs will use language from these 4 main societies. As of Fig 01 at above, a sign of dangerous of electricity (voltage or current) is written in English, Chinese, Indian and Malay.   

Fig 02 - Sign used in front of toilets.

4 communities enrich Singapore languages, culture, religions, traditions and even cuisines.

Fig 03 - Plants at a corner, Singapore.

Almost all Singaporean speaks English, since its official language for administration and business.

Fig 04 - A sign in public area, Singapore.

Ability of Singaporeans to speak multiple languages lead them to have advantages in the world stage.

Fig 05 - A sign in multiple languages.

Have you been in Singapore?

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The Black-bellied Whistling Duck on the Roof - Critter 64

Friday, January 5, 2024
We heard it whistling on the roof recently. We have never heard the sound or seen the physical critter or anything like that before.

Fig 01 - The duck on the roof

The size of this critter a larger than birds which visited our neighborhood frequently. Its size about 19 inches (48.3 cm) long.

We believed that it is a kind of wild duck or wild goose. Then, the GoogleID suggested the critter is the Black-bellied whistling duck. Some of our neighbors called it as a Mexican Whistler Duck or the Squealers.

This duck has scientific name as Dendrocygna autumnalis. The duck is native to Americas (North and Latin America). In the USA, we may find this duck in the states such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Fig 02 - Neighborhood, illustration only.

In the Latin America, this duck lives in the countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Paraguay, Honduras and Argentina.

Fig 03 - The black-bellied whistling duck.

In recent years, we saw the ducks have become more and more prevalent in our state, Louisiana. They might migrate from other states or countries.

Fig 04 - Sky at night, illustration.

They raid nests in trees, and we may observe the Black-bellied whistling ducks in the areas such as grassland, savannah and wetlands.

Fig 05 - Whistling from roof top.

Have you seen this kind of duck in nature?

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The Sign to Support the Library - Sign 62

Tuesday, January 2, 2024
 We have several libraries around our neighborhood, the biggest one is the city library. Our memberships is almost for 20 years.

Fig 01 - The sign of love my library.

The library was opened in 1942, about 82 years ago, boasts the intertwine between cultural and social of our city. It opens every day, from Monday to Sunday. The services are little bit shorter on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

It has 3 floors, a house for 500,000 of:
- books
- electronic resources
- movies
- and collections of artworks

Fig 02 - Metal corn stalks, illustration

The city library is an amazing facility with so many offerings. The neighborhood is surely fortunate to have such a place available to all.

Fig 03 - A little library at neighborhood

It offers a lot of programs, events and classes (studies) for all ages. These activities are varying from season to season.

Fig 04 - Garage sale, just for illustration.

programs, events and classes include:
- kids story
- computer classes
- book clubs
- author and illustration programs.

Fig 05 - Ocean, just for illustration.

We just spend hours in the library every summer. We had to put a number limit on how many books came home with every time. So, we would know how many they should have return.

Fig 06 - Flowers, just for illustration

The signs are a nice way to show our appreciation and support for our libraries during this time that they seem to be undervalued. The signs are free and are inside the lobby of the library.

Fig 07 - The sign at one of neighbors.

How about with your library? or libraries around your neighborhood?

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A Baby Squirrel on the Neighborhood Yard – Critter 63

Saturday, December 30, 2023

We posted about squirrels at our neighborhood previously.  The first post was decreasing of squirrel population and the second was about blonde squirrel. 

Fig 01 - Just a newborn baby squirrel, found on the yard

You may read two previous posts:

Each house in our neighborhood has yards with some trees, big and small, old and new trees. Several species include oak, magnolia, cypress, crape myrtles, sugar maple, hollies and pine trees.

These yards and trees attract a lot of wildlife, both dangerous (intimidating) and friendly (adorable) critters. 

Fig 02 - Neighborhood, just illustration

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Fig 03 - One of favorite trees for squirrels.

Few of wild critters are:
- squirrels
- turtles
- snakes
- otters
- raccoon
- rabbit- coyotes
- birds (permanent and immigrant birds)

Fig 04 - Another baby squirrel, just for illustration

We found a newborn squirrel on a yard recently. We guessed about several days old. She looks very weak.

Fig 05 - A tree, just illustration

It is said that Pedialyte milk or puppy milk is good for baby squirrels. After a while (several weeks), squirrels can feed their own natural foods:
- fruits
- nuts
- seeds

Fig 06 - A few days old squirrel

Transit at the George Bush Airport in Texas - Sign 61

Tuesday, December 26, 2023
If we want to travel from our city, Baton Rouge to farther north states such as California, Oregon or Washington, hence we should have "transit" flight.

Fig 01 - George bush airport

Two places as common transit airports are Dallas and Houston. We love George Bush intercontinental airport in Houston.

George Bush is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the USA. The airport is closer from our city, and we feel convenient compared to Dallas.

In addition to extensive networks within the airports in the USA, there are plenty of direct flight from Houston to many regions.

We may be connected to many countries in the regions of South and North America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Fig 02 - Airplanes in the Houston's airport.

We may find information about the destinations we could reach directly from George Bush airport in Houston.

Fig 03 - On the sky, seen from window.

Some countries which may be reached directly in the Souther and Northern America are: 
- Canada
- Mexico
- Belize
- Brazil 
- and Argentina.   

Fig 04 - Thousand feet over the sky.

We may have direct flight to European cities (countries) such as:
- Paris (France)
- Frankfurt (Germany).
- Amsterdam (Netherland)
- and London (UK)

Fig 05 - A duty free shop in SFO airport.

Other countries that could be connected from Houston transit airport include Qatar, China, Japan, New Zealand and Ethiopia.

Fig 06 - People sitting in front of bar, Texas airport.

Do you have a favorite airport?

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The Reddish Fruits in the Winter - Gardening and Hobby 50

Friday, December 22, 2023
We saw a bunch of reddish fruit from the trees in the public parking lot in this winter, strangely, there is no single animal around.

Fig 01 - The color looks attractive.

After searching through the GoogleID, the tree was identified with many possibilities, some of them: 
- a Bald Cypress with scientific name is Taxodium distichum.
- a Japanese maple, scientific name is Acer palmatum.
- and Chinese pistachia or Chinese pistachio with scientific name, Pistacia chinensis.

Yes, the Bald Cypress tree produces some fruits, and turn to reddish when ripen, usually in the winter times.

Fig 02 - Reddish fruits in the winter

The Bald Cypress tree is native to southeastern USA. In our state, Louisiana the Bald Cypress trees are often found in wetlands and swamps.

Fig 03 - The plant during Summer times.

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Fig 04 - Plenty of fruit on the branches

Bald cypresses trunk has widen base and spread out like fins or may similar to flanges.

Fig 05 - The leaves and fruits, reddish.

However, we believe the tree tends to be Chinese pistachia (Pistacia chinensis). By the name, you may guess the origin of trees. True, they are native to China, especially western and central China. 

Fig 06 - The color of leaves not changed yet.

Many people choose this plant for landscape with many reasons, some are:
- able to live in the harsh conditions.
- attractive foliage
- and drought tolerance.

Fig 07 - Part of branches, Chinese pistachia.

The sizes of fruit produced by the Chinese pistachia tree is "quite small," but, bunches of fruit are striking sight. 

Fig 08 - A tree with less leaves. 

The fruits are not edible for humans, because the fruit may cause stomach problems (upset). Sure, there are several animals consume this fruit in nature such as squirrels and birds.

Fig 09 - The tree stand in the parking lot.

Do you recognize the plant of the above photos?

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A Great Blue Heron in Wetland Areas - Critter 62

Tuesday, December 19, 2023
  When we travel to countryside. wetland near the Mississippi river, we saw a heron. We thought it was a Louisiana heron.

Fig 01- A heron, nearby Mississippi river.

However, the GoogleID identified it is a great blue heron with scientific name, Ardea herodias. While the Louisiana heron has different scientific names that is Egretta tricolor. Both species are native to the Louisiana state.

We may observe the great blue herons in their natural habitats such as lakes, rivers, swamps and marshes areas.

The bird is a predator with diverse food sources, but dominant diet is fish, from catfish to eel to minnow. Other diets include reptiles (lizards), amphibians (frogs), invertebrates, small mammals and small birds.

Fig 02- We may find a heron in this area

Interestingly, great blue herons are patient predators, they may stand still for long time to wait for fish swimming by.

Fig 03 - The trees, illustration only

The great blue heron may consume quite big quantity, could be several kg of fish per day. 

Fig 04- The lonely blue heron

Do you know about great blue herons?

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