The term ‘counting crows’ isn’t just the name of a rock band, it’s also an old saying dating back to the 1700’s. It was based on an account of a farmer who figured out a crow could count to 4 or 5 after he set up a logic test and observed the bird working through it. Crows are known to be incredibly intelligent and crafty animals, they score very highly on intelligence tests, and top the avian IQ scale. Besides counting, they also like to play and are known to use tools, both of which are behaviors associated with intelligent animals. More studies on crows are needed to establish exactly how smart and advanced they really are and animal researchers are working hard at that.
One fairly recent experiment that tested a wild crow’s intelligence proves that they definitely are not bird brains, in the derogatory sense of the term. A complex puzzle was set up and the crow had to work through it in order to solve the difficult problem. There were 7 different pieces or stages of the puzzle that the bird had seen before individually at different stages. However, the video shows the first time the bird is seeing all the pieces together in one area. The crow has to asses and work with all the pieces in order to retrieve a stick that’s long enough to reach a piece of food. Once he digs the morsel out at the end he earns the treat and proves his mental agility.
Check out the video to see how complex the task really was and to see if the wild bird figured it out. Crows may just be smarter than young kids and this video makes me wonder what else are they capable of?
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What a cool looking creature! Turns out, the man o’ war is not a jellyfish, but actually a colony of little sneaksters that are attached and integrated so thoroughly that they can not live by themselves. At the surface of the ocean, the man o’ war floats through life, moving only by the force of currents and tides. Strong winds may push them into bays and beaches, where they should be only looked upon and with caution. Where there is one man o’ war, there is many, but often an entire beach will be closed after the sighting of just one. Recently there has been a massive increase in numbers of Portuguese Man O’ War from Delaware to New York. Watch the video below to learn more about the risks and what to do if you come into contact with one.
When I was in sixth grade I spent a week in West Palm Beach, Florida with my friend and her dad. We stayed in a hotel on the beach where we spent everyday from sunrise to sunset in the outdoor pool. Entering the sunshine state mid Northeast Winter, we grew layers of blistering sun burns in the first part of the week. We were so heat exhausted that my friend was vomiting up her daily grilled cheeses in the groomed poolside plants, and her father’s concern was that we were spending too much time in the pool, so he sent us to the beach.
My friend and I reluctantly approached the beautiful ocean water and were delighted when we learned it was many degrees more comfortable than the Atlantic we were familiar with. Promptly, I was thrashed with a wave across the face, which knocked my child body to the ground to be pummeled by undertow and exasperation. Then I felt it! An electric shock like whip along the side of my arm. I struggled to catch my breath through the inhaled salt water and looked down to see my forearm and hand red and inflamed. My friend and I made our way back to the hotel pool where the lifeguard confirmed I had been stung by a man o’ war. The hero then sprayed my arm with cologne to soothe the welts and told us to go swim in pool.
Enjoy the beach this summer, but always stay aware of your surroundings. Keep your eye out for these beautiful but dangerous and potentially deadly creatures.
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What is your spirit animal? Mine is the glorious chicken. It guides me in my daily quest for perfection, helping mainly by telling me that I should be a vegetarian. I like vegetables, so I don’t mind, but it would be nice if it gave me something with a little more substance. Like chicken. Oh wait, we aren’t talking about food anymore, I got distracted by the chicken. My chicken guide is scowling at me. Who knew a chicken could be such a taskmaster?
All I want to do is relax and eat some cookies. The chicken says that’s cool, as long as they are not chicken cookies. I thought this spirit animal thing was going to be way more interesting. Who chooses these things, anyway? I went into the spirit animal store expecting to walk out with something cool like a bear, or at least a coyote, but all they had left was the chicken. Apparently obtaining high quality spirit animals is a tough business, they probably have to do weird illegal black market voodoo stuff to get them.
I would just exchange it, but I got roped in to the two year contract with insurance, and it costs twice as much to break it than it did to buy the thing in the first place. I’ll just have to wait until I qualify for an upgrade. Maybe they’ll have a cockatoo or something, I heard parrots make really great spirit animals, plus they know English. Translating chicken is time consuming, especially because they have four hundred different words for chicken. Narcissists.
What is your spirit animal? let us know in the comments below
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When is the last time you saw a baby duckling feeding a fish? How about feeding a whole bunch of fish? No? Well, your opportunity has finally arrived. I know you have waited patiently, biding your time as you eagerly await this epic moment that you knew must eventually come. You put in your time, and now you are rewarded. The cuteness is beyond what you will likely be able to handle, but be strong. You can do it, you can make it through the video without going insane from the adorableness.
The beginning of the video finds a young duckling sitting on some type of thingy in the middle of the water, surrounded by many fishes. The fish are there to tell the duckling secrets, but the duckling must pay for each tidbit with a tidbit of his own, in the form of some weird white powder that I can only assume is food. Whatever it is, the fish love it and tell so many secrets, the baby duckling can barely contain his joy. With rampant satisfaction, he feeds the fish, providing them with a similar level of contentment.
You may be thinking to yourself, “What if the duck falls in? Will he become eaten by the hordes of fish?” But have no fear, my fellow friend, for these are harmless fish. Their teeth are quite small, like a chicken’s, and will not harm the young duck. The duck, being a waterfowl, can swim quite well and will easily find solace in safer waters if he does fall in. Plus he can just get back on the thingy upon which rests the delicate bowl of fish powder.
Have you ever seen anything like this? Let us know what you think in the comments
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What is the season of your soul? Are you aligned with the chilling wind and icy quiet of winter, finding your comfort deep in the hibernation of an early winter morn? Or are you happy go lucky, always a ray of sunshine in the spirit of joyful summer? A flower in your hair, a skip in your step, you take each moment with rose colored glasses and fill everyone you meet with cheer. Dancing is better than walking, you say, and why shouldn’t we have ice cream, this life is to be enjoyed!
The seasons of life lead us through ups and downs, thick and thin, yet each turn of the planet earth, and every rotation around the magnanimous sun that gives us life with its vitalizing rays brings us deeper into the knowledge of ourselves. We are guided constantly to our deeper truth, which although it is in plain sight around us, we often fail to notice. Each oscillation of the pendulum of father time leads us one lesson closer to the wisdom that will enable and demand peace amongst fellow beings, for we all breath the same breath after all.
What will this season of your soul bring you? Will you take it as it comes, gleaning lessons and wisdom as you move forward with each passing day, growing in your ability to be at peace and live in harmony with your fellow creatures who share this delicate and magical planet we call home. No other place in this solar system has the delicate balance required to breed the vast diversity that flourishes in this beautiful belt of space that fosters such majesty. So take the quiz, my friend, and let us know your results in the comments, for we will learn from you just as we all learn from each other.
What season is your soul? let us know in the comments below
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Poison ivy rashes are no laughing matter. They can be extremely uncomfortable, itchy, and painful. While some people have a high threshold for poison ivy and never develop a reaction, others are very sensitive to it and even the slightest contact with the plant makes them break out. The best way to avoid a rash is to avoid the pant, but that’s not always feasible. Poison ivy reactions are caused by urushiol, an oily resin, that’s found on the stems and leaves of the plant. Whatever comes into contact with the oil can further spread it. For example, if you drive over some plants it will get on the tires, then if you touch the tires it can get on your skin. Other common things that it may contaminate are gardening tools, rakes, chainsaws, tires, and clothing.
In this video, scientist and wildlife enthusiast Jim Brauker explains the best technique for minimizing your chances of developing a nasty rash. He says that if you ever do come into contact with poison ivy, or suspect you may have, then you need to wash the oil off your skin within 2-8 hours, the sooner the better. You should use cold water, soap, and a washcloth to help get it completely off your body. The key is to use a washcloth, which provides the necessary friction, on all possibly contaminated areas of your body. A washcloth, loofah, or towel is what works best to pick up and remove all of the oil. It doesn’t matter what soap you use but never wash with hot water since it opens up pores and allows the urushiol in. Ideally, you should try to avoid the plant in the first place, so you need to know how to identify it. “Leaves of three, let them be.
Leaves of five, let them thrive.” The first part of this old saying provides a helpful way to remember how to identify a poison ivy plant, and thus avoid it. The second part serves to help prevent other similar looking vine plants from wrongly being associated or confused with poison ivy. There are additional sayings which provide more details and definitive ways to identify the plant, they include “longer middle stem, don’t touch them” and “hairy vine, no friend of mine.” Out of the three leaves the middle one sports a longer stem than the two side ones and the vines have lots of small ‘hairs’ that it uses to stick to things as it climbs. That’s important to know because the leaves fall off in the fall/winter but the stems, roots, and vines can still all give you a rash because they too contain the urushiol oil. Other things to look for are glossy leaves with smooth or toothed edges and in late summer the plants sometimes grow white berry clusters.
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