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Texas Veterans Commission letter honoring Memorial Day

st txMay 25, 2020

My Fellow Texans,

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a day for Americans to offer tribute and honor to the heroes who laid down their lives to preserve our freedoms.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War. It was not until after World War I, that the day was expanded to honor those service men and women who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.

Read more: Texas Veterans Commission letter honoring Memorial Day

Camo is my happy color

Common Pauraque on Thornforest FloorBy Colleen Hook, Executive Director at Quinta Mazatlan

One of the most near-perfect camouflaged birds is the Common Pauraque. The Pauraque has an understated beauty marked in brown-black and grey patterns and can just “disappear” on the Thornforest floor. While Pauraques are an adaptable species, they need forests to live and will leave areas that are heavily built up. Forests are important for many reasons from providing homes, to providing food, medicines and helping us breathe and keep cool.

Pauraques are unlike most other birds, as they really don’t construct nests. They make a scrape in the ground and lay eggs on the Thornforest floor on fallen leaves. A clutch consists of 1-3 eggs which are pink colored with buff spots. Incubation takes about 20 days and is carried out by both parents.

Read more: Camo is my happy color

In celebration of momma birds

Eastern Screech Owl QM 6 16 18Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlan

Springtime means new baby birds and celebrates rebirth and motherhood. Mother birds take parenting very seriously from building the nest to incubating the eggs and to finding food for her young. To quote Proverbs 31:10-31, “A mother’s work is never done”.

Bird nests are fascinating and as a general rule, the mother is the skilled builder designing the nest for support, shelter and camouflage. Some nests are intricately designed and others are scrapes in the ground. Let us look at the seven styles of Avian Architecture!

Read more: In celebration of momma birds

Stinging caterpillar season has arrived in Texas

spiny oak slugWritten by Susan Himes, Susan.Himes@ag.tamu.edu

AgriLife experts warn stinging caterpillars can cause contact rashes, painful reactions

As the weather warms up and people begin spending more time in their yards, parks and forests, more people will be coming home with a rash or bug bite.

However, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts say before you blame a flying insect or a poisonous plant for a skin ailment, you may need to consider another culprit – stinging caterpillars.

Read more: Stinging caterpillar season has arrived in Texas

Could You Be Missing Out On Senior Discounts?

Here Are A Few Things To Know

By Chris Orestis

People who reach or near their retirement years often need to watch every penny.

Sure, some of them are financially fit and don’t lose sleep worrying that their bank accounts and investments will run dry.out of money. For many, though, frugality is the watchword as they struggle to make it through each month.

Fortunately, aging does come with at least one financial perk – senior discounts that restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, airlines, car rental companies, hotels and other businesses offer to their older clientele. These discounts give older Americans a break on prices for everything from a gym membership to a fast-food meal to a movie ticket.

You would think all seniors and their families would be all over these opportunities. But, surprisingly, many people don’t take advantage. In some cases, that could be because it doesn’t occur to ask whether a discount is available. In other cases, people just have a hard time thinking of themselves as seniors.

Read more: Could You Be Missing Out On Senior Discounts?

Use iNaturalist to explore urban wildlife during Earth Week & every week

Smartphone flowersBy Quinta Mazatlan / Center for Urban Ecology / John Brush

Urban wildlife is far more diverse than one might think as we bustle about our daily lives. Yet if we slow down to look at a flower, peer in a tree, or listen to the sounds in our neighborhoods, that perspective shifts. And with iNaturalist, learning what life is around us is easier than ever.

The main feature of iNaturalist, available for free on iOS, Android, and online, is sharing nature observations and getting help identifying what plant or animal we have found. It might be a moth beneath a porch light, or a lizard skittering across a fence, or a tiny flower poking up through a lawn. With iNaturalist, all it takes is quick photo to get started.

Read more: Use iNaturalist to explore urban wildlife during Earth Week & every week

The Century Plant—It’s Time to Bloom

Century Plant FlowerColleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlán

The Century Plant only blooms once in a lifetime every 10 to 25, years so the century thing is an exaggeration, but a quarter of a century is still a long time. The plant is monocarpic in that it flowers, sets seed for pups and then dies. But it leaves plenty of pups or small plantlets at its base to begin a new life cycle.

Read more: The Century Plant—It’s Time to Bloom

Doctors encourage patients to continue monitoring their health

DHR Health Integrates TeleHealth into Specialty Clinics to Keep Patients Healthy Amid the Pandemic

(April 20, 2020) - Edinburg, TX — While hospitals across the country report a decline in patients admitted for strokes, heart attacks, emergency appendectomies and other urgent health concerns, physicians at DHR Health caution that the decline may be attributed to people’s fears about being admitted to the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. With policies and protocols in place to prevent disease spread within the hospital and clinics, doctors are reminding patients to pay close attention to their health and to contact their healthcare provider when experiencing unusual pain or symptoms.

Read more: Doctors encourage patients to continue monitoring their health

Back to basics: Time-tested self-sufficiency practices still relevant

1930sFoodPreservationPic wUsing old-fashioned approaches can promote self-reliance during COVID-19 pandemic

Paul Schattenberg, TAMU

A shortage of some consumer items and shelter-in-place restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the importance of traditional practices promoting self-reliance and self-sufficiency, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

Read more: Back to basics: Time-tested self-sufficiency practices still relevant

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