Friday, November 17, 2023

Finally Friday flora and fauna: Traffic-stopping turkey; wonderful olives; meet a hero; the glory of monarchs

This turkey crosses the road when he wants to.
(Photo by Jill Weiss, The Washington Post)
Why did the turkey cross the road? And keep crossing the road? "This was just another rush hour in West Orange, N.J., where the apparently fearless turkey has claimed a hillside along Pleasant Valley Way, tormenting drivers and pedestrians ceaselessly on one of the community's busiest thoroughfares," reports Ronda Kaysen of The Washington Post. "Efforts to capture and move it (including the attempt with a tranquilizer dart) have so far failed."

Johnny Carson famously said, "Happiness is. . . finding two olives in your martini when you're hungry." Carson was onto something. "No food or medicine can do what olive oil can do," reports Meryl Davids Landau of National Geographic. "Scientists say adding more olive oil to your diet can positively impact your health in many ways, from alleviating high blood pressure to helping with weight loss."

Maverick visits students and inspires learning.
(K. Brownfield, American Humane photo via WP)

The world can sometimes feel like a topsy-turvy, sad mess. In dark times, it's good to have a hero. Meet Maverick, a 6-year-old European Blue Great Dane who won the 2023 American Humane Hero Dog Award. "Maverick's job as a therapy dog is to comfort military members and their families from across the country. His go-to move is placing his paw on the person he's seeking to soothe," reports Sydney Page of The Washington Post. "When service members die, Maverick escorts their children to their funerals, and he also visits with service members after unexpected deaths in their units. Each week, he spends time with students at schools and focuses mostly on children struggling with their classes."

Amelia, the Bluefin tuna, began life in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. "Sometime between her birth and 2004, she accomplished her first feat of long-distance swimming, crossing the Atlantic Ocean's entire breadth before arriving off the coast of western Rhode Island," reports Karen Pinchin of Hakai magazine. Read about Amelia's exceptional "catch" by an unusual fishing charter business and its owner, Al Anderson.

A "roost" of migrating monarchs in Mexico.
(Photo by Jaime Rojo, National Geographic)
In many parts of the country, glorious orange, soft red, and brown hues still abound in trees and brush foliage. But perhaps an even greater delight is the migration of monarch butterflies and their fanfare of fall colors once they reach their winter resting grounds.

When considering a hobby farm for goats, cows or sheep, a lot of planning is needed to get started on the right hoof. Chelsea Hill, an adult livestock and 4-H animal science educator, started by "outlining equipment needs, types of shelters, livestock handling systems, health care and water quality," reports Lisa Z. Leighton for Lancaster Farming. "She said having a health-care kit ready is important for day-to-day use, to assist with births, and in the case of parasite issues." Leighton outlines the basic needs and toolboxes for an excellent start here.

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