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Today is April 14

Dolphin Day

The term common dolphin tends to refer to the short-beaked common dolphin and the long-beaked common dolphin that are found in warmer seas worldwide.

The common dolphin is generally found around the Mediterranean Sea but are also commonly seen in deep off-shore waters and to a lesser extent over continental shelves that are preferred to shallower waters. Some populations of dolphin may be present all year round, others appear to move in a migratory pattern.

Common dolphins travel in groups of around 10-50 in number and frequently gather into schools numbering 100 to 2000 individuals. These schools are generally very active socially with groups often surfacing, jumping and splashing together. Typical dolphin behavior includes breaching, tail-slapping, chin-slapping, bow-riding and proposing.

Common dolphins are among the fastest swimming marine mammals, with some possibly reaching speeds of over 40 km/h. Dolphins have been known to use both their speed and large group sizes to develop different ways of hunting prey.

Dolphins are considered one of the smartest animals on earth.

For more information visit https://a-z-animals.com/

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National Gardening Day

Gardening is a rewarding activity that has been found to provide a host of benefits beyond ensuring readily available access to fresh fruits, vegetables and awe-inspiring blooms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many gardening tasks qualify as light to moderate exercise, which means raking the leaves and cutting the grass can be just as beneficial as cardiovascular activities like brisk walking or jogging. In addition, a 2017 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports found that gardening can help aging men and women offset age-related weight gain. And the health benefits of gardening go beyond the physical. In 2014, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine concluded that horticultural therapy may be an effective treatment for people with dementia.

Gardeners have a host of tools at their disposal to help turn their lawns and gardens into awe-inspiring landscapes. Among those options are ergonomic tools. Ergonomic tools can benefit gardeners of all ages, but they may prove especially valuable for aging men and women.

How ergonomic tools differ from traditional gardening tools

Ergonomic gardening tools are designed to ensure that using them has as little effect on the body as possible. Ergonomic tools align with how a person naturally moves his or her body, which can reduce the likelihood that gardeners will suffer any strains or sprains while gardening or experience any aches and pains after a day spent tending to their landscapes.

Choosing the right tools

The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities notes that gardeners will know they have chosen the right ergonomic gardening tool for the job when they do not have to adapt the tool. Ergonomic tools should match gardeners’ heights, fit their grip and feel comfortable when in use.

Specific benefits of ergonomic tools

Ergonomic gardening tools are designed in a way that can reduce stress on the body while performing various tasks. Gardeners know that aches and pains can add up after a day spent kneeling in the garden, raking soil and carrying supplies from a shed or garage around the property. But the WVUCED notes that ergonomic tools do more than just reduce gardeners’ risk of injury.

  • Ergonomic tools increase efficiency. Wasted motions are less likely when using ergonomic tools. That can improve efficiency in the garden, allowing gardeners to get more done in the same amount of time. And because ergonomic tools are designed to work with the body, gardeners likely won’t need to take breaks due to aches and pains, which also makes it easier to be more efficient when working in the garden.
  • Ergonomic tools increase gardeners’ capabilities. The WVUCED notes that principles behind ergonomics keep gardeners using the tools in natural positions. That means gardeners won’t lose power to bending and twisting, enabling them to do more in the garden than they might be able to do when using non-ergonomic tools.

Gardening is a rewarding and beneficial activity. The right ergonomic tools for the job can enhance those benefits and make gardening even more enjoyable.

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National Pecan Day

VARIETIES

Nature, along with careful cultivation, has given us more than 500 varieties of pecan, each with its own distinct shape, flavor and shell structure. However, in the United States—the world leader in pecan production—a select few varieties are prized for cooking and consumption. The following descriptions, developed by the LSU AgCenter, give insight into those Louisiana pecans most sought after by chefs and foodies alike.

Candy

Trees produce early ripening, small nuts (66 nuts/lb.) with thick shells and attractive kernels (48%) that have high quality and good flavor. Trees are vigorous with dense, dark green foliage and a strong framework. Trees begin to bear in four to five years, but will tend to bear in alternate years as trees grow older.

Elliott

Trees produce a round, small nuts (67 nuts/lb.) with a thick shell and a bright, well flavored kernel (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking characteristics. Trees bear in six to eight years. Elliott has excellent resistance to scab, but is susceptible to bunch disease. This variety has been widely planted in south Louisiana.

Sumner

Trees produce attractive, medium-large nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with a light, good quality kernel (55%). Trees bear at a relatively early age – five to six years. It is recommended for yard plantings because of excellent scab resistance.

Melrose

Trees are prolific producers of medium-large, oblong nuts (53 nuts/lb.) with bright, attractive kernels (57%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees bear in six to eight years. It has moderate resistance to scab and shuck disease, but is susceptible to powdery mildew and bunch disease. This variety is recommended more for northern Louisiana because it often develops severe scab disease in southern Louisiana.

Caddo

Trees are prolific producers of football-shaped, medium-sized nuts (60 nuts/lb.), pointed at both ends with thin shells and bright attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Caddo has moderate scab resistance and good bunch disease resistance; however, it is susceptible to black aphids and powdery mildew.

Oconee

Trees are good producers of large, oblong nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with thin shells and attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Oconee has moderate scab resistance.

Jackson

Trees are consistent producers of large nuts (39 nuts/lb.) with medium shells and bright, well-filled, excellent quality kernels (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees have low alternate bearing tendencies. Jackson has moderate scab resistance.

For more information and recipes visit http://www.louisianapecans.com/

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International Day of Pink

Discrimination takes many shapes, whether it’s based on race, age, disabilities, gender or sexuality. The 2SLGBTQIA+ community is no stranger to the bullying and violence that stems from hateful beliefs. While progress has been made towards removing these social barriers from our society, discrimination still persists. So, every year, on the second Wednesday of April, people around the world  put on a pink shirt and stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to continue fighting for equality and acceptance.

For more information visit https://www.dayofpink.org/en/home