Taking the Best Pest Photo with your Phone

I get a lot of requests to identify specimens from photos. Emailing a photo of a pest sample rather than finding a container, catching it and bringing it into our office can save considerable time for our clients in the community. If you are able to send me a good photo accompanied by some details of the situation, it can save me considerable time too.

A good photo is one preferably in focus, one which includes some identifying characters of the pest. This can be as simple as the overall shape or as detailed as the presence or absence of wings, hairs, pits, segments or clubs on a specific body part. With spider identification, it is helpful to count the number of eyes and note the eye arrangement on the cephalothorax in order to positively identify the family.

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Happy Thanksgiving From Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County!

“For the golden corn
and the apples on the tree,
For the golden butter
and honey for our tea;
For fruits and nuts and
berries, that grow
beside the way
For birds and bees and
flowers, we give thanks
every day”
–author unknown

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us here at Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County! Today, we recycled the fall decorations from our office by placing them into the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. It will be fun to watch the wildlife on the live camera as they check out the pumpkins, squash […]

via Happy Thanksgiving! — The Buzz at Cherry Creek

7 Super Things Parents & Caregivers Can Do

Love your children1. Talk often with your children from the day they are born.

2. Hug them, hold them and respond to their needs and interests.

3. Listen carefully as your children communicate with you.

4. Read aloud to your children every day, even when they are babies. Play and sing with them often.

5. Say “yes” and “I love you” as much as you say “no” and “don’t.”

6. Ensure a safe, orderly and predictable environment, wherever they are.

7. Set limits on their behavior and discipline them calmly, not harshly.

Source: The NEBLINE Newsletter (Nov/Dec14 issue) Early Development Network Babies Can’t Wait 

Here’s to keeping families first … until next time,

Soni Cochran

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

If you live outside of Lancaster County, Nebraska, be sure to check out the university extension resources in your community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml

16 Tips For Cutting Family Food Expenses

I am always looking for ways to save money! One of my goals is reduce food waste. Anything that looks close to expiring, I use. I freeze fresh produce if I think it it might expire. Did you know you can freeze tomatoes with the skins on? I’ve used this technique many times and those tomatoes are delicious in stews, chili and soups – especially in winter! (Directions: http://food.unl.edu/freezing-raw-tomatoes-or-without-their-skins)

Enjoy this blog post from the Nebraska Extension Learning Child Team and share your money-saving tips!

Have a great day! Soni

The Learning Child Blog

Cutting food expensesDoes your lettuce turn to mush? Mushrooms start to grow fuzzy? Do your bananas blacken before your family can eat them? In the US, the average family of four, loses $1,500 each year to food it has to throw out. This is like tossing one bag out of every four purchased at the grocery store.

Food is a necessary expense but there are ways to save money. Check out these tips!

1. Use a Grocery List

Keep a grocery list where it’s easily accessible, such as on Use a grocery listthe fridge, and take it with you to the grocery store. Always shop with a list. Stick to your list for added savings, but do stay flexible if you encounter a sale. Gas for an extra trip to the store easily can add a dollar or more to your grocery bill. And the less you shop, the less likely you’ll buy something on impulse.

Examples:

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“May I have more pineapple?”

"Pineapple scene" from Role Modeling: Effective Meal Strategies Video from Nebraska Extension

“Pineapple scene” from Role Modeling: Effective Meal Strategies — Nebraska Extension

The Learning Child team from Nebraska Extension produced an educational video to help caregivers role model effective meal strategies.  The video demonstrates six strategies to help caregivers encourage children at mealtime.

Here are the six basic strategies from the video:

  1. Sit with children during mealtimes.
  2. Eat the same foods the children eat.
  3. Eat the food at least twice.
  4. Physically prompt kids to try foods.
  5. Be positive.
  6. Repeatedly offer a variety of foods.

Of course, these same techniques can be used around the family table. One of my favorite scenes in this 4 minute video: the caregiver tries pineapple twice and soon after, a child asks for pineapple. It doesn’t take long and all the children are enjoying the juicy fruit.

Watch now: Role Modeling: Effective Meal Strategies

Have a great day!

Soni Cochran

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml(nationwide listing).

 

Back To School Transition Tips

schoolkids

My kids on the first day of school. You can tell my youngest was excited for Kindergarten. (1997)

Back to School time is upon us and for our youngest learners, a well-planned transition will get them off on the right start. Transitions can help build the bridge from one stage of a child’s educa…

Read: Back To School Transition Tips

This article is from The Learning Child Blog from Nebraska Extension

Have a great day!

Soni Cochran

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml(nationwide listing).

 

Superhero Exploration

Do you remember playing superheroes as a child? I do! I remember my own children making capes and coming up with stories as they “saved their friends and siblings”. I went to the link in this blog and read how Sarah Erdman and Meredith Downing used superheroes to teach life lessons.

“During that sidekick day, we teachers made two new observations about the superhero play. First, the children did not cling to the superheroes they knew from popular culture. Sure, there were plenty of Batmans and Batgirls (and even a Superman who wore a Spider-Man costume); but we also had Super Pig, who carried a Pig Wand that made witches disappear, and Super Dog, who wore a superhero robot costume.” From “Science of Superheros” by Sarah Erdman and Meredith Downing

Here’s to all the parents, grandparents, teachers and caregivers who make our children feel like they are superheroes too!

Have a great day & be superhero cool!

Soni Cochran

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

The Learning Child Blog

CZHWdgtUgAAFkwgMany parents may overlook superheroes teaching their children about life lessons. However, Sarah Erdman and Meredith Downing, prove otherwise with one of their articles. Children can learn a lot from superheroes; it all depends on how you direct the teachings.

One of the first thing that you can incorporate with superheroes is creativity. Children should be encouraged to think on what they would want to be as a superhero, including their powers and their backstory. It improves your child’s creative thinking and helps them learn how to explore options.

Along with developing exploration and creative thinking, it makes children think more in-depth on more than just the how the superheroes save the day, but why do they do what they do? Superheroes do not always get the recognition for their work in helping others, but they continue to do it—and enjoy it. Opening children’s minds to this way of thinking…

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