The Curious Brazil Nut and Brazil Nut Tree

Food, Plants
Buy a can of mixed nuts, and what large nut catches your attention because of its large size? Undoubtedly, it is a Brazil nut, perhaps an excellent indicator by its quantity of how good a quality your can of mixed nuts will be. It is not merely size that sets the Brazil nut apart. There are many factors that make this nut unique among nuts. Let's consider a few of them. The Brazil Nut Tree The Bertholletia excelsa, or Brazil Nut tree, is very imposing to look at. With its very large trunk, it towers above buildings. Atop the trunk is a crown of leaves and branches. Bertholletia's fruits resemble coconuts. In fact, Brazil nuts are not nuts, but seeds from within the fruits. [caption id="attachment_28657" align="alignright" width="400"] Bertholletia escelsa,…
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I “Discover” The Chestnut Weevil Maggot

Biology, Nature
Sitting at my computer desk one day, I spotted a small maggot crawling along. Now a couple of hours earlier, I had a couple of apples sitting there, so I wondered if they were the source of the maggot that came from those, possibly a fly maggot. No, they were not. Now in the fall, which this is, I gather seeds from various plants, to dry them and put them away for next year. Among these are sunflower, hot pepper, and zinnia seeds. I know no maggot in its "right mind" would make its home in a Serrano pepper. And I hadn't gathered the zinnia seeds yet. Then again, there was no evidence of maggots in the thousands of sunflower seeds. Source of the Maggot What was left? Well, I…
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