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House Finch.

We’re on month two of learning about the different types of birds in Mississippi. For February, we’re discussing the house finch.


a snake

Venomous Snakes: How Can You Tell?

July 22, 2022

In my opinion, snakes are not cute and cuddly like some other wildlife, such as rabbits and baby deer. However, they do an important job in nature and benefit humans by controlling pests, including mice and insects, that can spread disease and damage property.

Snakes do not seek out humans, but we can and do come across them. If you happen to encounter one, it’s unlikely it will bite unless it feels threatened or you surprise it.

Six of the 55 different kinds of snakes in Mississippi are venomous. Although the risk of a venomous snake bite is low, it can happen. It’s...

A man cooks food on a grill.

Tips for Healthy Grilling

July 19, 2022

Meat typically comes to mind when we think about backyard barbecues, but you can cook much more than that on the grill. Try adding fruits and vegetables this summer to go along with your protein choices.

Three photos of butterflies in a collage.

Three Common MS Butterflies

July 14, 2022

Butterflies are a fan-favorite insect among many people. Not only are they pleasing to watch, they also play a vital role in our environment. Butterflies are pollinators, meaning they move pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing plants so they can reproduce. They’re both beautiful AND beneficial! 

Glass of Creamy Blueberry Shake

The Food Factor: Creamy Blueberry Shake

July 12, 2022

This Creamy Blueberry Shake is great for quick breakfast or an on-the-go snack.

Purple petunias.

How to Deadhead Petunias

July 8, 2022

Petunias are great summer annuals to have in your landscape. They offer beautiful blooms that can withstand the Mississippi heat and thrive up until the first cold snap of the winter. Get the most out of your petunias by properly deadheading them! Deadheading the wilted or dead blooms only encourages new blooms to grow and keeps them looking great for several months.

Tuna cakes on a plate

The Food Factor: Tuna Cakes

July 5, 2022

If canned tuna is a pantry staple in your house, these Tuna Cakes can be on your dinner table in no time!

Fireworks explode in a night sky

Fireworks: How to Keep Pets Safe, Comfortable

July 1, 2022

We celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, and I dread holidays that include fireworks celebrations. The noises that accompany those light-filled sky displays absolutely terrify my dogs. However, there are a few things you can do to ease your pets’ fear and keep them safe.

A hand sprinkles eggshells on garden soil

Can Eggshells Prevent Blossom End Rot?

June 28, 2022

Most of us have heard that eggshells can help increase the calcium in our garden soil, and some of us may have even tried it in our own yards. The goal is to help prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes and other plants affected by calcium deficiency. As it turns out, using eggshells really doesn’t fix anything.

slice of Overnight Blueberry French Toast

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

June 21, 2022

This casserole recipe makes French toast simple. It’s great for breakfast but could easily be a dessert with the cream cheese and berry combination.

Joro Spider

Joro vs. Golden Silk Spider

June 17, 2022

You may have recently heard about joro spiders on the news. The gigantic yellow spiders are creepy enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies! The good news about these spiders is that they have not shown up in Mississippi yet. 

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Qula Madkin, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

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