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Articles by Author Sandra

Ketchup: The All-American Condiment

Ketchup is the go-to of  all American condiments. In fact, the average American consumes 71 pounds of ketchup each year. [Incidentally, this 1953 advertisement by Alcoa Aluminum uses the Del Monte catsup bottle as a prop to demonstrate how easy it is to open aluminum screw tops.] It’s easy to understand why Alcoa used a

TOMATOES: FRUITS, VEGETABLES, OR LOVE APPLES?

Most vegetable gardens, whether in the back yard or in pots on the balcony, feature tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash [usually the prolific zucchini]. All are easy to grow and attractive with their lush leaves and yellow flowers. I enjoy the lacy effect of these tomato blossoms in my garden. Americans also like the taste of

VICTORY OVER SMALL POX

While spending time sheltering-in-place at home, I, like many other people, considered previous pandemics. Many media stories compare COVID-19 to the 1918 H1N1 virus pandemic. But that event is one of many throughout history, including small pox, also known as the speckled monster, a virulent viral disease once endemic in Europe, Asia, and Arabia. It

MADAGASCAR LEMURS

Nosy Be is an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar Island, the fourth largest island in the world. There are two major industries on Nosy Be: Ylang-Ylang plantations and tourism. Ylang-ylang is a flower valued for its essential oils that provide a key ingredient in production of perfumes and essential oil. Its intense fragrance

GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA

According to Skilled Adventurer, trekking is a “long arduous journey, typically on foot” that can test your ability and sanity. Hiking, on the other hand, is walking a long distance, usually on trails or roads. Neither involve safari vehicles that deposit visitors at the end of the road and fade from sight, seemingly forever. I

DO YOU WANT TO SEE A TIGER? COME TO RANTHAMBORE

If you want to see the elusive tiger, Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve is a good place to look.  Deer are the primary source of food for tigers, and at Ranthambore there are plenty of deer to choose from. The spotted Axis deer are called cheetah in Hindi because cheetah means spots. Sambar deer

“I Love Cebu” Is an Accurate Song

The second stop on my recent wildlife safari was Cebu Province in the Central Visayan region of the Philippines. From the air, the approach to Mactan Island reveals a sizable city and busy harbor. The name Mactan evolved from Mangatang, meaning pirate. Once upon a time, islanders preyed on passing ships. The pirates are long

SAFARI IN MAASAI MARA, KENYA

The most magical location of my wildlife safari was the Maasai Mara National Reserve, a savanna wilderness in southwest Kenya that borders on the Serengeti in Tanzania. The site in the Great Rift Valley features grassy plains and rolling hills crossed by the Mara and Talek Rivers. The famous migration of wildebeests from the Serengeti

SNOW MONKEYS & CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN JAPAN

Just before the world turned upside down, I returned from an incredible adventure that took me to wildlife sanctuaries at different sites around the world. The first stop was Japan where I was able to visit the surprisingly famous Snow Monkeys and enjoy an early viewing of cherry blossoms. The extremes of winter and spring