Had a particularly stressful day at work? Go home and mow your lawn.
This info is via an article published Aug. 27, 2009, at FoxNews. But it helps support the benefits of healthy grass to people and the environment.
Scientists have found that a chemical released by freshly cut grass makes people feel content, London's Daily Mail reported. As an added bonus: That same chemical also boosts memory in old age. The researchers, who worked at the University of Queensland, Brisbane in Australia, even put their findings in a bottle — a perfume called Serenascent.
Dr. Nick Lavidis, a neuroscientist at the University of Queensland, said he got the idea for the "perfume," or air freshener, after he vacationed at Yosemite National Park.
"I didn't realize it at the time, that it was the actual combination of feel-good chemicals released by the pine trees, lush vegetation and the cut grass that made me feel so relaxed," Lavidis said. "Years later, my neighbor commented on the wonderful smell of cut grass after I had mowed the lawn, and it all started to click into place."
Lavidis said the aroma regulates the part of the brain known as the amygdala and the hippocampus, which are responsible for the flight or fight response and the endocrine system, respectively.
Dr. Rodney St. John, Kansas State Research-Extension turf specialist, comments that he may overcomplicate the message.
"Why couldn't it be the feeling of completion that mowing quickly gives you. That is what does it for me. It is quick. It looks good. The same feeling I had as a kid plowing. Watching the earth turn as it went through the moldboards of the plow was incredible. I loved it! I think that is what mowing does for us. The lawn quickly goes from looking unkept to looking very manicured."
I think deep down, we all like order. Have a great evening and weekend. Get outside and mow or plow!
Which spiders are poisonous?
The brown recluse may be the most commonly known, greatly feared and often misidentified spider in Kansas. "Homeowners are often upset when they find they're sharing their home with a brown recluse spider, but they are very common spiders and likely to be present in most homes throughout Kansas and other central and southern Plains states," according to K-State Research and Extension entomologist Holly Davis.
"Although these spiders may vary in body color and leg color, they will never have spots or differently colored bands on the legs or abdomen. The key identifying feature is the violin-shaped pattern on the front of the body," said Davis, who runs K-State's Insect Diagnostic Lab. "Although they often live indoors where they are protected from harsh weather, they tend to be inactive from September through March. The current renewed activity of these spiders this spring means homeowners will find them more readily."
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal, active hunters that move through the house during the night hours, Davis said. They tend to spend daylight hours hidden in areas of the home where there is little air movement and reduced light such as in closets, under furniture and behind boxes. These spiders may be detected and monitored by placing glue traps on the floor close to walls, beneath sinks and behind furniture.
"This spider has a bite that sometimes causes a necrotic lesion where the skin and flesh around the bite break down," Davis said. "That creates an open sore for several days and often leaves a scarred pit. In a very small number of cases, poison from a brown recluse causes life-threatening systemic illness involving internal organs."
More information, including photos and tips to avoid being bitten, as well as ways to control the brown recluse and other spiders and scorpions, are available at http://kpbs.konza.ksu.edu/Spiderbites.pdf.