The Herbs Place :: A Touch of Nature - 3/15/04

A Touch of Nature - 3/15/04

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March 15, 2004 Issue


Did you know that honeysuckle climbs and grows up on things in a clockwise
direction? Consider this from the book, "Bellevue Farm," by Curtis Badger:
I've learned from observing and cutting dozens of walking sticks, that
honeysuckle always grows in a clockwise direction. I've asked several plant
experts about this and got a variety of answers. One told me that this is
because of the earth's rotation; in the Southern Hemisphere the honeysuckle
would grow counterclockwise. Another told me that honeysuckle grows
clockwise because the plant follows the direction of sunlight.

But I've observed other vines -- fox grape, poison ivy, Virginia creeper --
and they seem to climb, or not to climb, in an arbitrary manner. Sometimes
they go straight up, sometimes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise.
Robert Stiffler, garden columnist with the Norfolk Virginian Pilot
newspaper, explained that honeysuckle's habit of growing clockwise is a
matter of genetics. It is programmed to do so, just as some people are
programmed to be right-handed and some left-handed.

Have a great Spring adventure!


Are You "Quiet As a Mouse?"

Most mice may be pretty quiet, unless they are frightened into squeaking,
but one species is known for the noise it makes. The grasshopper mouse of
the American Southwest and Midwest marks its territory in part by unleashing
long, high-pitched squeals, like tiny howling wolves. Only these wolves
weight less than a half ounce.


* Mother orcas carry their babies for 17 months before birth - nearly
twice as long as people!

* Newborn orcas are 6-7 feet long and weigh between 280 and 400 pounds.

* When fully grown, an orca can be nearly as long as a school bus.

* A group of orcas that travels together is called a pod.

* Orcas can swim at speeds of more than 25 mph.

* Orcas can see well both above and below the water.

* The dorsal fin on a male orca's back can be almost as tall as grownup.
Information from an issue of Wild Animal Baby, a children's magazine for
ages 1-3 years.

Read more about Orcas and this exceptional magazine
published by the National Wildlife Federation.


Depending on where you are located, you may have some hummingbirds coming
through pretty soon.


To attract hummingbirds, your garden should provide a steady diet of both
flower nectar and insects.

Explore tips on how to attract hummingbirds



Most rain forest life is found about 130 feet (40 m) above the ground, in a
layer called the canopy. This is where the branches of the giant trees
tangle to form a lush, green platform.

Underneath the canopy, little grows in the dim light. Where light does
break through, smaller plants compete for space. Leaves that flutter down
from the canopy are converted into food by insects and animals.
Our rain forests are so important!

Click here to help rainforests with a free click. Register for email reminders.

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE- Restoring the Balance


To significantly increase the butterfly population in your butterfly garden,
you should provide food for baby butterflies (caterpillars). What? You don't
like caterpillars? But no beautiful butterfly ever existed without having
been an ugly caterpillar first!

For each species in the butterfly kingdom, its larva (caterpillar) can only
feed on specific plant species. These specific plant species are referred to
as butterfly host plants or caterpillar host plants or butterfly larval
plants. One larva's staple is another one's poison.

To understand the requirements for butterflies and to help increase
butterfly populations, read Rose Franklin's article and find a link to more
information on butterflies at the bottom of the article.


Nature offers essential oils with potent properties that can be used in many
areas around the home. For health, bath, beauty, and household cleaning
supplies. Here's our featured recipe for this issue:


" My older daughter slammed the door on my two year old daughter's fingers.
She didn't realize it at first as she walked away, so it took about 20
seconds of the child screaming and jumping up and down for her to realize
what she had done. Sarah's first and second knuckles on the fingers had deep
indentations and she was screaming with pain. I used 4 drops of Helichrysum
on them and in 10 seconds she stopped crying. There was no bruising or
evidence of the accident the next day. It was amazing to me. The following
week Nature's Sunshine had this particular oil on special and I ordered five
to have this marvelous stuff always on hand. I know that it is an expensive
oil, but it is sure worth it!" Wendi Hawn

Read more about the benefits of these oils, find other recipes, and purchase oils.

" GREEN" INFO- Making It a Way of Life!

Don't your well-worn shoes deserve a better end than a landfill?
Nike collects the shoes - both post-consumer, non-metal containing athletic
shoes of any brand and also Nike shoes that are returned due to a material
or workmanship flaw - and then separates the three main materials, and
grinds them up.

They're left with three distinct types of Nike Grind material (upper fabric,
midsole foam and outsole rubber), each of which is used in a different way
to make new sports surfaces like soccer and football fields, basketball and
tennis courts, tracks and playground surfacing. In addition, they also use
some of the by-products from the manufacturing of outsoles of new Nike shoes
as Nike Grind rubber material.

There are 25 states with drop-off locations.

Find out where at this site


" Who are we to destroy the planet's creation?"
-- Edward O. Wilson, 1998, The Diversity of Life


Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - A great horned owl found starving in the wild because it had
gone blind could be released this spring after having new lenses implanted
in its eyes.

The owl, named Minerva by medical personnel, underwent two hours of eye
surgery Jan. 22, and Dr. Chris Murphy said she was in good condition during
a follow-up exam Wednesday.

" Perfect," said Murphy, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist. "Ounce
for ounce, this is considered one of the toughest birds on the face of the

Minerva was found in emaciated condition in early December, after someone
told wildlife rehabilitators Sue and Jerry Theys an owl had been sitting on
a fence for three days.

Sue Theys, who netted the owl, said she suspected the owl had cataracts.
After a local veterinarian confirmed the diagnosis, the couple brought the
owl to Murphy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary

Murphy had a pair of lenses on hand that had been custom-made six years ago
for another great horned owl that proved to be an unfit candidate for the
surgery. The lenses were designed by Murphy and Dr. Chuck Stuhr, and were
made for free by Storz Ophthalmics, a company that has been bought by Bausch
& Lomb.

With Murphy supervising, Dr. Renee Carter and fellow resident Katie Diehl
implanted the new lenses.

" To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done anywhere," Murphy said.
The Theyses, who operate Wildlife of Wisconsin wildlife rehabilitation, paid
for $300 of the $1,800 procedure, with the veterinary school donating the

During her recovery, the Theys have been giving Minerva antibiotic eye drops
three times daily and feeding her rats and an occasional rabbit.

In April, they will move the owl to a much larger flight cage and release
live rats into the straw-filled enclosure to see if she can successfully
hunt. If so, she'll be released back into the wild.

Great horned owls are the largest owls in North America, with females
obtaining a wingspan of five feet and weighing up to 5 1/2 pounds. They use
night vision and an acute sense of hearing to find prey in the dark.

" She's extremely feisty," Sue Theys said. "She can't understand why we're
messing with her. She can see and she wants to take off and fly."

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The content, suggestions, and web links in this newsletter are for
informational purposes only and not necessarily endorsed by our sponsor "The
Herbs" This is a personal publication by Donna Watkins. The ideas
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