A Touch of Nature – 1/15/05 – The Herbs Place

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Clean Start Body Cleanse – The After-Holiday Cleanse 🙂

Time to cleanse all those holiday goodies. We process a lot of junk food we shouldn’t be eating, so January is a popular time for cleansing. Clean Start is our most popular cleanse. Read more:  Clean Start

A Touch Of Nature
January 15, 2005 Issue

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What’s Happening Here at Bluebird Cove

We’ve had some really warm weather this month. My hyacinths came about 5" out of the ground. Had some allium sprouting up too. These were bulbs I’d just planted in the Fall. I was happy for the birds to have warmer weather and the wildlife, but it sure seems the plants will be challenged trying to figure it out.

Virginia has been recognized as a state for American heritage, but recently it became the first state to have a Birding and Wildlife Trail statewide. The final phase has been completed and we’re really excited about it. The trail is a driving trail that provides opportunities to also walk and bike various areas rich in wildlife and birds.

Virginia has one of the highest diversities of birds in the eastern United States, boasting nearly 400 resident and migratory bird species and more than 2,200 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, mussels, crayfish, birds, mammals, butterflies and dragonflies statewide.

If you’d like to read the story about this, here’s a link:
Virginia First State for Birding and Wildlife Trail

If you’re in Virginia and want copies of the guide books, here’s a link:
VA Birding Trail Guidebooks

Hope you’re having a happy new year!

Critter Facts

Watching Wildlife

One of the best ways to learn about animals is simply to watch them in their own habitat. Just remember that you are visiting in their home. So, be respectful and don’t chase or scare them, don’t try to feed them from your hand or touch them, and please don’t feed them in a park. This can be unhealthy for them and dangerous for you. Keep a safe distance and try these ideas to see some wild neighbors:

• Put out feeders and nesting boxes in your yard where you can watch from a nearby hiding place.

• You can put out "scent posts" near animals trails. Put a piece of cotton or cloth pad on a wood stake. You can soak the pad with fish oil, fruit juice or animal attracting scents that you can buy at a sporting goods store. Push the stake in the ground and clear a small area around it. Sift the soil with a piece of screen until it is very fine, and you can sprinkle it with water or some flour to show tracks of the animals that visited your post!

• "Bait" an area and watch it after dark. You can attract small rodents by putting peanut butter and birdseed in the cracks of a dead log. A mix of fermented fruit and syrup painted on a tree can attract moths and sometimes a flying squirrel. Sardines can attract larger mammals like raccoons and opossums. To keep from scaring these animals, sit quietly and use a flashlight with a piece of red cellophane to cover the lens.

• Try building a "frog raft." Just attach a small battery light like a camping lantern and a long string to something that floats well like a foam cooler lid. As you hold the string and let the raft float into the lily pads, the light can attract insects which can attract frog riders on your raft.

Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Wildlife Watch in the United Kingdom

In the UK, the Wildlife Watch organization is making a big difference for the environment and for young people!

Those Amazing Birds!

Tips for a Healthy Feeding Station
by Bill Thompson, III, Editor, Bird Watcher’s Digest

Give your seed feeders (especially thistle and tube feeders) a shake before you refill them, to dislodge any compacted seed. Dump out any wet clumps of old seed.

Clean all hulls off platform feeders and out of seed trays daily.

Keep some old spatulas and brushes handy by the feeding station for cleaning purposes.

Disinfect feeders by scrubbing with a weak bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach to 2 gallons of warm water) every few weeks, more often in summer or rainy periods. Rinse and allow feeders to dry before refilling.

Wash your hands thoroughly after filling or cleaning your feeders.

Move your feeding station when the ground beneath it becomes covered with seed hulls and droppings. Rake the old site to remove hulls and to give the grass a chance to recover.

Store your seed in a clean, dry, airtight container, such as a metal or plastic garbage can.

Don’t allow large amounts of seed to become wet, as on platform feeders.

Instead, when it’s wet outside, feed primarily from covered feeders that will keep seed dry, or put out only a handful of seed at a time on platforms.

Don’t put hulled sunflower hearts (or bits) out where wet weather can cause them to spoil. Offer them in a tube or hopper feeder.

Don’t put out any more seed than can be eaten by the birds by nightfall, especially where raccoons, opossums, bears, deer, or rodents are a problem.

If you see a sick or dead bird at your feeders, halt your feeding for a few weeks to allow the healthy birds to disperse. This lessens the possibility of disease transmission. Remove and discard in the trash any dead birds. Report the sick birds to your local wildlife officials, many of whom monitor wildlife health.

If you provide suet, reduce the amount you offer in hot weather. Heat can make suet rancid and unhealthy for birds. Runny suet can also stick to birds’ feathers, making them hard to keep clean and useful. Use rendered suet or heat-resilient suet blocks that are available commercially.

Reduce window-kills of birds by placing feeders a safe distance away. If birds regularly strike a particular window place a screen, crop netting, or a series of branches over or in front of the outside glass panel to break up the reflection.

Though birds may not be entirely dependent on your feeder, it’s best not to leave them totally without food if you plan to be away from home in mid-winter. Purchase an oversized feeder with a large seed capacity, or ask a willing neighbor to continue feeding your birds.

Don’t discontinue feeding as soon as the grass greens and the weather warms in spring. Many birds will continue coming to your feeders all summer long.

Don’t use grease, oil, petroleum jelly, or similar substances on your feeder poles or wires to thwart squirrels, ants, or other feeder-raiding creatures. If these substances come into contact with bird feathers they are impossible for the bird to preen or wash out. Gooey feathers can become useless for flight or insulation, thus putting the birds at risk to predators, extreme weather, and disease. For squirrels and other mammals, use a pole-mounted baffle (many are sold commercially).

Baffles and lots of birding supplies are available on the Internet at this online store:  Little Chickadee.com

Nature’s Bounty For Us

Plant Oils Provide Many Household Uses

Since ancient times, mankind has used pure plant essential oils for many benefits and uses. Some are anti-viral, antimicrobial or anti-fungal. Others may soothe inflammation, relax tense muscles or enhance breathing.

Many popular products in stores today use additives and artificial fragrances. Discover how affordable it is to make your own products using 100% natural, pure essential oils.

Here’s what you can do with essential oils:

* Diffuse your favorite scent
* Mist and refresh
* Calming massage
* Luxurious baths
* Refreshing soap
* Facial care
* Body pampering
* Soothing pedicures
* Natural hair care
* Make your own perfume
* Chemical free home cleaning

Find recipes, pure oils and aromatherapy supplies here:  href=”/essential_oil_recipes_sp_4/”> Plant Oils Provide Many Household Uses

Do you need to build a body system for better health and wellness? Herbs have been used by people around the world for thousands of years. This site lists Supplements by Health Topic

Pets Are Nature At Home

Pet Supplement Catalog by Health Topic
Pet Catalog

Pet Success Stories Using Nature’s Remedies
Pet Health Stories

Free Natural Pet Email Newsletter
Free Pet News

Healthy Pet Corner for Birds, Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits & Reptiles
Healthy Pet Corner

Gardening For Wildlife – Restoring the Balance

Gardening With The Birds This Winter

If the soil in your garden is in workable condition – neither frozen or overly wet – take a day to turn the soil. Turning the soil now will expose insect eggs to the effects of winter and hungry birds which will benefit your plants come Spring.

As a thank you to the birds for eating the insect eggs, also consider
putting out some bird feed for them during this time when food is
scarce for them. There is no need to buy an expensive feeder. A square
piece of used carpet, plywood or cardboard will work fine to create a
feeding area with birdseed spread on top.

These tips are from Saving Advice.com. For more tips and articles on saving money, visit their site.

Shopping With Purpose

Please Note: We receive no compensation for promoting these businesses, other than the delight of sharing alternative shopping experiences for those who would like to make a difference while shopping. 🙂

Stuffed Animals for Chemically-Sensitive Children

Lil’ Britches Comfort Friends are Flax Organics Inc.’s unique line of stuffed animal friends for children. These soft, cuddly characters are machine washable, constructed of certified organic fabric, and are safe for all the loving a toddler (or adult) can give them.

Because the animals are constructed of certified organic fabric and any dyes used are low impact dyes, there is minimal effect on the environment. The lack of chemical residues due to the organic fabric and processing makes them ideal cuddly buddies for all children, even children who are chemically sensitive.

See the products and get more information here:
Stuffed Animals for Chemically-Sensitive Children

"Green" Info – Making It a Way of Life!

New Diet Resolution? Eating Vegetarian – Why and How?

Just 15 years ago, finding cruelty-free versions of our favorite foods was like a game of scavenger hunt. But today, virtually every major grocery store sells animal-free foods like veggie burgers, creamy soy and rice milks, meat-free "chicken" patties, soy sausage, and even dairy-free ice creams. And restaurants – from fast-food to four-star – are more frequently offering healthy and animal-friendly dishes.

Eating vegetarian fare is an easy and delicious way to help animals, the environment, and your health. What does vegetarian mean? Read more, get recipes, and request your free vegetarian starter guide at this site:  Eating Vegetarian – Why and How

Sunshine Concentrate – Detoxify Your Soaps and Cleaning!

This environmentally-friendly cleaning and washing concentrate is nothing less than wonderful. We’ve used it for 15 years for laundry, hand soap, pet baths, soaking produce, dishwasher, cleaning, and a multitude of other uses. This product has saved us money and health. No more "itch" of chemical soaps.
Sunshine Concentrate

Muse On Nature

"Live with intention. Share inside-out smiles, inspire hope, seek awe and nurture in nature." Holly Dilatush

Nature Organizations – Making a Difference!

Animals and The Tsunami

Many dogs have survived, particularly in Thailand. To help these homeless canines, Humane Society International has contributed $10,000 to the Soi Dog animal rescue project in Phuket. The first $2,000 of this grant will go toward the direct care of homeless dogs, whether providing food and water or immediate veterinary treatment to the animals. The rest will help fund a "field clinic" in Khao Lak, which will provide treatment, care, and food for both livestock and domestic animals in the area.

While in Phuket, HSI Asia Director Sherry Grant also helped coordinate the rescue of a Indian-Pacific humpback dolphin who now swims free.

Edwin Wiek of SOS Wildlife Rescue Center has begun making regular trips to a small island off Thailand in a dinghy purchased by HSI for his work. The island apparently was devastated by the tsunami, leaving few inhabitants but at least 50 deer. Those deer have no clean water, so Wiek is literally piloting the dinghy over to the island to provide the animals with barrels of fresh water.

In the meantime, HSI has dispatched a small team of livestock veterinarians to Sumatra, where it is believed that agricultural animals took a large hit from the tsunami. They have begun assessing the damage as well as providing food and water and treatment to those surviving cows, goats, chicken and other animals. "Our efforts in Sumatra are critical to helping residents get back on their feet," says HSI Executive Director Neil Trent. "These people rely on their animals not only to generate income, but also to feed their families. We want to make sure that any injured animals get healthy and are properly fed and watered."

Trent notes that getting a grip on the animal issues in all the affected countries, even at a time of unfathomable human misery and loss of life, is important. Not only is it necessary to contain the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid, but it’s vital that organizations like HSI work to jumpstart the economies of these devastated communities-economies largely built on animal agriculture. After all, rebuilding the local agriculture can help a community feed its own citizens, an important step in making people once again self-sufficient.

Source: Humane Society of the United States

The Frugal Life – Learning to Live With What You Already Have

Living more simply is a great way to effect change in your own personal environment. It helps the planet also. The Frugal Life website has lots of ideas on getting back to basics. They also have a free newsletter emailed twice a month.

Written to encourage families wanting to stretch their dollars, it includes articles or tidbits on topics such as: finance, decorating, gardening, and household tips from subscribers and questions from the website forum.

Sign up for their free email newsletter here:  The Frugal Life.com


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Copyright and Reprint Information
The content, suggestions, and web links in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not necessarily endorsed by our sponsor "The Herbs Place.com." This is a personal publication by Donna L. Watkins. The ideas and information expressed in it have not been approved or authorized by anyone either explicitly or impliedly. In no event shall Donna L. Watkins or "The Herbs Place.com" be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of this information or its publication. This newsletter may be forwarded without any alterations without seeking permission.