A Touch of Nature – 05/01/02 – The Herbs Place

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May 1, 2002 Issue
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A Touch of Nature


As promised in the last issue, here are some more rain forest facts. Rain forests are dense with diversity of species and plants. We need them to discover new drugs and herbs. They also help the earth’s atmosphere to be healthier for humans and animals.


We get 25-40% of pharmaceutical products from the rain forest, even though only 1% of tropical plants have been examined for possible medicinal uses.

Two U.S. states have temperate (cooler region) rain forests:
Washington: Olympic National Park
Alaska: Tongass National Forest

The major causes of rain forest destruction are:
Oil drilling, cattle ranching, mining, and road construction.

According to The Nature Conservancy, two acres (equivalent in size to two football fields) are destroyed every second

Three things you can do to help to save rain forests:

Buy only sustainably harvested woods Reduce your beef consumption Support organizations that champion rain forest preservation You can click once a day and support rain forests at:


In Indonesia, environmentalists blocked traffic and planted trees; in Thailand, some 15,000 Buddhists prayed for the Earth; in the Philippines, cyclists filled streets in the capital city; and back in the U.S.A., Susan Sarandon, Kevin Bacon, Patrick Stewart, and others took part in an Earth Day Network event held at the U.N. in New York City to encourage world leaders to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa later this year. Monday marked the 32nd anniversary of Earth Day, pioneered by Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes. Earth Day Network now works with 5,000 organizations in 184 countries. Read the whole story here:




I’m sure everybody is seeing lots of birds now as migration has changed our views. Here’s a great site for information on birds:


Providing nest boxes can create more nest sites for cavity-nesting birds, but it can also create increased opportunities for a "free lunch" for predators. Many nestbox owners attach predator guards to their boxes.

The Noel Guard is a wire mesh tube that attaches to the front of the next box to prevent raccoons and cats from reaching into the entrance hole. This type of method is commonly used.

Others use conical guards and PVC stovepipe baffles. Devices that extend the outside length of the entrance hole are the most popular, since they prevent animals from reaching into the box.

If you’ve got possible predator problems, consider making your boxes safe to save heartbreak later on. Here’s a few examples of guards:





Warm winds bent cattails over the nesting grebe and her eggs. Several sandpipers and terns returned to their shore nests in sand and clumps of grass as the storm’s rain intensified. Whitecaps formed on the inland lake and their treacherous crests crashed upon the shore and beat against the nests of frightened shore birds. Helpless, these birds watched as their eggs were washed out of their nests into the turbulent waters.

A different drama was taking place at the nest of the grebe. The nest appeared to be in even greater danger than the others because it was in the water, subject to all the heaving swells of the waves. However, in selecting her nesting area, the grebe had chosen a part of the lake where the waves were lower, broken by a land strip that jutted against the shoreline. The nest bobbed with each swell and was unaffected by the turbulent flooding. The grebe and its eggs rested safely in the carefully built shelter.

In making the nest, the grebe had employed an amazing engineering feat which served as a precaution for just such a time as this. It had fastened the nest loosely to the reeds, and had designed it to float up and down with the waves. By choosing the location carefully and constructing the nest against the danger of sudden spring storms, the grebe and her young escaped destruction.

Source: Character Sketches, Vol. I, Institute in Basic Life Principles

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE- Restoring the Balance

For some of us, wildlife includes our own pets, and when it comes to this time of year, many pet owners are looking for answers on fleas and how to prevent them on their own pets.

One method of controlling fleas on pets is to plant aromatic herbs around your walkways and entrance to your house. The oils from the herbs rub on to the cats’ fur and act as a natural flea repellent. Varieties include tansy, sage, catmint, lavender, bee balm, chives, and thyme. Put them in pots and place them so the animal must brush along them as they enter and leave the house.

If somebody has a garden and a problem with rabbits, plant rosemary!

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

Some ways to cut your driving time/expense:

Carpool – If you can’t carpool to work, carpool to school or sports games, or to the movies.

Take the bus – Is there a trip you make once a week or once a month that can be done by bus? It would make a difference.

Lay down leather – Walk to the library or the convenience store. Use businesses in your immediate neighborhood to make walking more of an option.

Get out of the "now" mentality – You don’t have to run to the store or shop as soon as you think of something you need. Make a list and choose to shop once a week. You will have much more time for fun things and you will learn a little bit of patience in the process. And, the big savings is that when you’ve waited 5 days for something you wanted, you realize by then that you really don’t need it after all.


BATTERIES: Better Choices and/or Recycling Info

The average American household owns 25 battery-powered devices, and the majority use alkaline batteries to run them, which contain toxic acids and trace metals. You can contact your community recycling center to see if they recycle alkalines, but most simply put them back into the landfill for toxic materials. Ask questions to be sure.

You can send them to Battery Solutions, which will recycle alkaline, rechargeable, "button" and other types of batteries for a fee of $.85/lb. with discounts for larger quantities.

If you’d like to start a battery recycling program in your community, contact 734-467-9110 or visit online at:

When the alkalines run out of juice, the best thing for your pocketbook and the environment is to buy rechargeable. These batteries can be recharged 40-50 times and then recycled. Most retailers who sell rechargeables also recycle them. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. handles these along with lithium ion and small sealed lead batteries, which are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remove control toys. They can be contacted at 1-800-822-8837 or on the web at:

Source: Co-op America’s REAL MONEY newsletter (Oct. 2001)
Authors: Nate Albee and Josh Sadlier
(800) 58-GREEN http://www.coopamerica.org


Matthew 6:25-30 – ASV

Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?

Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?


"Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder
of a camera than they ever did in the crosshairs of a
gunsight. And after I’ve finished "shooting," my
unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy.
I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider
them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should
not be violated any more than those of humans."
— Jimmy Stewart


By now everybody knows about the Arctic Wildlife Refuge being saved from oil drilling, but that was BIGGGG news a couple weeks ago. Here’s a good story about a cow with a new purpose.


Freedom, the cow who captured national media attention when she escaped from a Cincinnati slaughterhouse, finally arrived at her new home, Farm Sanctuary, on April 11th and received a warm reception from the shelter’s other rescued cattle. As soon as the back of the truck was opened, Freedom bounded into the barn that has become her permanent home. The other Farm Sanctuary cows ran to the barn to greet Freedom and mooed hellos to their famous new herd-mate, and gave her cow kisses. Freedom is now roaming hundreds of acres of green pastures with her new friends.

Farm Sanctuary provides lifelong care for over 1500 animals rescued from slaughterhouses, stockyards and factory farms and also works to prevent farm animal suffering. Freedom will help educate the public that farm animals are sentient beings who need to be treated with kindness and compassion.

Freedom inspired many people to act on her behalf. In addition to being awarded the "Key to the City" by Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, renowned artist Peter Max helped make Freedom’s rescue possible, when he offered to donate artwork for her release. Freedom’s courageous story aired on Good Morning America, Associated Press, and hundreds of regional newspaper and television reports across the country. Freedom captured the hearts of millions of people across the country and now will encourage people to go vegetarian.

Photos of Freedom are on the Farm Sanctuary site:

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The content, suggestions, and web links in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not necessarily endorsed our sponsor "The Herbs Place.com" This is a personal publication by Donna 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 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, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation.