A Touch of Nature – 06/01/02 – The Herbs Place

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June 1, 2002 Issue

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A Touch of Nature

SUNSHINE CONCENTRATE – Detoxify Your Cleaning!

This environmentally-friendly cleaning and washing concentrate is nothing less than wonderful!! We’ve used this for 15 years and love it for laundry, hand soap, pet baths, soaking produce, dishwasher, cleaning, and a multitude of other uses. This product has saved us hundreds of dollars over the years. Makes life much simpler and takes away the "itch" of chemical soaps.

Thanks for your help in the mailing list switch. We are so excited to offer a totally secure and private list for you so that your email address will never be shared or sold.

The stats are out on global temperatures. Both the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that March 2002 was a scorcher. It was the hottest March on the historical record and the 71st month in a row that global temperatures exceeded the 1971-2000 mean. The heat has contributed to severe dust storms in Asia and widespread coral bleaching in the South Pacific. It’s not a good thought, but if you want to read the details you may be able to know more about what you can do in your household to help global warming:

We can all do a little bit for our Earth and all be better because of it. Our featured critter this issue is the bat. It’s mosquito time around our "neck of the woods." Across the street is a pond which would normally make it miserable for bugs, but we aren’t having a problem. All of last year we never had a problem. We have a family of bats that patrol for us from dusk to dawn and they do a marvelous job! They are incredible creatures. I got to hold a Brown Bat last year and I was amazed how small it was. If it wanted to, it couldn’t get it’s mouth open enough to bite my little finger.

Have a great summer – Discover more about the world around you!



There are a lot of superstitions about bats and most people are very misinformed about this animal. Here’s some facts:

Bats are not blind – they do see in the dark.

They don’t fly into hair – they use sonar to navigate very efficiently. Bats are vital to many habitats where they are needed for pollination and seed dispersal and are involved in such foods as: dates, bananas, guavas, balsa woods, vanilla, and chewing gum.

Bats do not spread rabies. They can get it and die from it, but are not carriers of it. Only 1/2 of 1% test positive for rabies. There is a much better chance of winning the lottery with one ticket than getting rabies from a bat.

A colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.

The vampire bat does not like human blood. It feeds on cattle and birds and does not kill these animals. This bat lives in Central and South America.

Learn more about bats:


Most of us want our children to grow up with respect for the animals and wildlife that share this planet with us. Animals/Wildlife Guide Laura Klappenbach has devoted a full resource section for teaching kids about our fellow creatures. http://animals.about.com/cs/justforkids/


The Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project (GOWAP) is designed to determine the population status and habitat and area requirements of the Golden-winged Warbler and the Blue-winged Warbler as well as their hybrids. The Golden-winged Warbler is a Neotropical migratory species that is of high conservation concern. This study engages volunteer birders and professional biologists to survey and conduct point counts at known and potential breeding sites of Golden-winged Warblers from May through July. It’s not too late to join in! http://www.birds.cornell.edu/gowap



Equipped with a keen sense of smell, the salmon is indelibly impressed with the unique scent of its spawning grounds. Now, triggered by instinct, the great fish leisurely begins moving upstream from the ocean waters in which it spends its adult life. The scent of its destination is the compass which directs the fish back to its place of birth.

Moving downstream was relatively simple. Going upstream involves not only rushing rapids and waterfalls but also the threat of predatory animals and birds. In addition to natural hazards, there is also the risk of failing to distinguish the guiding scent and so swimming up the wrong tributary – requiring an exhausting and time-consuming backtrack.

As days pass, the salmon increases speed until it is traveling 25 miles per day, but even at this speed, many days can pass till it reaches its destination, perhaps hundreds of miles away.

After an absence of 2-5 years, the salmon actually locates the riverbed where it was hatched. During its long journey it performs unbelievable feats of determination, overcoming obstacles that seem physically impossible, leaping 3-5 feet up the side of a waterfall and then, with skillful flops of its powerful tail, pushing itself over the top. Often many attempts must be made before clearing these formidable barriers, but the fact that the salmon is willing to expend whatever energy is necessary to achieve its goal distinguishes it as a magnificent example of determination.

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

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE- Restoring the Balance


We have an overpopulation of deer in our community and last year they ate everything we put in, including all the plants that "deer don’t eat." This year we’ve been using Garlic Barrier and it’s worked great. A program on CT NPR (National Public Radio) talked about this spray that was supposed to be an excellent yard repellent for mosquitos, and they also claimed it works against deer grazing and Canada geese. They said that organic farmers, public health officials, park officials, golf course managers, etc. are all very excited about this product because it is completely environmentally safe.

It was said that Central Park uses it exclusively to keep the Canada geese out, as well as the Parks Dept. in Danbury, CT, which used it last year as part of their program to discourage geese.

If you’ve got any problems and want a natural solution, here’s the link to where I read about it: http://www.garlicbarrier.com


The best way to build your garden for wildlife is to take cuttings from plants that have been successful in somebody else’s garden. Maybe you’ve got some things in your yard that you’d like to have more of. Take a cutting and root it. If you’re not sure about how to do this, here’s a good online resource:
http://gardening.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Grow_Plants_Cuttings0962932683.htm href="http://gardening.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Grow_Plants_Cuttings096293268">


Store-bought rooting compound isn’t expensive, but did you know it can be toxic due to the fungicide included to protect plant cuttings from disease? The first hormone discovered to cause root growth is auxin. The synthetic version of auxin is what’s in commercially sold products. The willow plant is a natural source of auxin, so you can make your own.

Here’s how:
– Gather a handful of willow branch tips and chop/mash into smaller pieces
– Put in a small container, fill with water & allow to sit overnight
– In the morning remove the willow from the water and it’s ready to use
– Dip cutting into water, covering the stem and put into potting mix or sand
– Cover with a plastic bag to retain moisture until roots form

If you don’t have access to willow, dissolve a few aspirins in a jar of water. Aspirin is made from willow bark, so it can have the same effect as the willow water.

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


1. Don’t litter. Use garbage receptacles, or pack-out what you bring in.

2. Bring a bucket to the beach. Use it for litter you may find during the day. Set an ex ample for others.

3. Follow the beach’s recycling rules. Recycling reduces solid waste and saves resources.

4. Avoid bringing plastic disposables to the beach. Plastics don’t break down in the environment, and are harmful to marine mammals.

5. Don’t leave cigarette butts in the sand. Filters are not biodegradable and are sometimes eaten by birds mistaking them for food.

6. Certain plastic litter, especially six-pack rings and plastic bags, are particularly dangerous to marine life. Six-pack rings can strangle birds, fish, and other animals; and plastic bags are often eaten by sea turtles mistaking them for jellyfish. If you find these items on the beach, please dispose of them properly.

7. Surf anglers should never leave fishing line on the beach. Fishing line can entangle birds, fish, turtles, and other animals.

8. Conduct local beach clean-ups with your town. Beach clean-ups are a great way to get people involved with ocean issues. Contact Clean Ocean Action for details on how to organize these events: www.cleanoceanaction.org

9. Report pollution. If you see any unusual beach conditions (garbage slicks, brown or red tides, fish-kills, etc.) report it to appropriate agencies.

10. Pass these tips along to other beachgoers. Together, we can all do our part to fight ocean pollution.


I Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory
of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for
one star differeth from another star in glory.


"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children." Haida Indian Saying


Mexico announced an accord to protect whales in its waters, making it the world’s largest national sanctuary for the giant mammals. The office of Mexican President Vicente Fox said the "Area of Refuge" accord would provide added protection in areas such as reproduction, growth and migration to 39 whale species that spend time in Mexican waters. Here’s the link to the whole story. Make sure you get the entire thing if you have to cut and paste into browser:


For the first time ever, California’s agriculture sector — the biggest industry in the state — will be required to comply with the federal Clean Air Act, following a settlement reached yesterday by the U.S. EPA and environmental and health advocates. Since 1976, the sector has enjoyed exemptions from some of the act’s most important provisions. Critics have long held that the exemptions were illegal and contributed to the state’s notoriously poor air quality, but the EPA, although empowered to intervene, did not choose to do so until environmentalists, physicians, and concerned citizens filed suit. The plaintiffs cheered yesterday’s settlement, which will help control the dust, ammonia, and smoke from agribusiness that fouls California’s air. Growers, however, complained that their farms would now be regulated by people who live 3,000 miles away.

(Los Angeles Times, Gary Polakovic and Mark Arax, 15 May 2002)



Sanitary sewers carry wastes from buildings to sewage treatment plants. When these sewers are overloaded, inadequately maintained or obstructed, however, the overflows dump raw and inadequately treated sewage into basements, streets, and waterways. These overflows contain bacteria and viruses, fecal matter, and untreated industrial wastes. Our children swim in many of these waterways. Sewage-contaminated waters also can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, dysentery, and hepatitis (in fact, the EPA estimates that every year several million people become sick with diarrhea and vomiting from raw sewage discharges). The EPA has been holding up regulations that would require sewer operators to monitor sewers and notify health authorities and the public when overflows could potentially harm public health. If you’d like to tell EPA Administrator Whitman to put the American public’s health first and to move forward with rules that would at least warn people before they take a dip in sewage-contaminated waters, you can email her here:

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.
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