Black Cherry – for Wildlife, and People, too!

The Natural Web

Black Cherry or Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is a bountiful tree for wildlife, and an important species for humans, too.  It blooms in spring, with a profusion of long, slender, densely packed flower clusters.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) in bloom Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) in bloom

The flowers offer nectar and pollen as enticements to a variety of bee and fly species who need this food to survive. The insects become Black Cherry’s unsuspecting pollination partners.  In return for the food provided to these insect floral visitors, the flowers benefit by having some of their pollen transported on the insects’ bodies and deposited advantageously for pollination on other Black Cherry flowers.  Successful pollination will result in fruit that ripens in late summer and fall.

A broad spectrum of animals eat Black Cherry’s fleshy fruit. Many thrushes, woodpeckers, sparrows, bluebirds, tanagers, orioles, and Cedar Waxings are among the dozens of bird species that eat the fruit.

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The Hidden Dangers of Botany

Pursuit of botany starts off innocently enough: maybe you are a gardener interested in learning about plant biology, maybe you are a survivalist wanting to learn about edible plants, or maybe you are a wildlife lover who wants to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for the havoc you may wreak upon your life.  Before you read that gardening book, click that link, or go to that native plant conference, take the time to educate yourself about the hidden dangers of botany:

  1. You can’t un-see the scenery.

Like walking in on your parents, plant identification is one of those things that you can’t un-see.  Before you learn about botany, the world around you consists of only vague categories of greenery.  Afterwards, plant scientific names practically scream themselves at you every time you go outside. Sure you might feel “more…

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natural hair dye with black walnuts!

almost exactly blog

IT’S FINALLY HERE! a natural hair dye for those that want to be any shade of brunette (literally…from light brown to almost black) because, let’s face it, brunettes are better 😉
i tease, i tease!

and if you saw the sneak peek picture i gave y’all a couple posts ago, you’re right if you guessed i was holding Black Walnuts! i’ve always wanted to try this dye, but never wanted to shell out the money for black walnut hull powder when i knew i could pick them up in huge quantities from around my parents’ home. sooo i waited….and waited… BUT now i have 10 extras to take back with me! woohoo!

black walnut hair dye - all natural & completely non-damaging way to be any shade of brunette you wanna be!

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How To Make An Herbal Tea

The Making of a Home

Passion Flower makes a wonderful tea that can really calm the nerves. Passion Flower makes a wonderful tea that can really calm the nerves.

When talking with folks about herbs I find that one of the big mysteries of growing herbs is how to get them from the garden to the table- especially in regards to medicinal herbs.

Well, the simplest way to use an herb to make you feel better is to make a simple tea.  The directions below will seem overly simple but that is the point- it is simple.

Tea using fresh herbs:

A tablespoon of selected herb

1-2 cups of boiling water

Place herb in heat-proof container and pour water over the herb.  Place a lid on the container and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.  It is important to keep the container covered as the essential oil (where much of the herbal goodies are) will evaporate in the steam. Strain herb matter out.

Enjoy- that is it. …

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The Legend of the Hearth Cricket

Victorian Trading Co. | The Official Blog

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With ancient roots in China, the cricket has long been considered to be a sign of eminent good fortune. The Chinese have traditionally kept the small black chirper as a pet within tiny cages. Over the years, Merry Old England came to adopt the thinking that a cricket in the home would ensure prosperity and health. On the other hand, a deceased cricket might be a foreboding sign of what’s to come. It was unthinkable for one to stomp on the insect…to do such a thing would be to flirt with disaster!

Inspired by this belief, the beloved 19th century English writer, Charles Dickens, titled one of his novels A Cricket on the Hearth. The book suggests that any Victorian possessing a superstitious nature should keep a brass cricket by their fireside in an effort to ward off ill fate from what would otherwise be a safe and happy…

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Chocolate: “A Light and Wholesome Breakfast”

Savoring the Past

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Chocolate is probably the most celebrated food in western civilization…okay, you’re right; there is bacon, but besides that…

Many of our most decadent desserts are made with it. We flavor our coffee with it and brew our beer to taste like it. It is our sinful indulgence. We dream of it. We die by it. There are entire corporate empires founded upon it. It is available at every check-out counter. It’s dark. It’s white. It’s milky and silky.

I recently bought a chocolate bar that had bacon in it.

And if you could top off the wonders of chocolate with something even more delightful, it may be with the news reports that certain forms of chocolate are said to be good for you. Numerous studies have been conducted pronouncing the health benefits of chocolate…as if we need that information to ease our guilty consciences or at at least justify our indulgences…

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How to Turn Your Dead, Useless Lawn Into Abundant Food!

How to Provide

You can do this!  No labor-intensive digging required.  Lay down newspapers or cardboard and 6″ a soil and compost mixture over the top. Walla!  You have a fertile gardening bed which will be the envy of all of your neighbors!

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Housekeeping: Sage All-Purpose Household Spray | DIY Cleaners

Melodrama

This is one of my favorite DIY household cleaning recipes. Vinegar has been a trusted household cleaner for decades and I started using this particular mixture a few years ago to clean our tile countertops and floors to avoid dulling residues. My dogs also suffer from allergies and I wanted to make sure the floors were safe for them too. It works swell on other surfaces as well. I’ll admit I love the Method and Mrs. Meyers line of cleaners because of their scents, but when those aren’t on hand, I fall back on my trusty homemade friend.

In summer I like to add orange or lemon peels. You can easily use essential oils to scent your spray as little or as much as you’d like. They work a little better since the scent is concentrated. I went with fresh sage for this batch because it was over growing and…

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