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Bees and Bottle Gentians

One of the most fascinating native plant groups are the bottle gentians. There are some that have flowers that open to the most amazing shade of blue. Then there are others which don't open at all. If the flowers don't open, then how do they get pollinated? Great question, I am so glad you asked. The humble bumble does the trick. The bumble bee is the only bee strong enough to pry open the petals, climb inside buzzz around a bit then retreat and move along to the next flower. Just like humans there is always someone looking to get something for nothing and several thief bees have figured out they can drill a hole in the closed petals and glean the rewards with minimal effort. This vide

Outsmart Mosquitos

The moist summer of 2017 gave us an overdose of mosquitos. The wet conditions created the perfect breeding grounds for the pesky critters. Since mosquitoes are know to carry such diseases as: Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria, finding an effective repellant is a top priority for some scientists. I have always preferred natural remedies. I would crush Pycanthemum muticum, Short-toothed mountain mint leaves and rub them on my kids. We found it did a great job to keep the biters at bay. This natural remedy gave me piece of mind and did the job. However, there is no research to back up my claim of efficacy. Currently DEET and picardin are the two repellants

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