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Earthworms Returning To The Tundra!

OK, yes, I am being silly but the last few days I have been amazed and delighted to see a rather significant number of earthworms milling about the path. Every morning (well almost every) I go for at least a 30 minute power walk outside.

Why outside?

  • It's good to get out and freshen the lungs with air other than your own recycled air. Sure I live in the city and there is air pollution, but the benefits exceed the minor exposure.
  • 30 minutes of sun shine on your shoulders makes you healthy and happy. Vitamin D (Bone health) and if that isn't good enough for you, John Denver can tell you why: Sunshine on my Shoulders Yes, I know it's raining (remember the earthworm population explosion). but to those of us who have lived in drought, well that rain fall is a little bit of sunshine!
  • Give your nose a break! Look, you gotta get away from the same smell or you just dull your senses so go out and play bloodhound and give your nose a break from what is most familiar. But we'll talk more about your nose in another post.
Earthworm, Snake, Large, Meadow, Animal

So why am I so happy about the little wriggly worm? 

  • Because there is enough moisture to bring them back. In case you hadn't noticed it, they have been in short supply the last few years. When resources are limited, nature has a way of either dying off or going into extended hibernation only returning when the climate conditions are favorable.
  • Earthworms are one of Mother Natures workhorses for soil health! They clean debris and leave a neutral PH soil that is nutrient richer and properly aerated.
  • Happy soil makes for a happy life! I'm sure I don't need to tell you how important rich nourishing soil is to our health and supporting life. They bring Harmony to Nature!

If you want to know more about how earthworms benefit the environment, here is a great article from Penn state. 

If you see a little earthworm on your path say thanks! After a few days of rain around here, I was giving a lot of gratitude on my walk today! Of course I also looked a bit silly dancing around them all as well, but you know I never mind looking a tad bit silly from time to time. 🙂

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Mosquitos and Ticks: Why do they bite & How do I get them to stop

Why Do I Keep Getting Bitten?

Are you one of those people who feels they are a target for biting bugs? Do mosquitoes and ticks have it out for you? Ever feel like nature has it out for you? Like there is a network of biting bugs that have you on the most wanted list? You step outside and it seems like they are chasing you down.

Bugs bite for a couple of reasons, usually to defend or to feed. I can't think of any bug that bites for fun or world domination. In fact, most would rather you never darken their door or cross their path. If you are standing over an ant hill and you stomp your feet, you can expect some angry soldiers to come out and attack you. They are defending their turf that you are trying to invade. Same goes for spiders, don't expect them to be happy to see you coming. You step into their web, well your just asking for trouble.

But what about the ones that seem to hunt you down like prey. You know the ones that come from the sky and dive bomb your outdoor activity. It seems like they knew you were coming and targeted you like you were painted with a bulls eye. How do they know? It's in their sense of smell.

 

The Scent Of You

There are somewhere around 175 different varieties of Mosquitoes in the US alone and they have been around for about 170 million years, they've had lots of time to perfect their homing instincts. So if you are feeling like they targeted you, they probably did. They smelled you coming from over 50 yards away. The female mosquitoes (the men don't bite) are mainly attracted to scent. Some of the scent signatures that attract them are the carbon dioxide we exhale and the lactic acid from your sweat glands. They haven't nail the exact scent trigger, but the scientists do know that some of us smell quite delectable, giving off a lovely bouquet, and the mosquitoes can't wait to dig in and feast.

While Ticks can't fly, or jump, or parachute from trees. They are also attracted to scent that they pick up from sensors in their legs. Ticks like to hid in ground cover or grassy areas where it's moist (dry heat will kill them). They wait for the right smelling host to brush by and they hop on, crawl around to find their favorite spots ( ears and heads are preferred), then dig in to feast.

Don't Let Them Get You

Tres Spa Gift Set Petite Variety Hiker's HeavenSo how do you protect yourself? The top two methods to defend you from both are to cover up and to change your scent or cover your scent. There are several synthetic compounds out there that have the power to destroy, but they can harm more than just the mosquitoes so thankfully those are falling out of favor. There are some plants that have a reputation of dissuading bugs from biting or at least throw them off of your scent and natural formulators rely on them to develop a kinder gentler bug repellent that can work in harmony with nature. We developed Hikers Heaven using three of these essential oils and we created an Organic Soap, Aromatic Mist, and a full Organic Body Lotion. While you could use one or two of them, we always recommend the three used together. After all, they are natural plant oils.


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