Sunday, August 8, 2010

Many Gulf Spill Cleanup Efforts not Helping Birds. ANTS! Mosquitos.

Blue-billed Curassow
Ground zero for the Gulf oil spill as seen from the air on July 4, 2010.
Photo: Mike Parr

"(Washington, D.C., July 19, 2010) A report released today by American Bird Conservancy, America’s leading bird conservation group, shows how some of BP’s oil spill cleanup efforts are actually causing harm to birds and their habitats rather than helping them, that cleanup vessels are inadequate and operating in the wrong locations, and that deployed boom has failed to protect some important bird colonies from oil.

The report, entitled Gulf Oil Spill: Field Survey Report and Recommendations, provides a series of five key recommendations for birds – ranging from the use of boom to habitat restoration – related to cleanup efforts surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
More at:


Ray and I un-procrastinated, and finally sprayed the important areas in the yard with a natural bug spray.  We had put it off for too long, and the ants had decided to invade us.

We are careful not to have any standing water anywhere, to alleviate the mosquitoes, but the ants would drink out of the cat's water dish and the bird bath!

Orange-Blackie-18May10-1 (Small) Yes, Shay still has the two cats that can't go in their house, as Ray's cat would kill them, so they are outside during the day.  They sleep in their utility room at night.

Now, the ants would attack Shay when she sat in their patio chairs, to pet and brush the cats.

There is an outside area under the RVport, that Ray hoses down to give them somewhere cool to sleep during the day.  But the ants were getting in their food bowls, even though the bowls were in bigger bowls of water, with some rocks in the bottom, to stop them. They are pretty clever.

More about ants:

A few other herbs that repel mosquitos: From:

Lemon Balm
So it might be good to carry a pot of basil, or another herb, with you on your travels.

More about repelling mosquitos, and attracting hummingbirds:    From:
"The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana. Its common names include Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it. It is a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member of the mint family and its leaves do have a pungent aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial, and is usually hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early fall, so it catches hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink flowers reel in butterflies as well."

We hope that we outsmarted the ants, today.

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