My sister gave me this video (from PBS's NOVA) as a birthday present. It's great. You can watch the whole thing here, or if something goes wrong, check out their website, where you can usually watch archives for free.
This is a part of the Chronicles page, an interesting bit of information about honey:
Basswood flowers, fruits and wood have been used in herbal remedies for thousands of years, for the treatment of a variety of ailments. At one time, flowers were even added to baths to aid in the treatment of hysteria (presumably that of women.)
Because of the large amount of nectar yielded by the flowers, the tree is a particular favorite of bees, who produce a high quality honey. Tilia americana is one of three flowering trees important as a nectar source for bees—the others are the Yellow poplar and the Black locust. As a single source for nectar, basswood rivals clover, thistle and milkweed, providing the bees enough to produce 800-1,100 pounds of honey per acre. Bees are hard to contain, but bee-keepers move hives into the vicinity of sources that are just coming into bloom, and if 80% of the content of a particular honey can be shown to be from one source, it can be considered a monofloral honey, which is more highly valued than honey from mixed sources.
The power of honey to heal was recognized in ancient times—by the Egyptians, who used it both internally and externally to soothe burns and cuts, and to aid the healing of wounds and infections; as well as by practitioners of the traditional Hindu system of healing, Ayurveda. They believed that honey would create balance in all the bodily systems.
Some of the ailments that have been successfully treated include: burns and open wounds, diabetic ulcers (topical), migraines, insomnia, hyperactivity, anemia, osteoporosis, colds, fevers, sore throat, eczema, acne, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, indigestion, laryngitis, and asthma, to name just some. The only conditions in which honey is contraindicated are diabetes (internal consumption) and those who are suffering from acute heart failure or pulmonary hemorrhage.
Raw, unpasturised, organic honey has been proven to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that do indeed help heal wounds. Many believe that the therapeutic possibilities of honey should be investigated further; however, as honey, being an organic product, cannot be patented, studies may be few, so it is up to individuals to experiment with simple remedies, using common sense, or with the guidance of non-traditional healers.
This is one of my newest drawings for Volume Two of Secret Voices from the Forest: Midcontinent. It is from the American Plum "Chronicles" page, the second tree in Chapter One: Great Plains. The following is a snippet of the text:
"Indian nations all over the land had many different uses for the plum, other than food: the roots made a dye, the bark cough medicine and a disinfectant wash; twigs tied in bundles became brooms; crotched sticks were used as dowsing rods, to locate underground water; the blossoms were observed to be a seasonal indicator of when to plant corn, beans and squash; dried plums could be turned into game pieces; and young sprouts were made into wands, used to invite members of other camps to observe the Sun Dance ceremony. They came as supporters of a particular “candidate” who wished to secure supernatural power or aid for himself or for his community."
Just a tease. The next part of the article describes the Sun Dance ceremony ... a bit. I didn't put in the details of the self-torture, as it seemed unnecessarily salacious, and besides, these rituals belong to them, not us. Which they seem to feel also: http://www.thepeoplespaths.net/articles/ladecwar.htm
Lot's more to come. I believe that I will have this second volume produced by September, 2014, at the latest, hopefully earlier. I'll keep you posted.
Ah, they've started already. Southern California, near Malibu and Los Angeles, is already ablaze, and, as the fire-fighters say, "It's only May!" We're into the 3rd straight year of drought. I'm amazed there's any forests left at all. If anybody still doesn't believe that the global temperatures are rising ....
Seems clear to me - if we don't learn to love our home, we're going to lose it—or at least access to it, as IT will most likely survive us, if not entirely intact. So the primary goal of this website is to engender curiosity about something in nature—anything, whether it's an amoeba or the oceans. Whatever does it for you —get active, if you can, or get interested and support, if you're like me and are not able or inclined to tromp around in the woods.
I am an artist and writer, living off grid, in a strawbale house on the high mesa near Taos, New Mexico. I have four cats, and live amongst a variety of wildlife including, but not limited to: coyote, pronghorn antelope, elk, endless bunnies and jackrabbits (and myriad other rodents), ravens, mountain bluebirds, rattlesnakes, and tarantula.
The cats stay in, everything else stays out.