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Cotati Heart & Soul - Deborah Taylor-French - September 2016


Cotati Heart & Soul - September 2016

by Deborah Taylor-French

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson

Vote for bees, plant flowering herbs and flowers for fall  

Eleven years ago we installed a cottage garden in our front yard. Within weeks of the fall planting, honeybees covered all our flowering plants. Even small plants became huge favorites and bee destinations. By the time the sunflowers opened we had become a small bee city, a pollinator’s paradise. Nine years later, I wondered where all the bees went. Turns out that nearly 80% of the earth’s bees have died. In the past two years, American honey beekeepers have lost up to 40% of their colonies each year. 

The California drought killed gardens along with millions of bees. Our water problems are ongoing. Global Warming certainly is not fiction. The Bayer Corporation wants to buy Monsanto to keep making pesticides and other bee-killing products. “Lowe’s nurseries will phase-out neonics for bee-attractive plants, and plants where regulatory requirements do not require the application of neonics (certain states require the application of neonics on certain plants and nursery material). Lowe’s plans to implement this phase-out as soon as is practicable.”

What can we do? Ask the garden department service staff to assist you in buying bee safe plants. Write to companies such as Wal-Mart, CVS and Home Depot expressing your concern.

Things to do for bees that require little effort   

If you have a balcony or outside area, fill a bowl or birdbath with water. Keep the water clear with an algae control bird friendly product or rinse and refill every day or two. BTW, the best cleaner is white vinegar. Soap kills birds and bees. To attract more birds use a blue or green bowl and set out bee friendly plants. Bees and hummingbirds love flowering herbs, and perennials, especially with red, purple and yellow blossoms. Visit our Cotati True Value and Lowes for birdbaths and bee friendly plants, “bee” part of our community.

What you don’t do for bees is as important as what you do.  

Vote with your dollars. Help rebuild bee populations by not buying or using things that kill them. Don’t buy or use Roundup weed killer. It’s not good for humans or bees. “…the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report noted an association between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and glyphosate, significant evidence that the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, and strong evidence that it damaged human DNA.” The Intercept. Do not use pesticides. These products kill bees. There are bee safe ways to control pests.

The Sitting Room book club Jean Hegland’s novel,
Into the Forest  Sept 21, 2-4   

Local writer Jean Hegland has crafted a powerfully imagined first novel. Readers will be thankful for telephones and CD players. The novel theme underscores the vulnerability of lives dependent on technology. The tale is set in the near future: From the first page, the sense of crisis and the lucid, honest voice of the 17-year-old narrator pull the reader in, and the fight for survival adds an urgent edge to her coming-of-age story. The story released as a movie in July.

Self-Publish Wisely Workshop Saturday, October 1, 1-3PM  

Thinking about self-publishing? Traditionally-published biographer Clarice Stasz decided to dive into this form for her recent mystery and new family history. Key steps, budgeting, marketing, and pitfalls are shared. Plus Stasz’s ideas on eBooks, paperbacks and reaching a worldwide market. Her experiences will save you from her early mistakes. Go beyond Amazon, save money. FREE, though a small donation to the Sitting Room will be most welcome. Please register to receive handouts:

Corrections to Cotati August column  

Mike O’Neill, of the Cotati Lions Club, was a deputy sheriff not a corrections officer. He was called to run the jail when needed. O’Neill is now the Sonoma Region Chairperson for District 3 for the Lions.

Please send your comments, suggestions and questions to