Monday, 16 July 2012

1 of 9 Surprising Uses for Beer...

by Melissa Breyer

BEER. It refreshes and relaxes, it fuels sociability and cools the burn of spicy food. It is the most-widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and the third most common beverage overall. It is the oldest alcoholic beverage produced–and in fact, the oldest known code of laws (the Code of Hammurabi ca 1750 B.C.) called for the death penalty for drinking-house proprietors found guilty of watering down their beer. (Those Babylonians took their suds seriously.)
But aside from the numero uno use for beer–drinking! woohoo!–it is one of the most over-looked components of many a DIY solution to common household conundrums. Here are nine alternative ways to put your brew to good use:

Although in my perfect world butterflies live on nothing less magical than flower nectar, ambrosia, and an occasional marshmallow, the truth is that many butterflies feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion, urine, and other not-so-pretty, non-nectar sources of nutrients. You can allow fruit from your fruit trees to decay on the ground, leave your pet’s droppings where they drop, or place a bit of raw meat or fish in a discreet part of your garden. Sweet! Or you can use beer to make this awesome butterfly bait to get some flutter-action in your garden

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 or 2 cans stale beer
  • 3 mashed overripe banana
  • 1 cup of molasses or syrup
  • 1 cup of fruit juice
  • 1 shot of rum
Mix all ingredients well and splash on trees, fence posts, rocks, or stumps–or soak a sponge in the mixture and hang from a tree-limb. For other ways to invite in the butterflies, try growing some of these plants.

How To Attract Butterflies

Butterflies, with their gorgeous colors and lilting flight, are such a joy to watch. They add so much beauty to our summers, like seeing flowers flying.

It’s easy to invite more butterflies to make a seasonal stop in your yard. Find out which plants they just can’t resist—and learn a few fun facts about butterflies that you may not know.

Plants that will invite butterflies to your yard!
Asters: Late summer to fall.
Bee balm (bergamot): Summer through fall.
Butterfly weed: Summer through fall.
Clover (white or red): Summer to fall.
Coreopsis: Summer to fall.
Dianthus: Spring to fall.
Lavender: Summer.
Lupine: Late spring to early summer.
Mints: All summer.
Passionflower: Summer to fall.
Phlox: Summer to fall.
Purple coneflower: Summer to fall.
Sage: Summer to fall.
Salvia: Summer to fall.
Scabiosa “Butterfly blue”: Summer through fall.
Shasta daisy: Summer.
Thistle: Late spring through fall.
Violet: Spring.
Yarrow: Summer.

Butterfly Mythbusters
Have you ever heard that if you touch a butterfly, you’ll rub off the powder from its wings, and it will die? Or that if a butterfly gets a drop of water on it, it will drown? Ever hear that a torn or broken butterfly wing will grow back? And everyone knows that all butterflies go to Mexico for the winter, right?
Actually, none of these statements is true! A lot of myths like these were probably started with the best intentions, so that people wouldn’t harm butterflies.
The truth is that butterflies have evolved to survive and thrive in extreme conditions. They exist everywhere in the world except for Antarctica. Butterflies are definitely stronger than they look: Many species migrate thousands of miles every year, and not just to Mexico!

Adapted from The Family Butterfly Book, by Rick Mikula.