Archive for July, 2016

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Seen today while I was out running errands.  I did a total double take, positive I’d read it wrong, and then had to go back to take a picture……

This heat is killing me

Posted July 6, 2016 By Ruth

Ok, not quite literally, but it’s definitely taking its toll.

Back over Memorial Day weekend I came way too close to heat stroke while working.  I’d been put on watering detail, and the sun beating on my head all day during the 90+ degree heat, for not quite 8hrs turned out to be too much for my system.  Despite me drinking water constantly.  I also picked up a nasty heat rash that took forever to go away.

I picked up a wide brimmed hat to stuff in my locker for when I’m put on watering duty, but I can’t find a hat that will actually stay on my head properly while I’m doing my normal job stuff, that also fits dress code, that offers enough protection from the sun.  A large portion of the problem is, admittedly, my hair, which I put up for work (not optional either, it IS getting worn up for work).  Any hat I can find that accommodates my hair doesn’t give me enough shade from the sun (and/or doesn’t fit dress code, which requires no logos other than the company’s).

I’ve mostly coped by trying to stay out of the sun for extended periods as much as possible, but sometimes that doesn’t help enough.

Monday, July 4th, I spent the afternoon outside (thankfully mostly in the shade) helping straighten and clean up and restock the gravel aisle.  And I just couldn’t manage to drink enough to stay properly hydrated.  By about 4:30 I had a serious headache, and by the time I left at 6pm I came home and essentially collapsed.

Yesterday, Tuesday the 5th, by the time I’d been at work for a couple hours (a large portion of which was outside and in the sun) my head was pounding and I was dragging.  I KNOW I wasn’t functioning on all cylinders, in retrospect I was making several (potentially major) mistakes.  By 1:30 or so I realized how bad it was and informed management that I was going home.

Today my head is still not happy, and just taking the dogs out for a quick potty run is enough to make me feel like I’ve been beaten and dragging.

I don’t normally struggle so much in the summer, but we also don’t normally get this kind of heat so constantly till later in the summer.  I just can’t seem to get adapted this year……

Meant to post this yesterday

Posted July 5, 2016 By Ruth

But I worked a full, and busy, shift and came home and crashed.

So, anyway, here’s one of my favorite renditions of our national anthem:

 

Dealing with Deer Flies

Posted July 3, 2016 By Ruth

For those of you who’ve never had to deal with deer flies, they’re bigger than your average house fly, and are nasty blood sucking insects.  They HAVE TO have a blood meal in order to reproduce.  And their bites seriously hurt.  Closely related to the horse fly, but unlike horse flies, deer flies will buzz your head and shoulders instead of legs and body.  They suck.  Fly predators don’t work on them.  Fly strips don’t work on them.  As far as I can tell their only natural predator is some of the flying insect eating birds.  Most insect repellents don’t do a damn thing to them.

We’ve always had at least a few of them buzzing the property, but this year has been especially bad.  Walk out a door and instantly attract at least a couple.  Wearing a hat, and saturating yourself with a horse & rider horse fly repellent reduces it, but only by some.  It had become very difficult to work in the garden, or even do any yard work due to dealing with them.

So I started digging.  Found THIS, and THIS, and THIS.  And decided I was going to try building a Deer Fly Trap.

We still had the tops that we’d cut off the rain barrels, they’re bright blue.  I can get Tanglefoot easily enough.  So on the 29th I put this up:

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The only thing I had to buy was the Tanglefoot, totally worth trying.

Half an hour later, I stepped out my back door…..and didn’t get buzzed by a deer fly?  Wow, it can’t have started working that quickly, can it?

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Damn, maybe it can……

Picture taken on July 1st:

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They’re definitely only hitting the top of the trap.  Even the few caught on the sides are on the top half.  In addition the trap has only caught a couple non-deer-fly insects, and none of those are bees or other recognizable pollinators, which was my big concern with the concept.  Since putting out the trap the worst we’ve had to deal with is the occasional persistent deer fly.

So yesterday I picked up some bright blue spray paint (maybe a shade darker than the barrel, but it was the closest I could find), and sprayed an orange HD bucket blue.  Today I coated the bottom (now the top of the trap) with Tanglefoot, along with the top several inches of the sides, and put it out.

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A couple hours later and its already collected a good number of deer flies!

A laugh for the weekend

Posted July 3, 2016 By Ruth

10 Safety Tips, by the Adaptive Curmudgeon