1. Farallones Boat Trip May 27
2. Presidio/America's Cup Viewpoints field trip Saturday May 12
3. Two new videos from Kezar Gardens
4. Mission Blue Nursery Plant Sale May 12
5. More skinny on the management of California's wildlife from Sac Bee
6. Sequoia Audubon joins Beyond Searsville Dam
7. WATER, a way to look at it--while there's still a little time
8. Pedro Point Headlands bird walk Sunday 13/restoration Sunday 20
9. April in Claremont Canyon - several events
10. Hafiz asks "What Should We Do About That Moon?"
11. Now that everyone is connected, is this the death of conversation?
12. What happens when government abandons its duty to control free market excesses
13. For every girl tired of acting weary when she is strong, there is a boy....
14. Pennies and water in ziplock bag....??
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Art is the elimination of the unnecessary. -Pablo Picasso
Enjoy a boat trip past the Farallones with expert naturalist Carol Keiper and expert spotter Andrea Williams.
Explore the bay, learn about marine life, see pelagic birds, and chat island ecology with fellow travelers.
All day May 27th. Leaves from Pier 39, San Francisco at 8 am.
Go to cal-ipc.org by May 20 to sign up. Special rate for Cal-IPC members
California Native Plant Society field trip - free and open to the public
Presidio North Shore and America's Cup Viewpoints
Saturday, May 12, 2012, 12 noon to 3:00 pm
Leaders: Jake Sigg and Ruth Gravanis
On this relatively easy (despite some hills and stairs) three-mile walk we'll observe a variety of vegetative communities that may be impacted if, as some anticipate, spectators flock to the Presidio to watch the America's Cup yacht races later this year and in 2013. We'll consider ways to mitigate the impacts if crowds do come. Coastal bluff vegetation is distinct, and species familiar from other settings appear very different here. We'll enjoy dramatic Bay views and multitudes of wildflowers on the slopes, look for rare thistles along Marine Drive, check out the restored dunes and wetlands at Crissy Field, and admire the highly successful riparian restoration at Thompson's Reach.
• Meet near the Golden Gate Bridge, at the #28 Muni bus stop just east of the tunnel that passes beneath the toll plaza.
• The walk will end at the #43 bus stop at the corner of Presidio Boulevard, Letterman Drive, and Lincoln Blvd.
• This trip takes place rain or shine, but heavy rain cancels.
Accurate information about Presidio transit is hard come by; allow extra time. Make of this Muni information what you can:
As far as I know, the 28 is back serving the Toll Plaza Area.
With the anniversary approaching, there is a lot of work going on up at the bridge including the construction of a new Pavilion.
Our operators have indicated that they frequently get delayed because of the large crowds and congested parking lot...especially on weekends.
Our 311 call center call center or www.sfmta.com has the latest information about closures.
If you have the luxury of time and know your way around the City and the Presidio, you may want to consider making part of your trip on the PresidiGo shuttle.
Information about the Muni Service Changes can be found here.
GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT
Golden Gate Transit will be operating a special shuttle to serve the Toll Plaza during the construction.
According to the Golden Gate Bridge District’s website, the Shuttle will be running every 15 minutes between 5:33 am and 9:48 pm and every 30 minutes between 9:48 pm and 12:18 am
It looks like the best transfer point to the shuttle for your group would be either at 12th and Geary or at Park Presidio at California.
Here is a map of that route.
3. Here is a new video from kezargardens.com/.
And visit this site to read about an interesting guy, Tan Chan:
Mission Blue Native Plant Nursery
Plant Sale - selling exclusively plants native to San Bruno Mountain
Saturday, May 12th, 9am to 2pm
San Bruno Mountain Watch operates the nursery in cooperation with Friends of San Bruno Mountain
Proceeds Benefit the Mountain: The nursery and our Stewardship Programs directly benefit San Bruno Mountain - a unique habitat that is under constant threat.
Plants are from the Mountain: All plants were grown from seeds or cuttings collected by permit on San Bruno Mountain.
A current plant list is at May 2012 Plant List on our website
Cash or check only - bring your own boxes-
directions to nursery
5. Eric Mills:
Third and last in the series, SACRAMENTO BEE.
Disperse accordingly. All state and federal legislators should have copies of this series. Could help bring about the necessary changes.
There's also a supporting editorial in today's BEE. You can Google it.
Sacramento Connect: Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans - Wildlife investigation - The Sacramento Bee -- from via SacConnect.us
Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans - Wildlife investigation - The Sacramento Bee -- from via SacConnect.us
Monday evening (May 7)
SB 1221 (Lieu) - to ban hunting of bears and bobcats with the use of hounds, passed Senate Appropriations this morning by a vote of 5:2 (the bare minimum, on a committee of 9). All 5 AYE votes were Democrats; both NO votes were Republicans. No surprise there.
Hunters were out in force again, maybe 100-150, most of whom spoke briefly in opposition, many of them threatening never to buy another hunting license, or even move out-of-state, should the bill pass. I came close to hollering, "I'll help you pack!" but discretion overruled.
Sadly, only FOUR people were there to speak in support of the bill: Virginia Handley (PawPAC), me, our friend Carol Gage, and a guy from the Sierra Club. Senator Lieu was pretty disappointed at our poor showing, reportedly. Didn't Woody Allen say that 80% of life is showing up? We really have to do better as a movement. The opposition is always there for their cause. We should be, too. HSUS consistently boasts of their 1.2 MILLION California members....So where were they, pray?
The bill now goes to the Senate floor. Could be as soon as next week.
joins the Beyond Searsville Dam coalition!
We are thrilled and honored to receive a note this week from our local Sequoia Audubon Society, enthusiastically joining our Beyond Searsville Dam coalition and efforts “supporting actions to evaluate removal of Stanford University’s antiquated and ecologically destructive Searsville Dam in a manner that is beneficial to protecting creekside communities and watershed health.”
National, State and local Audubon Society chapters have a long history of supporting efforts to remove antiquated dams for the restoration of native habitat and species. These Audubon chapters have played a pivotal role in several recent dam removal successes and ongoing efforts to remove other harmful and readily replaceable dams. This support comes from the growing scientific understanding that dam removal has benefits for native birds and the larger ecosystem and communities surrounding a dam. For example, on the Elwha River, scientists found that many bird species will benefit and that "the negative wildlife impacts caused by the dam removal will be negated by the positive effects on the wildlife of the Elwha." In addition, removal of these dams can help to eliminate non-native species, such as bass and bullfrogs, that proliferate in artificial reservoirs, like Searsville, while preying on and competing with native birds and other species.
From Marketplace May 4
Kai Ryssdal: This is -- it's going to sound like an improper question, but bear with me -- tell me about your showers when you were a kid.
Yu: I had the bucket in the shower to save the water before it turned warm. My parents also had one of the first early water pick/water-saving shower heads and it really felt like someone was angrily spitting on you. It was not a pleasant experience.
Ryssdal: So your history with water goes way back. This is not a new thing for you.
Yu: No, but I thought somewhat smugly that I was fairly aware of water issues. And I realize now all I really knew was some drought. If you look at it, it's issues of water quantity, water quality. It's drought, it's politics, it's regulation, it's pollution. And the hard thing is understanding how it all fits together.
Ryssdal: It's been raining here in L.A. the past couple of days. And when I go out on my morning runs at 5:30, 6 o'clock in the morning, it's raining and wet and has been drizzling for 72 hours and yet sprinklers are going on all over the neighborhood.
Yu: Actually and now, I have a physical reaction to seeing that and people hosing down their sidewalks. You really start to see water in everything as well as water being abused everywhere. And it's, again, not just our showers, not just our appliances, but it's also embedded in all the products that we buy.
Ryssdal: And you make this great comparison at some point in this movie. You say, the average swimming pool is 18,000 gallons and yet to make, what is it, 4 pounds of beef, it also takes 18,000 gallons worth of water.
Yu: And that's a crazy equivalent.
Ryssdal: Yeah, it's nuts.
Yu: Of course, you look at the swimming pool -- you're thinking, oh a swimming pool, that's where the water is and not so much. It's just not even on our radar.
Ryssdal: I actually took a look at my water bill as I was getting ready to come talk to you. And water is really cheap. It's crazy cheap.
Yu: Thank you for bringing that up. Pricing is a great signal for people to recognize usage and to value water. So if you look at Singapore in terms of conservation, they pass on the cost to their consumers. You ask the average Singaporean what his or her water bill is and they know. In this country, again, people have this idea water should be free. Fresno just got water meters a couple of years ago.
Ryssdal: No, come on. Seriously?
Yu: They didn't even have water meters.
Ryssdal: There's a line of thought in the sustainability community and amongst some economists as well that at some point in the not-very-distant future, water is going to be more expensive than crude oil.
Yu: Yeah. If you look at bottled water, it already is. Right?
Ryssdal: Well, yeah. Exactly.
Yu: There were some revelations in the making of this film that stunned me, that made me think there's a business as usual-ending milestones that are not that far ahead. Take the example of the dropping levels in Lake Mead. There is a measurable...
Ryssdal: You can see it, right? They have that bathtub ring around there where it's dropped 20-30, whatever feet.
Yu: And if it gets down to 1050, Hoover Dam will no longer generate electricity.
Ryssdal: Oh, is that right? Wow.
Yu: So we're not too far away from that. But to keep the levels up in Lake Mead, there have been some releases for water from Lake Powell. I've had this fantasy that if I were king, I would turn off the water for five minutes once a week.
Ryssdal: Just to see what happens, right? Just to show people.
Yu: Just to see what happens. Right. I think there's almost a failure of imagination. We cannot imagine a time when we won't have water fully available to us.
“Twenty percent more water than is now available will be needed to feed the additional three billion people who will be alive by 2025.”
World Commission on Water for the 21st Century
It is within the milieu of water that the chemistry of all life as we know it takes place. Many of the other compounds essential for life are useful only in the presence of water. Their role is determined by whether they dissolve in water and by the effect of water on their electrochemical properties. Water is found nearly everywhere on Earth, both above and below the surface. Even in desert environments that appear dry and lifeless to us, thriving microscopic communities of subterranean organisms are often swimming happily within the thin water films that adhere to clays and porous rocks. David Wolfe, Tales From the Underground
From several years ago:
“Because of population growth, California will be chronically short of water by 2010.”
(Association of California Water Agencies)
“When the well’s dry, we’ll know the value of water.”
“Nearly half the water consumed in the United States now goes to grow feed for cattle and other livestock. To produce just one pound of grain-fed steak requires hundreds of gallons of water to irrigate feed crops consumed by the steer.”
Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef
The Future be Dammed
For decades, for better or for worse, people have been on a dam-building binge that would be the envy of any beaver. "We've built one large dam every day for the past 100 years," one commentator noted. At least 273 large dams are either planned or now under construction on 46 large river systems, 20 of those on previously undammed rivers.
As future dams reach completion, their reservoirs will begin to fill, and the silt and sand will not reach the sea. Downstream, river deltas will become starved for fresh sediment, and regions that once received enough muck to stay above water will slowly begin to subside. Rising sea levels will aggravate the problem. Examples: Rising sea level combined with land subsidence at the Mississippi delta is causing Louisiana to sink as ground equal to two football fields is lost each hour, and the Nile delta is retreating 33 feet a year. Fish stocks have plummeted in both areas, as nutrients are no longer flowing in; in addition, toxics are no longer getting buried.
Excerpted from Science News 21 May 2005
8. Pedro Point Headlands
Due to Memorial Day our next HABITAT RESTORATION date has been moved from May 27th to:
Sunday, May 20th, 9.45AM - 1.00 PM
Please meet at the firehouse along Danmann Avenue on Pedro Point in Pacifica and we will carpool up to the Headlands together.
BIRD WALK ON THE PEDRO POINT HEADLANDS SUNDAY, MAY 13TH
For everyone's benefit this walk is limited to 20 people. Please RSVP if you can join us.
8:00 to 11:00 AM
Meet at the Pedro Point Firehouse on Danmann Avenue, Pacifica
LEADER: Paul Donahue
Among the bird world’s most skillful fliers, Cooper’s Hawks are common woodland hawks that tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed in pursuit of other birds. In March, Paul Donahue spotted one on the headlands. Here is what he had to say about it ... "The Cooper's Hawk was new for the PPH list. More importantly, I think it's nesting. From the spot where we had our snack yesterday, it was giving nest defense calls from the grove of eucalyptus off to the west."
With its diverse habitats of coastal scrub, coastal prairie, Monterey Pine woods and Eucalyptus forest, all accessible via a good trail system, the Pedro Point Headlands is a great place to become more familiar with Pacifica's avifauna.
Once up on the headlands, we'll walk about a two mile loop that will take us through the representative habitats and along the top of the high bluff with its spectacular views out over the Pacific.
We'll aim to be back at the trailhead about 11:00 AM.
As we will be looking primarily at small birds in the vegetation, binoculars are strongly recommended.
More information about the Pedro Point Headlands, including a trail map, descriptions of the habitats, and a list of the area's birds can be found at www.pedropointheadlands.org
9. April in Claremont Canyon
Saturday May 12 Early Morning Bird Walk with Dave Quady and Kay Loughman. Meey at 7 AM at Four Corners (intersection of Grizzly Peak Blvd. and Claremont Ave./Fish Ranch Rd.) to look for some of the birds that breed in Claremont Canyon. We'll pick an area that looks interesting and search until about 11 AM for year-round resident birds as well as the neotropical migrant birds that have returned to breed. Bring binoculars if you have a pair and a field guide. (Dave will have a few pairs of binoculars to share if you don't have any.)
For something different, meet Kay and Dave at 5 AM at the foot of Gelston Street to enjoy 'dawn chorus' as breeding birds break into song before the sun rises. We will stand quietly and try to identify birds by their songs until about 6:30, leaving enough time to get a quick breakfast snack before our 7 AM meeting at the top of the canyon.
If it's raining on Saturday, we'll try again on Sundeay morning May 13, same time same places. Please check the website for any last minute updates.
Saturday, May 12 Stewardship removing French Broom and installing steps on the Summit House Trail from 10 AM til 12:00 Noon. Some of the French Broom near the trailhead remains because of its proximity to native plants. We will saw or lop these remaining plants to prevent the seeds from maturing. We will paint the stumps with Garlon to ensure these weeds do not resprout.
For those who enjoy more physical tasks, we will continue installing steps farther up along the trail.
Join us for either task. We meet at sign post 29, 1.5 miles up Claremont from the intersection with Ashby. Look for our new fence on the right and pull into the area by the gate.
Saturday, May 21 Habitat Restoration in Garber Park. We will take a break from weeding to traverse our creek from the springs through the Measure DD area to the drain on Claremont Avenue. We will measure and photograph all the Measure DD plantings and try to identify the birds and wildlife we see, including moths and butterflies. Maybe we'll even see another Red Fox like we did on Earth Day! So be prepared for wet feet, poison oak and stinging nettles. Bring binocs, camera, notepad, gloves and more gloves and a field guide of your choice. Also, a soft tape measure might be helpful. We need to scope out the springs and the creek this Spring!
For those who just can't get enough of pulling invasives, there are still plenty--Cape Ivy, poison Hemlock--and we've found a new stand of broom.
Meet at the park entrance at the end of Evergreen Lane, near 144 Evergreen. From Alvarado take Slater Lane and turn right onto Evergreen. For further information, contact Shelagh at email@example.com. To learn more about Garber Park and the Garber Park Stewards, visit our blog: www.garberparkstewaards.blogspot.com.
For hikes, stewardship and restoration work, please remember to wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and sturdy boots or shoes.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THAT MOON?
A wine bottle fell from a wagon and
broke open in a field.
That night one hundred beetles and all their cousins
and did some serious binge drinking.
They even found some seed husks nearby
and began to play them like drums and whirl.
This made God very happy.
Then the "night candle" rose into the sky
and one drunk creature, laying down his instrument,
said to his friend ~ for no apparent
"What should we do about that moon?"
Seems to Hafiz
Most everyone has laid aside the music
Tackling such profoundly useless
~ Hafiz ~
(The Gift -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
11. Now everyone is connected, is this the death of conversation?
As our meeting places fall silent, save for tapping on screens, it seems we have mistaken ubiquitous connection for the real thing.
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 April 2012
Illustration by Satoshi Kambayash
I first noticed it in a restaurant. The place was strangely quiet, and at one table a group seemed deep in prayer. Their heads were bowed, their eyes hooded and their hands in their laps. I then realised that every one, young and old, was gazing at a handheld phone. People strolled the street outside likewise, with arms crooked at right angles, necks bent and heads in potentially crippling postures. Mothers with babies were doing it. Students in groups were doing it. They were like zombies on call. There was no conversation.
Every visit to California convinces me that the digital revolution is over, by which I mean it is won. Everyone is connected. The New York Times last week declared the death of conversation. While mobile phones may at last be falling victim to etiquette, this is largely because even talk is considered too intimate a contact. No such bar applies to emailing, texting, messaging, posting and tweeting. It is ubiquitous, the ultimate connectivity, the brain wired full-time to infinity.
The MIT professor and psychologist Sherry Turkle claims that her students are close to mastering the art of sustaining eye contact with a person while texting someone else. It is like an organist playing different tunes with hands and feet. To Turkle, these people are "alone together … a tribe of one". Anyone with 3,000 Facebook friends has none.
The audience in a New York theatre now sit, row on row, with lit machines in their laps, looking to the stage occasionally but mostly scrolling and tapping away. The same happens at meetings and lectures, in coffee bars and on jogging tracks. Children are apparently developing a dexterity in their thumbs unknown since the evolution of the giant sloth. Talk is reduced to the muttered, heads-down expletives brilliantly satirised in the BBC's Twenty Twelve.
Psychologists have identified this as "fear of conversation". People wear headphones as "conversational avoidance devices". The internet connects us to the entire world, but it is a world bespoke, edited, deleted, sanitised. Doubt and debate become trivial because every statement can be instantly verified or denied by Google. There is no time for the thesis, antithesis, synthesis of Socratic dialogue, the skeleton of true conversation.
There is now apparently a booming demand for online "conversation" with robots and artificial voices. Mobiles come loaded with customised "girlfriends". People turn to computerised dating advisers, even claim to fall in love with their on-board GPS guides. A robot seal can be bought to sit and listen to elderly people talk, tilting its head and blinking in sympathy.
We have, says Turkle, confused connection with conversation – "the illusion of companionship without the demands of relationship". Human friendship is rich, messy and complicated. It requires patience and tolerance, even compromise. As we push other people off into a world of question and answer, connection and information, friendship becomes ersatz virtuality.
In his history of conversation, Stephen Miller points out that "most Americans are nowadays concerned more with improving their sex life than their conversation life". Even the phone is passé. Those who used to call a friend in trouble now send a text. Phone calls are to register urgency or shout anger, with corresponding loss of nuance and sensibility. From Mailer to Eminem, the modern cultural hero is expressionist. He or she has "attitude", and to prove it uses the F-word as often as possible.
Miller notes that public discourse is dominated by contention, by "intersecting monologues". Anger, lack of inhibition, "letting it all hang out" are treated as assets in public debate, in place of a willingness to listen and adjust one's point of view. Politics thus becomes a platform of rival angers. American politicians are ever more polarized, reduced to conveying a genuine hate for each other.
Likewise, the lack of tolerance in American Christianity can be as frightening as it can in Islam. When I once professed support for IVF, a man glared across the table, tight-jawed, and asked: "What does it feel like to be a mass murderer?" With such people there is no conversation, only a tiptoeing from the room.
All that said, the death of conversation has been announced as often as that of the book. Samuel Johnson and David Hume worried that the decline of political conversation would lead to violent civil discord. George Orwell concluded that "the trend of the age was away from creative communal amusements and toward solitary mechanical ones". The philosopher Michael Oakeshott professed himself desperate to "rescue the art of conversation". Somehow we have muddled through.
The "post-digital" phenomenon, the craving for live experience, is showing a remarkable vigour. The US is a place of ever greater congregation and migration, to parks, beaches and restaurants, to concerts, rock festivals, ball games, religious rallies. Affinity groups frantically seek escape from the digital dictatorship, using Facebook and Twitter not as destinations but as portals, as route maps to human contact.
A hundred online universities are no substitute for a live campus any more than Facebook is a substitute for sex or Twitter for debate. Gatherings such as Burning Man and Coachella have revived the medieval pilgrimage, with tens of thousands crossing mountains and deserts to spend from $100 to $1,000 a weekend to commune with like-minded souls. They talk. They even converse.
Somewhere in this cultural morass I am convinced the zest for human contact will preserve the qualities that Plato and Plutarch, Johnson and Hume identified as essential for a civilised life, qualities of politeness, listening and courtesy. Those obsessed with faddish connectivity and personal avoidance are not escaping reality. They are not TS Eliot's misanthropic Prufrock, "a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas". Deep down they still crave friendship. They just want a better class of talk.
(JS: Coming home from the farmers market today [Sunday], there was a man pushing a baby stroller up the steep hill on 10th Avenue south of Judah Street. His two hands on the stroller also grasped a newspaper, which he was reading spread out in front of him. In one hand he also had a milkshake which he was sipping through a straw, and was walking a dog strapped to his wrist, listening, presumably, to the iSomething-or-other plugged into his ear. Everything was OK until he had a head-on collision with a plum tree. For a microsecond he engaged with the world, then disappeared back into his private bubble. Because the hill was so steep he wasn't going very fast, so baby and stroller survived without incident. He probably wasn't aware that it was a beautiful day to be alive--the best weather we've had so far this year. Days like that demand one's full attention.)
To err is human. To gloat, divinely satisfying.
Sordid tale laid out for all to see
The Murdoch scandal is what happens when government abandons its duty to control free market excesses
..the Leveson inquiry evidence so forensically laid out...sets out the shameful tale for all to see. Murdoch's replies will enter the annals of amnesia: "I've never asked a prime minister for anything in my life.." Of course not. He just breathed on them.
Is there anything so exceptional about Murdoch? He's canny and fly, but probably no more so than many sharp-witted businessmen who spot their chance in a flabby market. All he has done is exactly what Adam Smith (the real one) famously said every business does, given half a chance - corner markets and conspire against the consumer. The success of his business was built on gaining the edge by evading regulators and avoiding taxes, as all companies will unless stopped. So let's not obsess over his character.
If you think this is a navel-gazing media story, here's a reminder of what [Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy] Hunt was about to unleash on the country, with Cameron and George Osborne's approval. If Murdoch were allowed to own all BSkyB, within a year or two he would package all his newspapers on subscription or online together with his movie and sports channels in offers consumers could hardly refuse, at loss-leading prices. Other news providers, including this one (ie, Guardian and Guardian Weekly, JS) would be driven out or reduced to a husk. His would be the commanding news voice.
Excerpts from Polly Toynbee's column in Guardian Weekly 04.05.12
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt under fresh pressure over BSkyB's local service
For every girl who is tired of acting weary when she is strong,
There is a boy tired of appearing strong when he’s vulnerable.
For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything,
There is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.
For every girl who is tired of being called overly sensitive,
There is a boy who fears to be gentle and weep.
For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity,
There is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes.
For every girl who throws her E-Z- Bake oven,
There is boy who wishes he had one.
For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires,
There is a girl facing the ad industry’s attack on her self-esteem.
For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation,
There is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier.
On May 5, 2012, at 8:59 PM, ________wrote:
Perhaps somebody in your newsletter community might know why this seems to work
ZIP LOCK BAG - Good tip!
We went with friends to Sweety Pies on Sunday for breakfast and sat in the patio section beside the house. We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut. Naturally we were curious! Ms. Sweety told us that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there were no flies in the eating area! This morning I checked this out on Google. Below are comments on this fly control idea. I'm now a believer!
Zip-lock water bags
I tried the ziplock bag and pennies this weekend.. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggie with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer. The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!
Danielle Martin Says:
Fill a ziplock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.
I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store & have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection & won't come around.
Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and thought these "hillbillies" were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn't hang around long.
JS: I doubt that it does seem to work, and I have no truck with this kind of anecdotal stuff.
In the 1960s and '70s I noticed quite a few people whose houses had a small planting space in front placed a jar of water there. One day the owner happened to be out in front and I asked why. She said that it kept dogs from peeing there. "I don't know why, but it seems to work."
No one does that anymore. I wonder why. :-)
If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers. -Steve Allen