This photo is of a commercial spider frame, and is designed to be placed outside in the garden or in some place where spiders live and work. It is intended as an educational and entertainment device. However, this one costs $23 plus shipping. Based on that, I found it necessary to build my own, and so can you! My first thought was that the spider probably has very little interest in aesthetics. So I made my first one out of scrap wood and a piece of dowel.
I used four pieces of scrap wood and some hot glue and staples. There is no need for dimensions, as the size really is not very important. I turned it into a diamond for my interest, not the spiders. But, I could have used Popsicle sticks or almost anything to make the frame. What would be interesting would be to make one out of an old wire coat hanger. Just bend it into a diamond shape and stick it in the ground near some shrubbery. Mine has been out for a week but no spiders yet. If some reader builds one and gets a good photo of the web, I will be happy to publish the result. Build it and they will come!
I believe that the chipmunk may be one of the most prevalent members of the squirrel family, and is found throughout the US. But they are rodents and not domestic, and should be treated as wild animals. Each summer they are on my porch looking for dropped birdseed and other scraps of food. They are omnivores, but eat mostly seeds and grasses. But they will eat insects and bird eggs if they can find them.
I had some extra wire fencing and clear vinyl so a "Habitrail like" tube seems like a good way to confine them to one end of the porch and out of the way. It is 9 feet long, (~3 Meters) and has a wood bottom for them to run on. Within 15 minutes after building it, they started using the tube and have stayed out of the way. And, they are fun to watch as well. Maybe I should add a loft!
Periodically, I will add United States patents that are either very important, interesting, or strange and unusual. This one is a machine that made paper bags with a flat bottom, pleats, and could stand alone. That had not been done when this machine was invented in 1852 by Francis Wolle. The reason that I think it interesting is that we still make bags with the same type of machine. These bags are the little brown ones that we pack a lunch in, to the millions used at supermarkets worldwide. 159 years ago and still counting! See the entire patent at Google Patents here.
How many times have you been eating a nice spinach salad and hear on the news that there is an outbreak of E. Coli due to contaminated spinach? (The associated photo is an electron microscope image of that bad actor). For the next two days we hear that more people are being sickened by the spinach. But eventually we discover that the farm is in California. Bad Farm! But even later we hear, "Wait, the E. Coli is really in lettuce from Florida"! It would be terrible if this happened once, but it happens frequently.
So what consequence does this have on the good farms that produce spinach? They lose business unnecessarily, and the spinach gets a bad rap. And, it has occurred with other vegetables. And, of course poultry with salmonella and so forth. How do these chain of events propagate? The media and the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration)! One goes way too fast to beat the competition, and the other moves to slow due to poor practices.
In journalism the rule used to be don't publicize anything until you can answer the What, Why, When, Where, and Who. So much for due diligence!
Despite the fact that FDA employee's make good money with great benefits, they still say that they are understaffed. Welcome to the wonderful world of bureaucracy! Seems like a priority problem to me. We can kill a single enemy combatant 7 thousand miles away with a drone, but we can't find the E. Coli. Maybe we should let private companies do the job that the FDA seems not to be able to do. Just a thought.
It may seem unusual to see a very simple honeysuckle flower on a post that it not really gardening specific. But this one is important to me as I am terrible at growing flowers! I can grow vegetables of all kinds and have, but flowers have always been a problem for me. Some people can grow roses easily, but I have spent time and money and have one rose plant that has lasted for more than 3 years.
I have lots of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and they all like honeysuckle nectar. This vine was planted last year and had plenty of leaves and no flowers. I figured that it was just another plant-gone-wrong. But no, this year it looks promising. In Shakespeare's time this was called Woodbine and was considered an evasive weed. Maybe I am just good at growing vegetables and weeds!