|hummingbird at oriole feeder|
Photo by J. Harrington
There are a number of suggestions offered, such as coating the feeder holding arms with vaseline or cooking oil. That seems too messy and troublesome since either would need to be refreshed regularly, especially in Summer's heat. Being a naturalized Minnesotan, I have lots of rolls of duct tape around. Reverse duct tape, sticky side out, on eight or nine inches of the bottom of the feeder arm is now in place and at least one black ant has been observed stuck to the tape. This seemed far preferable to the approach of someone who wrapped the access/hanging arm with fly paper, which no doubt worked but must have been a challenging install. It also took less mechanical skill than crafting and installing a water moat on the hanger hook, which was another approach some have taken. I'd no doubt spill moat and sugar water every time the feeders were brought in. Several hummers have visited today, unphased by ants although they avoid confrontations with large bees. So far, so good.
|tarantula-sized "barn spider"|
Photo by J. Harrington
Later, my sense of superiority to the six and eight legged creatures in the world suffered several set backs. First was the arrival of several smaller bees at the nectar feeders. Duct tape isn't going to stop them so I'll have to chech carefully for "free riders" before unhooking the feeders. Second, as I entered the downstairs bathroom late this morning, I was startled to see a "barn spider," approaching tarantula size, on the floor. I rejected my immediate impression that the 12 gauge was needed and bravely stomped on it, hoping that my foot wouldn't miss and offer an opportunity for the creature to scurry up my pants leg. Success, although I still have to clean up some residual spider "blood."
I keep trying to follow the Zen approach of peacefully sharing my part of the world with my fellow creatures. It would be so much easier if they'd stop annoying and/or scaring the daylights out of me every time I turn around. Seriously, trying the old clap a cup over the spider and slide a piece of cardboard over the cup mouth doesn't work well on something large enough to induce a hernia if lifted. I vacuumed up the corpse.
Two wandering across the porcelainSiberia, one alone on the window sill,four across the ceiling's senseless fieldof pale yellow, one negotiating foldsin a towel: tiny, bronze-colored, antennae'strongly elbowed,' crawling over Antonyand Cleopatra, face down, unsurprised,one dead in the mountainous bar of soap.Sub-family Formicinae (a singlesegment behind the thorax), the sicklemoons of their abdomens, one trapped in bubbles(I soak in the tub); with no clear purposethey come in by the baseboard, do not bite,crush bloodless beneath a finger. Peterson'scalls them 'social creatures,' yet what grimsociety: identical pilgrims,seed-like, brittle, pausing on the pathonly three seconds to touch another'sface, some hoisting the papery carcassesof their dead in their jaws, which open and closelike the clasp of a necklace. 'Mating occursin flight'— what better way? Weightless, recklessrapture: the winged queen and her mate, quantumpassion spiraling near the kumquat,and then the queen sheds her wings, plantsthe pearl-like larvae in their cribs of sand:more anvil-headed, creeping attentionsto follow cracks in the tile, the lip of the tub,and one starting across the mirror now, doubled.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.