Heh. But I've lived in Columbia, SC and in Maryland, so hot'n'humid at
least isn't anything new. Where I am now in MA, it's also incredibly humid
- plus the mosquitoes are like a plague, esp. since the property backs up
onto a swamp. So, to cut the lawn or do other yard work, it has to be a
cool (50's or maybe 60's) and cloudy day - since I'm highly allergic to
both grass and bites/stings ((and I don't mean, 'oooh, I have a little
itch' -- I mean, I get silver-dollar-sized hives that sometimes blister and
can last for up to 2 weeks or more even when I *do* put bleach on the bites
(to help neutralize the mosquito spit) and take allergy pills and use
neosporin and so on =>:-p )), I have to cover myself pretty muich from head
to toe, take 2 allergy pills, and then coat myself with DEET - but I'm
hypersensitive to that also, so I have to dress in layers and only spray
the outside layers. The onyl thing sticking out is the very front of my
face, and the DEET I have to put thre is still enought to make me ill, so I
can't work in the yard very long.
((Of course I am nevertheless compelled to dig and plant and arrange, and
then go out to enjoy the flora and resulting fauna in my yard ;) I enjoy
seeing the little toads living in the ornamental grasses; then we get some
garter snakes and so on, and huge crows - IMO corvids are fascinating - as
well as a whole slew of other types of birds, esp. songbirds =:-D, and the
entire chain-of-life thing going on - so, although I *could* just hit the
whole yard with poison and so on, I try to avoid using chemicals because
then you don't get any wildlife, and IMO a yard without wildlife is sterile
and depressing and ugly. So although it's an annoyance to be allergic to
what you love, as the saying goes, love conquers all, so there ya go ;) ))
So at any rate, to me, the simple thing of not having plagues of mosquitoes
does just about sound like paradise... Even it it was hot, *at least* if
the mosquitoes aren't bad (and they do seem to be controlled where we'll
be), I wouldn't have to go thorugh the crap of all the layers (because I
wouldn't have to use DEET) and could get away with just the allergy pills.
Which is one reason why I so loved living in the semi-arid climate inland
from Pasadena in CA. Well, I also think the desert is beautiful, and it
smells good :) . Also, when it's really dry (under 10% humidity) my body
seems to work like it's supposed to, so I'm comfortable up to about 90, and
still operational between 90 and 100; tho' I was even able, in s. CA, to go
for long walks when the thermometer registered 104, although I did have to
stay in the shade, and always carried a large bottle of water or orange
juice with a pinch of salt (for potassium and sodium). So, yeah, I do
still yearn to return to the desert/semi-desert. And still daydream about
my Desert House and trying to meld my ideas into a design/plan ;)
OTOH, I'm also determined to make the best I can of wherever we end up
living. Even in southern California, people found a way to gripe and whine
abotu the weather, and that just irritated and annoyed me - so I do try to
not do things that I fond irritating in others (but there's still a lot fo
rom for improvement =:-o ). I think it's simply that people are never
happy, no matter what the situation is and even no matter how good they
have it. So I'm determined to *try* to not be like that, and instead make
the most of whatever situation in which I find myself.
Tho' the mosquitoes here do make that difficult <g>!
MEANWHILE, I'm always trying to gather up tidbits re: what kinds of
buildings do well in a given climate, so, if we end up staying there, I'm
already filing some todbits into the "hot'n'humid climate" category.
Which of course includes garden accoutrements <g>, such as arbors and so
on, that would have a reasonable lifespan in the climate. I've *already*
bought several books on landscaping in the Coastal Gulf States areas, and 2
specifically for Houston <LOL!>
Which is another thing. What I remember from South Carolina was that,
*because* of the humidity and the warmth, you could do some *spectacular*
plantscaping! My biggest frustration, actually, about looking for places
in the Houston area is that the yards are so *small*. Of course, if I had
my way (and a heck of a lot fo $$...), I'd just go ahead and have my own
botanical garden <G!>
For sure; there are several beneficial insects, I can;t remeber all teh
atractors but that's why I buy so many books ;) .
Plus I like trying to photograph them - I like the challenge of it because
they don't sit still a whole lot, but, if you can get the light just right,
you can get a pretty photo. Esp. if you can get some of the bigger,
I try to avoid using insecticides, because they are indescriminate and kill
everything. I only use them occasionally, like, if I get an aphid
infestation, but even there, a bit of dish detergent and some other
ingredients will take care of them without poisoning your entire garden
(and whtever other critters might be living in it).
I'll try to remember to look. One thing, tho'. is water with some plants,
such as rushes. They lay their eggs right into the water, for which they
need an open surface, but they look for palces that also offer cover for
the nymphs. The nymphs are intense predators, and if I remember correctly,
will even go after small fish and tadpoles. Now, i know that a bit of oil
on the surface of water will kill mosquitoe larvae (they smother), but I
don't know whether/how it might affect damselfly and dragonfly nymphs.
I read that they use a substance derived from a strain of good old Bacillus
thuringensis <?sp?>, which is specific for mosquitoes :)
I've heard those work great, is that true? I've also seen the "mosquito
lamps" - not citronella, something that's supposed to be stronger, but I've
no idea how they work. I never got any because moving has been in the
works for a while, so I didn't invest in anything like that. I did get
soem success using a setup with a lamp chimney, candles, a holder, and soem
really ripe Romano cheese (tho' Limburger is suppsoed to be the king at
attracting the bugs), so taht the rising sir would pull up the, er, "aroma"
of the cheese into the dispersing CO2.
(("Stinky Cheese" supposedly contains a chemical also found is sweat that
attracts mosquitoes even more strongly than CO2 - at least, I saw that on a
Sceince Program channel, so i'm assuming they did a study or two on it -
the show was a long special just about mosquitoes.))
That's really nice! I mean that. That's something I bet they'll always
remember :) I think it's those "simple" (yet not really simple, in a way)
things that are the most important.
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