As you can see by our fly swatter-called a tapette au mouche-which we bought at our local Ikea, it has had alot of use. Just about every time we kill a fly, and we do it often, another little piece of the swatter comes off. We had company this week-end, 5 people, and with all of the opening and closing of doors to get to the pool and the leaving open of windows upstairs, we had a bumper crop of flies inside, something which drives me nuts. The French look at me as being a little wacky but flies irritate me to no end. There also seem to be more flies than usual this summer. I’m not sure if this is because of the heat or what but it really gets to me. When we eat outside, before I set the table, I spray insect spray all around the circumference of the table to make a little magic circle to keep out the flies. It works for about 10 mintues or so although there are always a few kamakasi individuals who bust through the poison and dive bomb our food anyway.
When we first moved to this area I noticed little white snails all over everything, on plants, on the earth, on fences. They were thick everywhere. I never saw any up in our area but this summer, there they are. I wonder how they got up here? I can visualize a snail standing on the side of the road holding out its thumb for a ride up the mountain so they can get out at my yard and start munching on my plants. There must be some sort of passive migration, a hitch-hiking on birds or mammals to get up here. I don’t think they travel as spores do on the wind. I have seen really small snails on plants, barely the size of the head of a pin, on plants. I get out there and manually pick them off plants, spread around snail poison and wonder about them. I’ve heard you can put out plates of beer that will attract them and in which they will then drown. That sounds like alot of work to me, especially since we have so many plants on a large amount of land, plus I’d rather drink the beer myself.
Snails on our fence.
I have been outside every morning to beat the heat dead heading santalina. For some reason you have to cut off all of the flowers when they die. We don’t just have a few santalina–we have about 75 huge plants. I’ve been cutting off the flowers by hand but am contemplating getting some sort of hedge trimmer to do the job. Maurice has a weed eater that he tried on one plant but it really chewed it up and did damage to nearby plants so that’s out. I also have to cut the flowers off the lavender of which we also have many, probably 75 or so as well. It is a fragrant job and I think I should look for ways to use it, learn to make soap or something. I do try to save the little seeds that come off the flowers after it is cut to make some poupouri but I really am not an arts and crafts sort of person and don’t have the interest in doing much of this. After cutting all the flowers off of everything I am just ready to dump it all on our compost pile.