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Flies, flowers and safety

My name is Pauline Hinton Tom. Jampacked hints fill this column.

The “fruit fly trap” that went onto my counter a year ago passed the test of time. It looks disgusting, so it hides a bit and wears a name tag. Periodically, I refresh the unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar and add some overripe fruit. A good year ago, I rubberbanded an inverted paper cone onto a quart jar with a hole cut in the end to allow fruit flies to enter and not escape.

The Tom’s fruit fly trap is working marvelously. (photo by Pauline Tom)

Flower seeds in milkweed seed pods will not escape if you tie a “tulle” jewelry bag over the very green pod. Capture seeds from Antelope’s horn, butterfly weed, and native milkweed vines this way. Carol Clark, a MonarchWatch volunteer, taught me the trick.

Carol says milkweed seeds need a period of cold to germinate well. You can expose them to cold by planting fresh seeds directly in the soil where you want them to stay, in the Fall, barely covering with soil. Water well and wait for winter to provide the needed cold.

Remember awhile back I mentioned Roland Garza’s recommendation of the Ring security wireless video doorbell? It allows a conversation with person at the door, with your smartphone. Roland came down to help Ron get it installed.

Roland saw that our wifi signal was weak. And, wouldn’t you know? Roland knew the solution. He solved the problem at his house with a wifi extender. It’s one without antenna that plugs into a wall receptacle. Now, his use of the Ring video feature (showing on his smartphone his front door) does not use cellular data.

And, if you sign into Amazon using AmazonSmile.com, Amazon will donate 0.05% of your purchase price to the charity you select. My AmazonSmile charity is set for Texas Bluebird Society. It’s a teensy teeniney percentage. But, the cents add up. Amazon has donated over $54 million through the initiative.

Laura Craig’s advice,  of using thistle seed pays off by attracting goldfinch when other seeds fail. Lesser Goldfinch continue to visit our feeders.

On these hot July days, many birds enjoy the fine mist from a flexible mister stand. It attaches to a garden hose, and it does not use a lot of water.

Patricia Porterfield, on Maple, who did such a marvelous job with Loving Mountain City’s 4th of July celebration, goes by “Patricia”. Patricia wants to brag on Drew Hilton, whose name got left off last week. “He did a great job helping with everything and dropping off the watermelons and bottled water.”

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Diane and Joe Krejci.

Welcome home from a 5,100 mile trip to the East Coast, Holly and Val Cass.

Please send brags, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. to ptom5678@gmail.com (subject: tidbit) or 512-268-5678. Thanks! Love, Pauline

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