Thursday, September 6, 2012

Without Leaving the House

This week I've been a virtual shut-in, with loads of work both for the new job and on a freelance project for one of my former bosses. So I amused myself with the camera at home.

As you can see, we have a very beige house.

This paper lamp hangs from our living room ceiling. For some reason, any houseflies that blunder into our apartment are obsessed with it. They circle and circle beneath it for hours. I tried to find out why this is so, and I found several explanations similar to this one posted by Nick B. (who hopefully knows what he's talking about) on The Guardian's website:

"When looking for a mate, flies will gather around a noticeable landmark such as a bush or under a tree. When indoors this is commonly under a lampshade or equivalent. Potential mates will head towards this landmark looking for candidates. Since flies are poor at hovering they will circle around the area. You may also wish to note that the erratic flight paths taken by flies are an evolutionary adaptation to avoid predators. Birds have much the same problem in catching a zig-zagging fly as we do chasing them with a rolled up newspaper."

Who knew?

Our tomato plants are looking sorrier and sorrier as they straggle toward the end of the season, but they continue to yield tomatoes. I gave a handful to Chris and Linda, the neighbors who provided us with the tiny plants back in April. Apparently Linda didn't much care for them, but I think they're yummy, and who is she to look a gift tomato in


Elizabeth said...

I love the very beige photo best of all. I think it could hang in a major city's museum of modern art.

Ms. Moon said...

Life isn't always full of movement and color. Sometimes it's good and soothing to be still and watch the shadows.

The Bug said...

Your house looks cool & inviting to me - & if I dropped by I would totally eat a tomato sandwich :)

Reya Mellicker said...

One of my friends keeps terrariums with Venus flytraps. When flies are in his house, he lifts the lid off the terreriums. He says within a couple of hours, the plants are happy and the flies are gone.

Whoa. Nature.

I love your beige house. And glad you're busy. Hope not too busy!

Lynne said...

I'm still trying to figure out that second pic. A doggie gate?? :)

Nothing wrong with being beige.

Wayne said...

Can't beat a bit of beige and magnolia! Helps keep everything looking clean.

I absolutely love that I've learned something new from this post - I'm going to bore everyone with my endless explanations of circling flies at work over the next week :)

Linda Sue said...

Your house is beige- calming. I have painted us into what looks like a snow drift but in the winter darkness I will be glad for it. Flies- I wondered...we have the same Problem in the center of the living room- Not so much this year but in the past and one summer was especially thick with flies circling- only later did I find the decomposing bits of a mouse hidden under a pile of toys. Euw- I need a house keeper!

Steve Reed said...

Lynne: The second picture is actually our laundry drying rack, folded and leaning against the wall.

Wayne: I know! We kill flies all the time, just instinctively, but we never stop to think about their behavior, do we?