Archive for March, 2017

Valentine’s Day Gift, Wasps, and Bees

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

It has been over a month since Valentine’s Day, but I really liked my gift. It was not jewelry, flowers for the garden, or candy.

I was given this–

Wasp Nest

Yep, it is a paper wasps’ nest.

wasps nest

Detail of Wasps’ Nest

Wasp Nest.

Flip Side of the Wasps’ Nest.

The wasps’ nest was found at the airport, under the wing of this plane–

plane

Fouga CM.170 Magister is a 2 Seat, 2 Engine, French Military Plane

plane

The Yellow Arrow Points to the Previous Location of the Nest

Wasps can be particularly dangerous for 3 reasons–

Wasps like to build nest in air vents. When the plane is in flight, if the pilot opens the air vent the result can be a swarm of wasps inside the cockpit.

Wasps will make their nests in fuel vents preventing air getting into the fuel tank and the engine starves. If you have no gas in the engine it will stop running.

If wasps make their nests in a pitot tube, there will be no air speed indication. What does this mean?

The way you get an airspeed indication is that air pushes into the pitot tube and moves the dial in the airplane. If no air gets into the pitot tube, then airspeed reads zero.


Plane Seats

The interior of the Fouga is quite small, a bit claustrophobic. It was a plane used for instruction, with the instructor seated behind the student.

The plane was most likely built in the 50s.

Volvo

The interior reminds me a bit of my 1968 Volvo.


The plane information was supplied by John Scarry. His site is Touring Machine. I supplied graphics for the site, including a six pack simulator for Unusual Attitudes.
Six Pack

I made the six pack instrument graphics in Flash. Each instrument has multiple layers so they could function properly. I handed off the graphics to the programmer, Michael Whipp.


Last week I read a CBS News story about bees causing a flight delay.

This is a screenshot of the image that accompanied the article.

Bees Delay Flight

Yep, bees can be just as dangerous as wasps.


Hike and Laguna Lake

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Just returned home from 3 weeks in Maryland. Went on first hike this morning. The hills are covered with grasses and wildflowers. While I was on the top of South Street Hill, I noticed Laguna Lake is filled with water. Unfortunately, the filled lake does not mean the drought and water restrictions are over.

Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake

SLO Rainfall

University of California Cooperation Extension, San Luis Obispo County


Trump Could Learn A Lot From Eleanor Roosevelt and Descartes

Friday, March 24th, 2017

In Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette she writes about Descartes’ Discourse on Method.

“There are four simple steps by which we learn to think logically and thus communicate clearly.”

The first step–

Accept as true nothing which you do not clearly know to be so; avoid hasty judgment and prejudice.


Trump Could Learn A Lot From Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

I am reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette. This quote seems particularly relevant.

Perhaps even more discreditable is the practice of asserting as “facts” matters which have not been proved, or using as ”evidence” something that is the product of illogical thinking and the drawing of an invalid conclusion.

Wiretapping Tweet


It is Not a Pod…

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

I am currently staying with my sister’s family in an old farm house in Maryland. When I took my morning walk, I noticed something odd. The fir trees at the edge of the property had what appeared on first glance, some type of pods.

Fir Trees

When I took a closer look it became clear that the “pods” were made by insects.

Bagworm Pods

Bagworm Pods

Bagworm Pods

So, who made them?

According to the Penn State Dept of Entomology it is the work of the bagworm moth,Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth).

“This insect is most easily recognized by the case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from ornamental plants on which it feeds. The bag is made of silk and bits of host foliage. These materials are interwoven to disguise and add strength to the case.”


It is unfortunate that the bagworm is destructive. The structures that they build are so beautiful. Apparently, it would be a good idea to remove them from the trees to prevent an infestation.

The description of the bag incorporating the surrounding material brings to mind Tinea pellionella, commonly known as casemaking moths.

Casemaking moths are very small. If you are not looking for them or not aware that they even exist. They can be mistaken for a bit of lint.

They are definitely not something I want in my home and studio since I am using natural fiber in my work.

Casemaking Moth Damage

Casemaking moths ate a large portion of the fiber stitchwork of a work in progress.

Casemaking Moth

The photo was taken with my iPad. It is difficult to capture something that is so small,
but it is an example of a red case.

Casemaking Moth

Casemaking moth that was found inside one of my garden clogs.