Mosquitoes really know how to ruin a perfectly lovely outing. They're masters at it. I'm a total mosquito wimp, and in many locales that's a very good thing to be due to Lyme disease, [oh dear! Kathy Walker has corrected me on this ~ see her letter below and substitute "West Nile" for "Lyme disease" above! ] etc. (to say nothing of the problems engendered by scratching your arms off at the elbows ~ it's SO hard to sketch and journal, after that...).
I first wrote about my problem with the mosquitoes on this page:
So whilst being plagued by the little beasties as I sat in my sit spot one day, I dreamed up the perfect solution. It required a trip to the garden shed and an additional trip to the camping goods section of Bi-Mart, plus a few of those paper clamps (see (d.) below.
Oh yeah, wire cutters were needed, too, and six of those "twistems" ~ the wiry things that fasten loaves of bread and clumps of celery shut.
When I was done, I journaled the results in my journal. Since I'm not certain it's totally clear how it is constructed, I've also created some diagrams to make the directions easier to follow.
- wire cutters or pliers which will cut heavy wire
- a cone-shaped wire tomato frame (see a. below)
- a 5'x7' piece of mosquito netting (it comes this size in the package, but you might want a bigger piece)
- 6 pieces of light wire, twistable by hand
- 3 or more paper clamps, clothespins, or some other fastener
- a comfy chair to fasten everything to.
Fold the mosquito net in half and put clips along one side, starting at the fold (as shown in d.) . You don't have to clip the entire side, as gravity will cause it to fall down and close itself.
Open up and drape the net over the frame, with the corner with the first clip above the center of the top hoop (f.). The drawing isn't perfectly accurate, because there's a bit of a corner splayed out on the ground on each side of the chair.
Even with this size of netting your feet might not be totally covered. So you'll need to wear socks if the beasties are biting your ankles. I was wearing 2 pairs of socks on my final day in my #2 sit spot, which I think is what finally did me in there, since I had simply SWARMS of mosquitoes around my net ~ so many that I could feel their tiny little vibes yearning for my blood. It was unnerving. But for lesser visitations, it's great!
This only takes a few minutes to make once you get the tools and supplies together, and it is so light that you can carry it in one hand from one spot to another. Sitting inside your little haloed dome, there will be no netting dragging against your face or head or hands or sketchpad, and you don't have to wear stinky repellent. You'll need to wear pants, though, since your knees will be against the netting and the little boogers will notice this right away (oops!).
I hope this turns out to be useful to you, if you live in a skeetery place. If you make one and try it out, I'd love to hear your experience with it. Mine makes it possible to sit out on the deck on a warm summer evening in perfect comfort, reading sketching, etc.
Of course, it's not nice to sit on the lawn under your net to chat if your chatee doesn't have a net, though, so you may need to make nets for everyone to be polite.
Let me know if you try this, okay?
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