Every now and then I use this blog to get advice from readers about subjects that are a bit hard to find information about online. My first queries are about salt licks.
We live on the outer fringe of Madison, Wisconsin and have a small woods behind the house. Over the years we have been visited by a variety of mammals; in addition to the typical suburban chipmunks and raccoons and bats and moles and mice, we have seen deer, fox, coyote, woodchuck, and the occasional opossum - although fewer in recent years as new subdivisions have been replacing farm fields and pastures nearby.
I've been thinking of putting out a salt lick for the critters. We have a Farm and Fleet store nearby that has product, so my questions are about any potential downside. Does the leaching of salt from the block result in any problem for nearby plants? This wouldn't be in a garden setting, but we do have spring ephemeral wildflowers in the woods, and I even wonder about the tolerance of trees. Conventionally these blocks are out in a pasture far from trees. I have been told that cattle not only lick the block away, but also nibble down into the soil underneath, carving out a pit to harvest all the available salt. Similarly if the block is placed on a stump, the stump itself will eventually be eaten away by the animals. Are the trace mineral supplements important? How long they last will obviously depend on usage, but I'm wondering if I need to stock up in anticipation of rain and snow melting the block. Will the bats make use of the salt lick??
The next question is about managing "covid hair." I've patronized the same barbershop for the past 15 years. I'm willing to listen to the constant FOX News programs because of the low ($16) price for a haircut. I'm sure he is wearing a mask this year, but his shop is not much bigger than a modern walk-in closet, and his clientele may not be rigorous in mask use. When I called this summer to inquire if he was by any chance offering outdoor haircuts he was incredulous. So I have "covid hair" (which I suppose can be viewed as a political statement).
Because I almost never watch network television, I have been blissfully unaware of decades of infomercials about the "Flowbee" vacuum-assisted haircutting system. While researching self-haircuts I came across an interview with George Clooney in which he reports cutting his own hair for the past 25 years using the Flowbee system (his comments start at the 2:15 mark of this video). Apparently that's why he's wealthy; I always thought it was because of movies and celebrity fees, but it's also from the savings of doing one's own haircuts. Readers - any experience or informed opinions on this?? (Amazon is sold out of the product, so the pandemic seems to have been good for the company).
Addendum: I decided to get a salt+trace minerals brick, and have placed it at the junction of two walking paths, within binoculars view of our house. I don't expect to see much activity because most visitors would likely be crepuscular, but the pattern of tracks in the winter snow might be interesting.
I hear ya about the haircuts. I took my mother to our usual salon, and the owner (working alone) did not wear a mask and questioned the reality of the virus. My daughter got a cut in the next town over, they wore masks and followed all guidelines, but she cannot remember the name of the place. So my normally butch cut hair is down past my shoulders now. I am seriously thinking of experimenting with food coloring in peacock colors, since no one will see me anyway.ReplyDelete
I'm thankful that up north here we are entering the season for knit stocking caps.Delete
Following the salt lick comments. As for hair, I'll wait until the New Year for a haircut -- start the year off right.ReplyDelete
I use salt and mineral blocks for my equines. When the blocks are locked down, I place the remnant in the woods line. The deer finish it. Doesn't stay out there long enough to leach or affect flora.ReplyDelete
You could try arranging to be the first person at the barber's in the morning. Even better, the first one after the weekend.ReplyDelete
I have a Flowbee and Covid hair. I bought a used one several years ago and replaced the blades but I have been blessed/cursed with thick hair and it just couldn't do it. You can have it for postage.ReplyDelete
I'm still trying to decide, but your offer is attractive. If you see this reply, drop me a message at the blog's email: email@example.comDelete
Realizing that this may sound callous, in your place I would do exactly nothing to encourage any wildlife to come any closer to your house. They're going to do what they're going to do -- and that specifically includes not dying from hyponatremia, any more than they did for thousands of years -- but anything that subliminally conveys a sense of welcome, and they'll be in your attic literally before you know it. Unless you have an outdoor cat, or a beagle?ReplyDelete
George Clooney claims he's been using a flowbee to cut his hair during th pandemic. If it works for him...ReplyDelete
My whole family (myself, hubby and two young boys) are rocking the Covid hair. On weekends when we're in our PJs all day, we look like a cult :PReplyDelete
Its not forever. And with cases skyrocketing just as you predicted, it's probably best to wait. My philosophy is to send cash for the price of a haircut to my stylist as if I were getting the haircuts anyway, as a sign of solidarity.
I'm going on 8 months since my last haircut, and also growing absurd facial hair. If I *had* to cut my hair, I'd just use scissors and a razor and take it back to ground level. Flowbee sounds like too much trouble and just another thing to own.ReplyDelete
I've been cutting my hair since my last professional cut in March. It's a bit tricky as I wear my hair short, but so far it's worked out okay. My husband bought a Wahl hair trimmer kit and I cut his hair, too. The Wahl trimmer is easy to use on another person, but I think it would be difficult to use it on yourself.ReplyDelete
I've been cutting my own hair with a trimmer kit for years. A large bathroom mirror combined with a full length mirror on the (slightly angled) closet behind me makes it fairly easy, although I usually have my wife double check the hairline on the back of my neck when I'm done. If someone mentions my haircut I get to say it is 'self inflicted' :-)Delete
My hair place - a national chain apparently not available in WI, but it does exist in IL - is just fine. They are limiting the number of customers by mandating appointments and leaving chairs open. There's place for eight customers and the two times I've gone, there were one and two other customers, so there was plenty of spacing. I was able to pick rainy weekday mornings, unlike normally when I have to work and only can go in the weekend. They did a small questionnaire about symptoms and a temperature check. The hair ladies all wore good facemasks and the doors in the front and back were kept open to keep a decent draft going.ReplyDelete
Since I pretty much have a buzz cut, I was in and out in 11 minutes. All in all, it can't be worse that going to a supermarket. Or at least, from what I hear. I haven't seen the inside of a supermarket since May. Long live Amazon Prime and Instacart. Excluding Costco where I load up every 6-8 weeks - Instacart for Costco sucks.
Oh, and please tip the folks that your shopping and hair cutting very generously. They are not getting paid enough for the risks they are exposed to.
I saw this video awhile back. He’s another long time Flowbee user.ReplyDelete
I give my horse a free choice loose salt. I get it at the farm store and it lasts forever. I put it in his feed to keep him drinking. I read that a horse cant lick enough salt from a block. This stuff is coarse and he will eat it like candy if given the chance. In your situation I suggest putting a pan on the stump and see who shows up and how much they eat. It could become a routine and you might get to know those critters better or better than you want.ReplyDelete
For a salt lick you want to find a place with hard ground, there might be a lot of animals around so it might get muddy otherwise.ReplyDelete
Many animals prefer to not lick the salt directly from the salt block, so find a tall tree stump, preferably at least as wide as the salt block, allowing the animals to lick the trunk.
Remove the bark, drill a hole on top of the trunk and drive a wooden stick into it to hold the salt block in place.
Alternatively, take a chainsaw and make a cross on top of the trunk and drive the stick into the cross.
The trunk will not rot for many years due to the salt.
A salt block will last approx. half a year and you need one for every 100 hectares or so.
I haven't been a customer in a barbershop for 25 years. I got fed up with the inane dialogue: what to do this w/e? did ya see the match last w/e? and are you going on vacation come summer? So I bought me electric hair-clippers for £35, whc paid for themselves before the summer. I used to sit on the kitchen floor and let my 6 y.o. do the invisible bits behind the ears. When she grew up [8 y.o.] I started doing the whole thing myself. Use the fattest comb to begin with and get more military if it suits and the family can handle it. If you are engaging assistance, be sure to fully brief The Help. When the daughter had lost interest, my wife offered to have a go [I've seen this, I've got this] and made a confident swooping pass . . . down to the scalp because she'd left the comb-gizmo off. You don't need a vacuum anything . . . Flowbee? at $300? You jest. Unless you're going to wear it out and about your neck as a fashion statement.ReplyDelete
On salt for wildlife, yest I found out that koalas will trek to find salt-rich Eucalyptus bark [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32525918/] if it's lacking in their reg'lar diet.
OMG so much to address here! That's alot of questions Minnesotastan!ReplyDelete
We love salt blocks, we even have one huge one for our Bunny which has lasted 12 years for her, much cheaper than the ones they sell specifically for bunnies. Haircut: advice: go get one from someone you like, and tip her the same amount as the price of the haircut for taking the risk of you sitting in the chair without a mask on. I pay for haircuts, and am financially stable, not at Clooney levels, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
I got a 1 inch guide for my clippers so I can trim my own hair. Not as nice as a proper haircut, but it has kept things from getting out of hand.ReplyDelete
I had an "undercut" when COVID hit, and bought a set of clippers to maintain it myself while I grew out what was left. I think they were sold out everywhere the next week.ReplyDelete
They do double duty now, in that I shave my face with them. I work a lot in emergency rooms and in the community. My skin reacts to any of the masks I'm allowed to wear, but I have to wear one all day anyway. The clippers leave just enough stubble to cut down the reaction a bit. Pro tip.
So, all that said, I have a gently used set of clippers for sale. $25,000 firm. Local pickup only. Will consider trades for a new career...
The Flowbee works with a few caveats. If you have tight curly hair, it may not work that well and you will still need to do some touch ups. I've been cutting my hair for the last 4 years now and use the Flowbee for the top of my head. I use a pair of Wahl clipper for the sides and use the trimmer for touch ups. If you by the Wahl clipper, they have a model that comes with a guide for cutting around your ears and your eye brows which I didn't know about until after I had bought a different model. By the way, I have straight and kind of coarse hair.ReplyDelete
I know here in Illinois salt licks for deer are actually illegal, unfortunately. Previously, there was talk of disease spread among deer because of licks. We feed the birds and would gladly feed other animals if it was legal.ReplyDelete
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTDkfp5XdGA George Clooney on His Twins Speaking Italian, Quarantine Cooking & He Cuts His Hair with a Flowbee!ReplyDelete
Perhaps you should move it to the side of the path so that you don't turn an ankle under fresh snowfall.ReplyDelete