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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Herding Flies at Tassajara

We used to herd flies at Tassajara. There used to be a lot more flies there. Just regular houseflies.
We had meat and fish at first for the guests and hadn't properly covered our compost. Maybe some from horse and chicken manure for the garden. Other reasons I'm sure. I ordered a dozen or so fly traps - gallon jars with lids that assured they could get in but not exit. Would put some meat in them and a week later empty the container full of dead flies into a hole in the ground. It was foul smelling, disgusting work. There were flies in the guest dining room. Before meals I'd round up any guests and students that were nearby. We'd open all the windows and doors on the courtyard side and stand in a line against the opposite wall, each with a dishtowel in hand. I'd demonstrate for newbies how to hold the towel on two corners and snap it to create a sound and wind wave. Then we'd walk toward the other wall, each of us snapping our towels as forcefully as we could - driving the flies out the doors and windows which we'd quickly close. It was quite effective. - DC

This memory to join with other Tassajara Stories