Hammocks, Frogs and Mosquitoes
Get into (and out of) a hammock.
Bob McElroy, vice president of merchandising at Wisconsin-based Lands’ End’s home division, has mastered this symbol of leisure his company designs, tests and produces. "You know how you’ve got the spreader bars at the very ends? If you try to put your head at one spreader bar and your feet at the other spreader bar, you’re guaranteed to fall, " he says. To avoid pulling a Gilligan, Bob recommends you just sit down on the hammock the same way you sit into a chair. That cups the hammock against your backside, providing stability. Next, pick up your feet and pivot on your seat to lay down.
When it’s time to get out, Bob again cautions against making a lengthwise move. "Just put one foot out, then pivot again and bring your second foot out, so you’re sitting in the hammock as if it’s a chair, " he says. "When you rise up, the hammock actually pushes you up a little bit, which helps you make your exit gracefully. "
CATCH A FROG
"The stealthier you are, the better, " Director of Aquarium Collections at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium George Parsons says. He advises you approach the frog low and from behind, hands out and cupped together. "Pounce right when you estimate you’ll be able to launch far enough to get your hands over the frog, " George says.
If you catch one, hold it around its middle, by the front shoulders, firmly, but not too tight. "Enjoy it, then let it go, " George says. "Frogs keep bugs down, and their calls create a nice ambience in the evenings. "
Wayne Rowley, retired Iowa State University entomologist, knows the best ways to keep from getting bitten.
STAY INSIDE AT DUSK, if possible. Mosquitoes feed about an hour before and an hour after dark.
WEAR LIGHT-COLORED, LOOSE CLOTHING. The little buggers prefer dark colors and can bite you right through skin-hugging fabric.
STICK WITH DEET. Citronella and bug zappers don’t really protect you. Only the chemical DEET does. Use a repellant that’s 24 to 35 percent DEET, but avoid anything over 10 percent for children 3 and younger.