Every once in a while I run into something I really think is fun in the garden. This time I ran into not one, but two things that I think you will really enjoy.
First is a solar lantern. We originally had this idea to attract insects to our toad habitat. See the Toad Abode here. However we found that it has many fun uses. Such as hanging in the trees for some soft old fashion looking lighting. We even found a useful purpose for it, because if you don’t have a useful purpose on the homestead you are not going to last long. Just saying! I can never, it seems, find my homesteading flashlight. Tell me someone out there has this problem. As usual, I have a funny story to tell about just such a time. After looking for my homesteading flashlight and NOT finding it I headed out to the coop to tuck the girls safely in for the night, IN THE DARK. (Homesteader speak for; I shut the chickens up in the coop so that they will not get eaten by a opossum in the middle of the night) My patio light lit the way enough for me to get out to the coop and latch the door. It was, as I was walking away, that I heard/felt something amiss. I couldn’t really put my finger on it ,but went inside to borrow one of my boy scouts coveted flashlights so that I could check it out. To my surprise I had actually shut a large opossum up IN my coop with my chickens! I know you are thinking; She is making this up ,but no, I swear right there in the coop ,which I built to protect my egg laying divas, is a big stinky hissing possum! After a lot of shrieking on my part and a little bb action from my boy protectors the situation was under control. You can be sure I NEVER gather eggs or check on the girls with out a light of some sort. So a solar lantern is always convenient , charged and ready to help me get eggs if I get in a little later than planned.
Here is how to make your own solar lantern:
1st order some solar lids that fit a normal small mouthed Ball canning jar. I ordered my solar jar lid here. It charges all day to produce a soft glow all night, shutting off automatically as the sun rises. I know, nifty huh!
2nd use some wire(I used baling wire off of my straw bales) but any wire will do and some needle nose pliers to bend the wire. Make a collar around the top of the jar as shown. Then add a handle. That is all there is to it. We got a 3 pack of the lids because we thought it would be the perfect thing for the Christmas gift exchange.
Now for the other thing I found that I think you will love. It is your very own pet firefly. Not really, of course, but it sure looks convincing and provided my little ones with hours of in-the-dark watching fun. A good gardening friend gave it to the kids today and they were fascinated! Pay attention Grandparents everywhere! My friend is a bit of a stand in Grandfather for my kids(as my dad has passed on to heaven) so this was a wonderful way for him to thrill the kiddos. My little boy fell asleep with it on his bed side night stand, trying all the while to keep his eyes open to watch the little glowing “critter” inside. Of course, if you want to order one for yourself I will never tell. You can order one of your own pet firefly here. You too can have summer in a jar! This marvelous gadget was very hard to take a picture of, but I tried my best.
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