hOhio photographer publishes new book
Environmental photographer Ian Adams, a Cuyahoga Falls resident whose work has graced books, calendars, posters, magazines and even a postage stamp, is sharing his know-how in a new book, "The Art of Garden Photography."
Adams drew on his experience teaching workshops and seminars in garden photography to write a guide that's thorough and easy to understand. He includes many examples of the same scene shot with different camera settings or equipment, so readers can see the difference his adjustments made. The book also addresses digital photography, a fast-growing segment of the art.
In addition to being a how-to guide, the book also showcases some of Adams' best work. His photos were shot all over the country, but Stan Hywet, Holden Arboretum, Cleveland Botanical Garden and other spots in Northeast Ohio are heavily represented.
"The Art of Garden Photography" is published by Timber Press and is priced at $24.95 in softcover.
Gadget available to clean dryer vents
Clothes dryers are responsible for thousands of fires in the United States every year, and lint buildup is a major culprit.
David Kresge, a former chimney sweep and owner of a duct-cleaning business, has developed a do-it-yourself system for cleaning the length of a dryer vent. Kresge's LintEater includes 15 feet of flexible rods that attach to an electric drill on one end and an auger brush on the other. The kit also has an adapter that allows the use of a vacuum cleaner to suck up the lint as it is being brushed out, a brush for cleaning the dryer's lint trap and a tool for clearing blockages from vents or downspouts.
The kit costs $39.95 and can be ordered by calling (888) 985-0208 or online at www.linteater.com.
A new citrus tree in a cool climate can stay in its original container for a year as long as it's watered once a week and given a few tablespoons of fertilizer a couple of times a year. Before planting it in a larger container, remove the wrapping around the trunk and replace it with a coating of water-based white paint.
A pipe dream
Organize small saw blades in pieces of pipe that are sealed at both ends with corks. For really small blades, use an empty breath-mint tin.
Plumbing repairs best left to plumbers
Q. My bathroom sink smells like raw sewage from time to time. I have tried a bleach solution (down the drain and the overflow hole), but the smell always comes back. We cleaned the aerator on the faucet, but that wasn't the problem. I do not believe it is the water that has a smell to it. Any suggestions on why this smell never goes away or how to get rid of it forever?
A. It sounds like your vent stack may be clogged. If that's the case, flushing the toilet can siphon water from the sink trap -- water that's supposed to stay in the trap to block sewer gases from coming back into the room, said Bart Hungerford, a supervisor with the Akron plumbing company Jeff the Plumber.
Hungerford said it's also possible the vent stack has split and sewer gases are coming into the bathroom from the opening where the sink drain goes into the wall.
Unless you're adept at plumbing repairs, call in a plumber.
Insist on a good-quality seed-starting mix. Seed-starting mix has a finer texture than normal potting soil. The mix should be sterile and fluffy, hold moisture well yet breathe.