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  Red as animal attractant
  Posted by: willowleaf on Apr-26-13 10:26 AM (EST)

I would have expected that too (red attracting insects) but I've owned at least one red kayak for all the years I've been paddling (both my first and present Feathercraft folders being cherry red) and never noticed a lot of insect attraction with them for whatever reason. Maybe the dullness of the fabric makes them less appealing than a gelcoat or plastic finish.

I do have some tales about creatures and red. I was working one summer in an archaeology field camp up in a side canyon in the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. We had a huge mess tent set up with guylines to the support poles -- people kept running into the rope closest to the chow line so I tied a tiny string of brightly colored Tibetan prayer flags to it (a friend had given them to me for the trip to decorate my own sleeping tent.) I was standing near the tent talking to the camp cook one day when I caught movement near the tent pole. We turned to see a tiny vivid hummingbird buzzing along the string of flags, pausing at each of the red ones to inspect it. Those flags were probably the only patch of bright red in that dry sagebrush terrain and the bird had zeroed in on them in hopes of finding nectar. When he reached the top of the string and the last red flag, he turned toward us and hovered for a second a few feet away from our faces. I swear he glared at us before zooming off. I imagined him thinking "WTF, people? These aren't flowers!"

One of my mountaineering friends reported sitting on a rock at a high camp at nearly 20,000 feet on Huascaran in the Peruvian Andes and looking down to see a hummingbird alight on the red nylon of his gaiters. He thought he was having a hypoxic hallucination but two other climbers nearby confirmed the bird's presence. The bird only rested for a minute and then took off into the icy winds flowing up from the glacier below until it blew out of sight.

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