Sunday, October 12, 2008

Project Abandoned!

No, not my closets project. I actually made very good progress on those today. Mostly because another project I decided to tackle while it was cool, took a turn for the worse in a few short minutes. After that, I was able to work diligently in the house on the closets.

This morning, I wanted to trim some wayward branches from a couple of bushes at the side and back of the house. I have three very healthy azalea which have grown tremendously in the past three years, even with pruning. Several spikes needed a snip, so I set out with my trusty wheelbarrow, my pruners and garden gloves, and started whacking away.

Before I knew it, project abandoned!

Why? See the gloves tossed haphazardly into the wheelbarrow along with the shears? What you don't see is me dancing around on my patio, batting and swarming flying THINGS, and practically stripping from the waste down in my back yard.

Why, you ask once more? Well, I'll tell you. This.

Or perhaps I should say, this guy plus a couple dozen cousins. This one, of course, is a picture I snatched off the Internet but what swarmed me...and yes, what STUNG me, twice! were yellow jackets. I know, because after the one stung me, I looked at him hard while he lay on my sweatpants on my kitchen floor. He was, rather lifeless as that point. Do yellow jackets die after they sting? Then why, do they choose to do the deed?

I don't understand that.

Excuse me? Yellow Jackets? And where did those suckers come from? I've never seen them in my azalea before now.

So after tending two my two stings (baking power paste followed by soap and water followed by hydro-cortisone) one on my thigh and the other on my tummy (yes, he got under my shirt!) I kept my distance and observed these creatures out my kitchen window. I must have really riled them up because they were moving all day long--until the evening started cooling off. Then, I noticed, that they were making a beeline, er, waspline? straight into the center of the azalea and down into the center...like it was the black hole of the Bermuda Triangle or something...then they promptly disappeared.

I looked, because my friend Magdalena told me to "look for a hole in the ground" because evidently, that is where yellow jackets nest.

I felt no urge to stick my head into the azalea to search for a hole.

So, project abandoned. I didn't even move the wheelbarrow until just a few minutes ago. Getting stung was not fun. Not fun indeed.

I guess the azalea will stay spiky for the winter.

Oh, well.
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