Thursday, July 30, 2009

Joining the Ranks

I didn't even see it coming. After a strenuous and heat exhausting morning of hammering, nailing, and power sawing (I know, but that is how I am saying it), I wiped the gritty sawdust off my brow and trudged up the slope of gravel path to the house. Unbecoming sweat patches darkened my shirt and dust rained in my wake.

Out of breath from my walk and the heat, I gained the east deck and started in the house. The drooping potted melon and tomato plants beckoned, however, and I paused to give them drink. As I watered the strawberries, a yellow jacket was caught in the jet stream from my hose, and I admit to a feeling of satisfaction at his struggle to free himself from the roiling water and straw mulch.

I continued watering, making sure to steer clear of the various yellow jackets and their known nesting places. Many have been destroyed in the protacted battle, but many many remain. Daily, Mr. Nature goes on a killing spree to rid the grounds of more aggressive stinging insects. Every day we see hundreds more. They gorge themselves under the apple trees on the fallen fruit and selfishly dominate every open water source. Amilia has even been prevented from play at her water table.

So, I was careful as I watered. I became absorbed in examining the health of my plants as I sprinkled their roots. I inspected for damaging insects and observed the flowers ready to open for pollination. As the last plant was quenched, I felt a stinging, stabbing sensation on the arch of my foot. I looked down, and a yellow jacket had crawled inside my garden clog and was pumping its poison into me. I quickly kicked it and the shoe away and hopped on one foot into the house. As simple as that instance of abandonment, I have joined the ranks of those stung by wasps this summer. I could have done without the pain.

The ongoing saga continues...

NOTE: I immediately went inside and used my Sawyer Extractor pump to remove as much poison as possible. This tool is invaluable to have around for stings, mosquito bites, and snakebites.


Viv said...

Ouch, what a place to get stung! The stinging things are really bad here this year too. My husband and daughter have already been stung by scorpions. I am a real wuss when it comes to stings so you sound very brave, heroic even, to me!

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

I left a comment on an earlier post about the increase in these vicious beasts...and now yesterday my cat got stung near her eye. By the time I came home from work, half of her face was swollen up. The vets office had me give her 1/2of a children's benadryl, and today her face is back to normal. But when I went to go buy the meds, I heard more wasp infestation stories. Seems they are bad everywhere this year!