Monday, August 08, 2011

Unwanted Neighbors

It's wonderful to me that bees have this simple, age-old thing going on. -- Peter Fonda

Remember when I mentioned Dakota had been stung by a yellow jacket? I knew something was up, because every time anyone walked on the two steps leading off my back deck, a few yellow jackets would buzz around. Yesterday, I asked my DH to see if he could find the nest.

He found it... and it was amazing.

Directly underneath the top step, those buggers made their home! How could we not have noticed earlier? Why did we only see real evidence of them a couple weeks ago? Incredible. It was truly beautiful and a work of art. Is it just mind-boggling that hundreds and bees could create something this complex? I wish there had been a way to eradicate the bees and keep the hive to look at, but alas there was not.

DH spent a couple hours getting rid of it. First he emptied a can of wasp killer all over it. He had to crawl under the deck to do it -- it's higher on that side, but he still had to squat and it didn't allow for being able to shoot and then RUN, so I was terrified he'd get stung. He didn't, though he did whack his head on the deck once.

After a few applications of poison, he pulled out the hose and soaked it. Next, he dug out a 8' long 1 x 1 stick we use as a poker for our burn piles, stuck it in and yanked it out then whacked it like he was played croquet.

Here's what it looked like at that point:

We had larvae all over the lawn and some really angry bees, so DH turned on the sprinklers... but first he ran the mower over the nest a couple times, just to make sure it was demolished.

I've been told that they tend to return to the same spots, so I'll have to keep an eye out there next year, because I really REALLY don't want something like that to happen again. We are so lucky none of the rest of us were stung and that Dakota only had ONE.

In other outdoorsy, nature-type news, I'm pretty sure my tomato crop is history. I went out yesterday to pick the two tomatoes I finally had ripe and discovered that chipmunks had helped themselves to those two lovely, red fruits -- eating half of each one (why they couldn't have eaten ALL of one and left one for me I'll never understand). I have about a dozen green roma tomatoes, but that is all. My dreams of canning several quarts of sauce have disappeared. And I had planted thirty plants! *sigh*

My squash and cucumbers, on the other hand, appear to be coming along famously. We picked another dozen cucumbers yesterday, and two nice summer squash. I have at least half a dozen butternut on the winter squash plants, and depending on when we get our first frost, I may have more.

But I really, REALLY wanted tomatoes...

How was your weekend?


You Are Mashed Potatoes

You like the simple things in life. You think complexity is a lot of fuss and often overrated.

You take the slow and steady approach whenever possible. You never like to be in too much of a rush.

You are conventional and orthodox. You are the most normal person you know.

You like and prefer solitude. You are your own best friend.

That's surprisingly close to right!



Sarita said...

That wasp nest was amazing. We found one like that here when we bought this house. It was in the ceiling of the great room. Beautiful, but scary.

I am so sorry about your tomatoes. I'm canning here and there are so many red ones still outside. I am surprised, because this is the first year ever that they're not all staked so I thought I'd wrecked 'em. I was staking them the day I got heat stroke, and the job never got done. But they don't seem to mind, sprawling all over the mulch. My sweet man would've hated the mess!

I'm full up on tomatoes but so far no eggplants. Not happy about that one, especially since I've got maybe fourteen gorgeous plants. We shall see.

Busy weekend. But peaceful.

Hope your week goes well!

Maria Zannini said...

So glad you got them all without getting stung. Hate those things.

Brandy said...

Yowza! The nest was beautiful in a scary way. Glad your hubs was able to get rid of it without being stung.
My tomato plants are doing well at all. And our squash plant did okay for a month or so (and was so huge!), but now has died. I don't know if something killed it or it just gave up after giving us a few squash. My watermelon plant however, is 10 feet long! Not bad for the runt Son and I felt sorry for! *g* We've decided we're moving the garden next year and hopefully that will help next year.
Sorry about your tomatoes. Do you have family or a neighbor who is kind enough to gift you with some? If you were here my MIL would be loading you up!

Hope you have pleasing day!

Dru said...

Sorry about your tomatoes.

I would have been freaking out if I saw that hive.

You Are Corn on the Cob

You like to let loose every once and a while. You don't take yourself too seriously.

You are a truly fun and carefree person. You love life, and you live it well.

If you have good food, good company, and good weather, then there's not much more you can ask for.

You have an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude. You can turn any occasion into a party.

50% me

Hope you had a good day.