Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bald-Faced Cheekiness

Mom always taught me that if I couldn't find anything nice to say about something, then don't say anything at all. I have nothing nice to say about these critters and their near-relatives this time of year. 

They are positively...waspish.  Short-tempers, combative, threatening flight patterns directed at our heads and sneaky chemical warfare dealt out with absolutely no tolerance or mercy.  "Get a grip," I holler.  And by golly they do! 

MM and I are victims of their nasty personalities of late summer.  They hover over anything that might have the least bit of sugar and buzz past at frightening speeds and proximity to our noses. 

I stemmed grapes inside to be on the safe side.  Nonetheless, when I went out to harvest the last of the Catawbas, sure enough, I got stung.  I was ambushed.  The sneaky devil was right inside the cluster.  Popped out and visited me with guerilla warfare.  Finger swelled up and itched like mad!

 MM was mowing.  Minding his own business.  And encountered a particularly virulent personality, resulting in his getting stung...several times. 

One just flew through the office a few minutes ago. We are getting very wary.  I know over winter we will find the huge nests of what some affectionately call "baldy."  They are enormous and almost seem to be hiding in plain sight. 
I hate using sprays and I am not unaware of the "good" these guys do in terms of attacking and eating pests.  But I am not a pest.  Not in my own garden and vineyard.  There needs to be some understanding, here.  For the moment, I carry a pocket swatter at all times! 

I am still waiting for the end of summer, but I just finished reading an article that tells us the drought will likely continue well into next year.  How dismal is that!  


  1. Years ago I got to know a white-faced hornet very well. It would sit nearby while I was milking and occasionally buzz down to nab a fly off her back. eventually it would take a deadfly from my fingertips. And it never stung.

    Beautiful jars of peaches!

  2. Oh, my, Vicki! You are truly the risk-taker...or maybe the ultimate queen of wasp whisperers!


  3. Elora -- Nature sure has a sack of critters that can be a challenge to live around. It is amazing what Vicki was able to do. There is a hornet that thinks he owns my shed and will dive after you when you approach - and sometimes sting you. Maybe I should carry some dead flies with me to throw his way to deter him. -- barbara

  4. Hi Elora and MM:

    Yes, this time of year the yellow jackets and hornets are especially agressive and drawn to anything they perceive as food. These insects are the only downside of apple pressing in the fall and one of the reasons why we try to wait until after a few killing frosts, which seem to limit their numbers. I hope to see you all soon.

  5. Elora,
    It is 9-12-11, just know that I am missing you, and I hope you are okay..........The rains last week (about 4 inches) were wonderful. SWVA

  6. SWVA--I so appreciate your presence on my blog! Your comments are so nourishing! Hope your garden "panned" out in spite of the heat. I am not missing the "hot" at all!! Only wish is were cooler, now!