But, in this case, I’d really like to know who that little beastie is who’s hovering over, or swimming in my drink. And this becomes even more relevant, in late summer, when they begin their picnicking season.
Here’s some Google info I picked up. And note, I’m not even going to discuss yellow jackets any further. It’s going to be hornets and wasps on the menu for this blog. It says that hornets are the giants in the stinging world. In the U.S. they can measure up to an inch and a half long, while wasps usually don’t make it to an inch. Also, hornets are generally black and white while wasps come in all kinds of colours. So, I guess they are able to wear yellow jackets.
However, here’s a description of a wasp that I find interesting. It also comes from Google. So——blame Google, oh you of sensitive ears: “Mean as Fuck. Good-for-nothing. Basically a bee on meth.”
However, I put off destroying it. It’s hard to destroy art. Because in my mind, that’s what it is: ‘art’.
You see, I’ve seen art connoisseurs gawking at paintings in art galleries. They usually stand in one place, stare in wonder at the paintings and make all sorts of oohing and awing comments.
Now, I don’t mean to say that some of the paintings don’t deserve to be ‘almost worshiped’, but I have often wondered what would happen if I put a frame around one of the art gallery’s doors. Would it also gather some oohing and awing congregants? Until a person in work clothes was seen pushing his way through the admirers, opening the door, walking in and then exiting with a mop?
So, I let the nest grow and grow and then one day, I wheeled to the woodshed a bike I had rather mysteriously found, and leaned it against the step ladder resting on the shed wall.
My goodness, but a few hours later a cloud of wasps was swirling around the bike. Holy cow! Had they been inside the bike and yet hadn’t stung me? No, they were building a new nest under the top step of the step ladder.
Anyway, there the wasps were, having another building bee. Get it? Oh, never mind. However, this new building project led me to ponder on two questions: Where did the other nest go? Would I need the ladder before winter?
The experiment, put into clear, unscientific words is: Will I get stung or bitten by the wasps, if I leave them alone and don’t cause them any harm or threaten them? Let’s call it the ‘Live and Let Live’ experiment. An experiment which goes against the common wisdom of our day: ‘safety first’.
Now, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have not, up to this moment, been allergic to bee or wasp stings. Oh, I might swell up a bit but my tongue doesn’t boil out of my mouth and I can swallow, so I can afford to take the risk. I wouldn’t, however, be so nonchalant if I were allergic. So I understand those who don’t want to repeat this experiment. Also, we don’t have any guests who drop in and who are allergic to stings. Nor to peanut butter.
Results up to now are:
The ladder is still leaning against the woodshed. The nest is still there and the wasps haven’t stung me yet, even though I have done things which could elicit a sting.
I have, for example, run the lawn mower up against the ladder. Result, no sting, but a flurry of activity.
Talked loudly, close to the nest. No sting.
Took a group photo of their community. No sting and few smiles.
Buster has peed on the ladder. No sting.
After parking the truck close to the wasps swarming in and out of their nest, I unloaded things from the truck, and slammed the door repeatedly. No sting.
I have also sat around the corner from the wasps, who, you may remember, are described as mean as ‘F&^%’, and have, up to now, been visited by only two members of the colony. They entered my sacred woodshed and buzzed my drink, but the results were, ad nauseum, no sting. Ooh, ah. Very civilized. Live and let live.
But the ‘mean as fucks’... they don’t slash, dig, bomb, frack, burn and use the earth as a gigantic toilet.
My experiment was my way of finding out whether these ‘nasty little critters’ really would, eventually, be swayed by some ‘trumpeting’ king-shit wasp. Who would tell them they are just going to have to go out there and start hurting those ass-holes, like me, who are making a racket and threatening their peace of mind. ‘Make their nests great again’.
So, my not having use of a ladder for the summer might be a way for me to make a wee recompense for my sins and the wrongs of our society.
And I’m hoping that my attempting this experiment and living where we live, surrounded by mostly forest and mountains, and with the river always there to remind us that we are vulnerable, will help us to avoid admiring or taking ourselves too seriously as the virtual world masks more and more of what is truly real and basic. Like the wasps, who are really there, hunkered under our really there step ladder, living their real waspish lives.
I’ll make this promise. If I am stung this year by those mean as %*^* wasps who have laid claim to my ladder, I will honestly report it in another blog.