Friday, July 29, 2005

Not a Butterfly

An innocent clean up of the flower garden turned nasty this morning. I had missed a spot in one of the flower gardens a week ago and decided to clean it up. All went well at first.

Do you see the small hole near the shadow at the bottom left of the photo? Do you see some black and yellow objects near the hole? I didn't!

The small yellow and black objects brought themselves to my attention in the way they knew best, stinging! My hand is still paining me now, four hours later. It appears that Yellow Jacket Hornets like nesting in the ground but do not like being disturbed. They can "sting repeatedly at the least provocation" according to The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. Just imagine what they can do if one runs a hand cultivator over the entrance way to their nest. It seems to be the case that hand cultivators are a bit more than "least provocation."

Two hours later, Fleur-Ange found this wasp nest hanging in a small tree.

She used the telephoto part of the camera to get this photo. It's not as clear as we would like but it will do for today.


swamp4me said...

Yellow jackets are a testy bunch with no senses of humor! I find their stings hurt the worst and the pain lasts the longest.

That hornets' nest is a beauty.

Rurality said...

A yellow jacket stung me on the nose last year! Everybody thought that was pretty funny except me. I made a baking soda paste and it took most of the sting out though.

Keep away from that hornets' nest!

Anonymous said...

OW, that's a lovely hornets' nest! I hate yellowjackets. Hates em forever! Glenn got zapped last year foraging for euonymous americana seeds. With his MS it was a little hard to move out of the way - so he sympathizes considerably.

We put off exterminating the nest and then one day there was a great big hole with nesting materials scattered everywhere. It was either a racoon, I suspect, or a possum, probably not, but it really did a good job.

Karen, other people have really crude senses of humor, don't you think?

robin andrea said...

It's been a long time since I've been stung, but the memory of it does last.
That is quite a nest, and a good shot of it as well.

Ontario Wanderer said...

S4M, yes the pain does last. I can still feel a bit of pain and even more itch 36 hours later. Oh well, it did give me something more than lungs and legs to think about on the Saturday long run.

R, wish I had thought of baking soda paste. I don't get stung often enough to remember things like that. (Not complaining about not getting stung often!)

W, I read that animals often do the nest clean up if one waits long enough. I also read that if one puts a clear glass bowl over the nest hole, the yellow jackets can't figure out how to escape and die sooner or later. We tried and so far they are contained.

RD, Yes it is an excellent shot of the nest. I really wanted a good shot of the wasps on the nest too but neither Fleur-Ange nor I were willing to get that close.