Yellow Jackets and my Quest to have a Beautiful Lawn

Yellow Jackets and my Quest to have a Beautiful Lawn

As the saying goes, I am my father's son! I like to have a beautiful, lawn and so did he. I may not be to his fanatical stage yet, but give me time - he lived to be 91!!!

 Dad & I a few months before he died

Dad & I a few months before he died

July 28th marked 2 years since he passed. I thought mowing the lawn would help me feel closer to him (and it also needed to be done, so why not?)

Anyways, we have a great place in East Asheville with an acre and a quarter. A good portion of that acreage is lawn among lots of trees. We're proud of the landscaping we've done, the bee-friendly hillside of wildflowers we've planted, the invasive plants we've removed and the native ones we've planted.

 Home. Yes, those are solar panels!

Home. Yes, those are solar panels!

So, for the second outing in a row, I've been attacked by yellow jackets. It happened 2 weeks ago and it happened yesterday. I was mowing along the dry creek bed you see in the photo and came around for a 2nd pass and saw a hole with hundred of the mean creatures flying around. Phew! safe, skirted that one. 

I took a quick break, gave them a wide berth and started again. Well, damned if there wasn't another, well-hidden ground nest about 30 feet away and damned if I didn't mow right over it!

And no, they didn't sting my hand or my arm or ankle. No, they stung me on the head - both sides above the ears! OUCH! I went running, hat and safety glasses went flying and various Scaramuchi-like words were coming out of my mouth.

When I made it to the garage, I looked down and saw 3 more on my pants, trying desperately to sting me through them. Luckily, the fabric was too dense for them or I would have been even more unhappy!

Now we always worry when I get stung because I had an anaphylactic reaction to fire ant bites several years ago when we lived in Georgia. Fire ants are related to some types of wasps, so we can't be too careful. Luckily, no reaction, just soreness and they're itching today.

What started out to be a great weekend, didn't end as well as I had hoped. But you can be sure, once the little guys are removed, I'll be back out there, acting like dad and mowing 'til my heart's content.

Oh, and if you're wondering what a yellow jacket stinger looks like, here's the photo from Wikipedia:

I don't ever remember my dad getting stung while mowing. Maybe that just comes with more experience or just plain ol' luck. Hope you all have had a great Monday!

Random Thought Tuesday

Random Thought Tuesday

More evidence the fossil fuel paradigm is shifting

More evidence the fossil fuel paradigm is shifting