Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Yellow Jacket (a wasp)

The Yellow Jacket elicits an immediate fight or flight response in me, the flight part specifically, and most likely in you as well, if you know anything about 'em.  Frankly, any stinging insect causes me to dip and dodge repeatedly, looks like a dance when the rascals won't leave me alone, and I quickly move a far distance away.

You probably have a story, like I do, about someone with direct experience with Yellow Jackets.  Several years ago, when my dad visited here with Mountain Man for a week, they were beginning to cut the trunk of a tree they had felled.  My dad stepped in a soft spot in the ground, and no sooner had he realized it, a few of those buggers flew up his leg and bit him.  Now yesterday, I spoke about some strategies to stay away from poison ivy.  The same lesson applies here when working out in the woody yard in the summer...long pants tucked into your socks, closed toed shoes, long sleeves & gloves.  So as  my dad and Papa Berenstain Bear would say, "let this be a lesson to you"!

Yellow jackets become extremely aggressive if disturbed and they attack without surrender.  This causes me great concern.  To your great fortune, I had my brave with me when I came upon this amazing Yellow Jacket nest in the hill of a mountain neighbor's home.  I am happy to say it was about 1/2 mile away from our log cabin, so I feel no direct threat from this particular nest.  My curiosity got the best of me at the moment I spied this nest.  I was drawn.  I could not help myself.  I kept reminding myself "be careful, these buggers will come for you"  as I walked closer and closer.  You know I had to get my camera close enough to get some great pictures!

So the following photos are the result of my heroism and daring, but I tell you true, these things are FASCINATING!  And busy...good golly they are busy!

I wish I could stick my hand inside that hole and see what is going on in there!

As I looked closer, I realized there was a crevice in the ground along with that hole you see above...this picture makes it look like they are all one thing, but they are not...

Look at this guy on the left, not sure what he is carrying in his jaws, but it is really amazing to me!

Like the guy flying in the middle here?
I think the crevice is getting bigger!

I am happy to report no stings for me during this adventure.  I guess they knew I meant no harm (that could be because I kept speaking sweet nothings to them as I was madly clicking my shutter).

I hope you have enjoyed this little adventure into the hive of a Yellow Jacket.  I may have to go back tomorrow!  Oh, I am going to leave a note on the mountain neighbor's door, to let them know they should not walk over this particular part of their yard, especially when they decide to weedwack it, which they do often when they are here!  If it were my yard, I might have to humanely destroy it, for self protection.  But for now, I enjoy it in their yard:)

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

1 comment:

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

You are a braver woman than I!