Sunday, July 31, 2011

Of Course You Know, This Means War

Last weekend I was refilling the hummingbird feeders, when a yellow paper wasp strafed me, and wanted to investigate my ear as a potential nesting site.  I batted her away, and this aggravated her more, as she circled me, looking for other avenues of attack, before flying away.  this strafing, combined with Dr Desert Flower's getting stung, and the possibility that my cousin and his young daughters might come over to swim the next weekend, made me declare war on the once placid Polistes Versicolor that were now dominating my back yard.  I issued a fatwa upon them, declaring jihad against the yellow avian invaders. "Of course you know, this means war" as Mel Blanc once said, for Bugs Bunny. 
So over the course of the week, I used the pool skimmer, the debris net, and occasionally a sandal-ed foot or rock, to take 15 wasps out of the food chain, and to their watery graves  - or their nearly drowned and stunned, followed by severely crushed exoskeletons (it's good to have a spinal chord and opposed thumbs).  I know it is not good karma to have killed so many living creatures, but when the health of my ear canals, wife's back, and cousin's children are at stake, sometimes severe measures need to be taken.

Last night, after DDF got home from working yet another Saturday, Dr Desert Flower joined me floating in the pool to watch what was looking like a possible lovely sunset - until the clouds formed a uniform blanket to the horizon making it just sort of a gray and foreboding sunset. Not a single Polistes Versicolor molested, strafed, or bothered us, as they had on earlier occasions this summer.  When I began my campaign of wasp eradication, there were as many as 4 drinking wasps, at any one time, walking on the surface of the pool.  After taking out 12 after the DDF stinging in June, and 15 after the strafing last Sunday, there's now less than one wasp visitation every few hours, and the few hardy survivors who venture cautiously to the pool are much less aggressive than the martyrs who have fallen before them.  We did have what appeared to be an insane honey bee who was intensely interested in my swim wear and in DDF's run and diet coke, but we shooed her away without any stinging incursions.

The pool water is now nearly body temperature - which makes it feel like bathwater - but the evaporative cooling that a light breeze provides has an effect powerful enough to bring on a shiver, even when the ambient air temperature is 105F or higher.  Had you told me years ago that I'd be shivering when the air temperature was in the 100s, this Hoosier would have laughed skeptically at you, but I've personally experienced it, on more than one occasion, so I know it is true. =)

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