Friday, August 5, 2011

The Bees Knees

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Sometimes I wish I could step outside my body and watch myself because I'm pretty certain it would be entertaining.  Watching myself squat down, focus, snap some shots, then run squealing like a schoolgirl the second one of the wasps flew from the nest certainly would have brought a smile to my face.  By the way, this running is not masculine either, it's limp wristed, willy-nilly, spastic movements accompanied by the repeated blurting sound of eewwww,ewwwww,ewwwww....

This is the second wasp nest I've discovered under our backyard overhang.  The first one suffered a nuclear  blast of toxic spray, because I assumed that's what you're supposed to do with a wasp nest.  Selfishly, I figured it would serve as an excellent photographic subject.  I mean, I would wait 24 hours as instructed, reach up and snatch the hive off of the panel and then walk into the studio and shoot incredible shots of a wasp nest.   I got the ladder out, looked up, saw no signs of activity, and gently reached up towards the nest and buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....(insert schoolgirl squeal,running,toppled ladder,etc..)

In a fit of embarrassment, anger, and ego damage, I ran for the spray, shook the can, pointed it at the nest and let loose another shower of toxic white foamy stuff.  And it promptly bounced off a wooden beam, creating a nuclear cloud of mist which settled down into my eyes.  By the way, I completely missed the nest.  I ran into the house screaming, with no doubt I would be explaining to Nikki that she is now the breadwinner because I can't drive anymore due to sudden onset of geriatric glaucoma, an extremely rare disease for a 40 year old guy.  No way I was telling her the real story.

Plan B in the operation came to me as I was washing out my eyes in the sink and realizing I might not have any explaining to do.   I went into the garage and grabbed the painter's extension pole (15 feet), some tape, and  a butter knife from the kitchen.  The knife was just skinny enough to fit between the beams and extricate the nest from it's guarded spot.   This time I had nerves of steel (from 15 feet away), because no amount of buzzing was going to deter me.  After several passes of the knife the nest came falling down in pieces.

I assumed the nest would be a crispy, delightful, honeycomb that I could carry into the house to inspect and possible still photograph.  'Tisn't so.  They are full of larvae, half formed wasps (think albino), and all around slimy whitish/yellowish substances (insert....well, you know by now).

As you might guess, when I saw the second nest, I was much more prepared to handle the situation.  Like a seasoned veteran I ran inside and camera.  Hell, a simple sting would surely be better than a poisonous blast to the eyes and a slimy mess to handle in the aftermath.

Boys, you are safe and secure, you'll have no problems from me.

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