a contratemps

What you see above is a wasp nest (hive?) in the top corner of the door frame of my little cabin. The wasps obviously favor this because it is generally protected on three sides (when the door is closed) and it’s under the porch roof, so it is out of the weather as well.

I first noticed the wasps building here in the spring, once it was warm enuf for them to emerge. I removed their unfilled nest at the time, but the next visit showed that they had built and expanded on the original blueprint.

Wasps tend to be benign, and they’re beneficial, so I decided we could coexist, and for a long time that plan worked. But last weekend, again there to cut branches along our road through the trees so that large equipment can move along it (and someday, someday repair my spillway), matters took a turn.

It was hot, dirty work as I wielded my recently refurbished pole saw to cut as high as I could. This was our third weekend in a row doing this work, and we’re beginning to see a difference, though the more we do, the more I see needs doing.

When we felt we had done a day’s work and retreated to the cabin, we had our lunch and then I waded into the lake to rinse off a little. The lake was muddy that day, and I came out with a fine layer of silt clinging to me, but I seemed to have washed off the ticks and chiggers anyway.

We were packing up to leave and had gotten everything put away. I pulled the cabin door closed behind me, which may have shaken one of the wasps loose. Or maybe I angered it with the slam. Either way, I felt a wasp flailing about in my long quarantine hair and swatted at it. I guess it clung to my finger then because I felt the sting instantly. It was on the little finger of my left hand, and the tip began to swell immediately as I felt a jolt go halfway up my arm.

I’m better now, though I sometimes have trouble typing A, Q, and Z.

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One Comment on “a contratemps”

  1. markparis Says:

    I’m generally of the live-and-let-live school, but I don’t let wasps build near where we may pass by. There’s really just no way to know what minor thing might set them off.


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