The Sting of September

yellow jackets

What’s all this buzz about Labor Day and long weekends and “It’s fall ya’ll!”? September is off to a stinging success around these parts, and other than the fact that our wooden house is sending out vacancy signs to every bee colony in the state, it’s still summer here … as in 90 degrees and rising. I’ve tried — hard — to shake the slow pace of summer from my shoes. But I’m still wearing flip-flops.

AngusWe’ve been trying to carefully structure our days with work and school and lessons and team practice and you know, the rush of fallish activities. It’s not working. No one wants to wave farewell to summer, including me. And maybe it’s because the ‘dog days’ have just begun — quite literally, in fact! Meet Angus. He joins Cash (black lab) and Carter (yellow lab). Because although the kids are older and nearly self-sufficient in many instances, I still apparently need messes, potty training and crying babies in my life. What’s wrong with me?!  Angus is a little sweetheart and although his piddle puddles are many, he’ll grow up like all the rest and love me when it suits, and in return for food. It’s the circle that remains unbroken for mothers worldwide. We’ve finally reached our dog limit, though. Next time I need a mothering fix, I may have to look to another species!

As for our overwintering guests … they must go.
I would never decimate a honeybee colony. They’re good and necessary and represent all that is right with the world. But here’s the thing: I hate yellow jackets, especially big, fat mean yellow jackets that take up residence in every crack and crevice near doors, windows and knot-holes in my home. One year they were going in a crack in the porch siding, but they were coming out of a windowsill in my living room. Not good. Not good at all!

That’s when the hubby and my brother invented The Terminator. 

Imagine two men, a swarm of angry yellow jackets, an air compressor with a vacuum attachment connected to the hose, and a bag of Sevin dust. Oh, and duct tape. Every good invention involves duct tape, right?! They used this engineering marvel on a dark night. And they had to climb a ladder. I wish I had photos.

The terminator/annihilator/hillbilly contraption is actually a brilliant piece of a equipment that makes yellow jackets extremely hostile, but it always wins in the end. The machine is almost mythical because I’m not exactly sure how it works (I hide out when they use it!). Somehow they fill the vacuum attachment with Sevin dust, duct tape it to the air compressor hose and then shoot the dust into the bee thoroughfares. Yes, there are white splotches blasted onto the outside of the house siding. But the bees are dead and gone by the next day. Except for the ones that work their way into the house. We always tread carefully for awhile.

Hubby goes bee hunting during daylight hours these days. He just finished puffing poison into the nest near the room we use for an office. As I type, angry ghost-like yellow jackets are flying into the window, trying to find another way into their powder-filled nest. It’s creepy, but it’s my hope I’ll no longer hear buzzing when I put my ear to the wall in bedroom. Now THAT gives me nightmares. 

Anyway, these are the kinds of things we’re doing this weekend. There will be a picnic. There will be a family gathering or two. But the buzzing about, hunting and gathering never stops. And the thing about Labor Day? There’s usually a whole lot of labor involved.  Happy weekend friends. 


Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    carol williams September 5, 2015 (1:41 pm)

    I’m with you on the whole “inviting things into my life that are time-consuming and mess-creating”. Your post gives me validation that it must be fulfilling some need.
    Actually, a wise relative the other day decided that I had so doggone many critters around because I needed that unconditional love that I never got from a not-so-happy childhood. Hmmm…. might have something there.
    Cats throwing up hairballs, a dog that keeps trying to eat what’s in the litter box, putting medicine into a woodpile kitty that doesn’t want it, turkeys jumping up into my lap because they think they’re a lap dog, baby goats being…well, baby goats. Yep. Lots of messes. But I have laundry detergent and a hot shower, so it’s all good. Have a nice laboring weekend. 🙂