Monday, August 13, 2012
|Hornets guarding the entrance of their nest.|
photos by Jonathan Schechter
We are entering the season of the bald-faced hornet. These large black and white members of the wasp family pack a powerful punch. Even one sting can cause searing pain and in some life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
I am very accustomed to dealing with these benefical hunters of garden pests.
I try to practice live and let live but sometimes I take lethal action when a nest appears over a door or next to a window.
Those nests present a clear and present danger.
Something is different this year,
something that had me one step from bare leg disaster.
Their nests, which can be larger than a basketball are usually fastened to a tree limb way above our heads.
But a few evenings ago I was walking with sandals on my feet to a black cherry tree at the edge of the meadow to have a tart snack before dark.
I was one step from disaster when I looked down.
Perhaps it was the movement among the grass that caught my attention.
Bald-faced hornets were in flight and they were zipping in an out of a nest that was below the height of my knee. I barely avoided impact. I know keep a wary eye out for other nests hidden in shrubs and meadows.
And come autumn when I cut back the meadow to keep it as a meadow I will be brush-hogging with care to avoid contact with a land mine full of angry venom!
You should do the same.