Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friends, Fortune, and Flying Critters

A couple of mighty fortunate, if freaky experiences with flying critters this week. Thursday morning, I went out to take the big can of recyclables up to the street for the city truck to pick up, and no sooner had I started hauling the thing than I found myself standing amid a dense cloud of swarming, circling, buzzing things. For several seconds, I didn't even comprehend what I was seeing. When I realized it was a couple dozen wasps, and they were pretty much all over me, I turned around and walked away without so much as a single sting. Thus emboldened, I went in to get the can of Raid, came back out, gave some of the flying little bastards direct hits to force them back, then opened the bin, where I found a big old nest hiding under the lid. Hosed it down with poison, then hauled the can up to the street.

One of those close calls that could have ended much worse.

So today, I'm hiking on the Blue Heron Trail, a few miles up the way, looking for a site to place a new geocache. I find a good one, hide the container, and then start taking coordinates on the GPS. After going back and forth around the area number of times to get a good reading, I realize I'm standing amid a dense cloud of swarming, circling, buzzing things. This time it's yellowjackets, and I've apparently trodden right upon their nest. Now, the local paper wasps are not by nature aggressive, but the yellowjackets certainly are. Still, somehow, I manage to back away from the swarm without a single sting, though a fair number of them keep after me to make sure I get the message. After a while, they calm down, so I go back, retrieve my gear, and call the remaining critters rude names. I don't know whether this actually pisses them off (it's certainly less insulting than spraying them with Raid), but at least none of them chase me as I beat an honorable retreat down the trail.

Yesterday, I involved myself with no stinging critters, but I did spend a most enjoyable afternoon geocaching with my next-door neighbors, the Workmans—a.k.a. TravelinFarmFam (and TravelinWoofDog). We picked up twenty-some caches and sweated off a few pounds on a trip to the Cane Creek Reservoir in Orange County. Then, at home, Ms. B. made us an excellent Thai dinner, and we watched the 1969 True Grit with John Wayne, Glen Campbell, and Kim Darby. I've always loved that movie, though I actually prefer the newer Coen Brothers version.

Tonight...sushi at Bonsai. Yummy, little barely dead things!

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