Category Archives: Mother Nature

Digging Up Iris Project – Take 2

I’m going to try to finish digging out my iris plants today.

 

We devoted a square brick planter in the back yard for new iris, with the plan  to redistribute them all over the yard when it was time to divide them. We made this bird to “fly” over the planter.

 

This is the actual planter. You can see that this has really gone nuts in the past two years. I have dug out approximately half of the rhizomes now. I plan to get out there in a few minutes and see if I can finish getting the plants dug out, and the excess roots and leaves cut off. I have one plastic basket in the garage already of the half I dug out recently.  I’ll plant some back in this planter, but most of them will go in spots up and down the driveway, out to the shop, and in groupings here and there around the yard.

I started with 15 plants in this planter which is almost 4 feet on each side. I can’t believe how many plants I have now, or how difficult it is to get them out carefully. I have 5 different colors – a bright yellow, a yellow with a brown striped ‘beard,’ a pretty blue, some small purple, and I THINK a fuchsia, though I’m not sure.

I have a really nice day to work outside, so please wish me luck on finishing up the digging out today.

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I Love Fall – Take 4

CountryLiving

The high today is forecast to be 90+ with 70% humidity. UGH. Overnight, though, a glorious cold front is supposed to come through, bringing much welcomed rain and a high of 71 tomorrow! AHHHHHHHH!  I worked out in the yard for a bit yesterday, just planting some hyacinth bulbs and cutting back some hydrangea leaves. I had to take a shower when I cam in. I’m really ready to be outside more, organizing my new greenhouse, dreaming of the seeds I’ll plant, trimming back things in the yard, working in my garden. Tomorrow can’t come fast enough! :0)

 

“Red Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“What a Difference a Day Makes…”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Yesterday the high was 92 degrees F. Today it’s 62.

Yesterday we worked in the yard wearing sweat bands. Today we worked in the yard wearing light jackets.

We’ve been using the attic fan for the nice, cool breeze to help us sleep better. Last night I almost froze my rear end off, getting up to turn off the attic fan, shut the window, and turn on the electric blanket for a bit when the temperatures touched 46 degrees.

Amber is in heaven today. I think she thought that having to pant much of the day was just the way it was. Today the cooler temperatures energized her to the point we stood and laughed as she ran round and round the house, then turned and ran full out the other direction several times. We also played ball for quite awhile this morning, and my husband is out with her right now.

We started to have the doors open this morning, and then closed up because we were too cool in here!

My husband went to the basement to get us some jackets to hang up.

It’s only going to be this way for a couple of short days, and then we’ll have Indian summer, with temperatures in the high 80s again, but what a lovely dose of fall we’re having!

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Shoot!

zazzle

We usually go bowling, and then for ice cream, on Monday nights – the night the bowling alley makes it affordable for us. We go with up to three others, and have been doing this for several years now. We can catch up with what’s been going on with our friends, get some good exercise, and then celebrate or console ourselves with delicious ice cream from Braum’s afterwards.

We had to cancel it for tonight, due to a significant cold front and the prospect of severe weather right when we would be trying to go for ice cream and then take everyone home.

____________________

After a mostly sunny and warm Monday, (92 degrees F.) a cold front will be marching through our area Monday Night. Not only will it drop our temperatures BY OVER 40 DEGREES, it will also bring the chance for some showers and storms (rain, wind, hail, flying hairballs, possible tornado) overnight.”

____________________

kfsm

We are just southeast of Fort Smith, in the darkest green blob.

So, although we’re disappointed we had to cancel bowling and ice cream with our friends tonight, we’ll be thankful we have dry homes to “weather the weather” tonight.

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I Love Fall – Take 3

 

 

“Yellow Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

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I Love Fall – Take 2

 

 

“Untold Autumn Lyrics” – Paul Militaru Photography

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I Love Fall – Take 1

Albert Camus

 

“Leaves Rust Fall on the Path” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Morning Flowers

Our hydrangea has been looking really sad for quite awhile. Even though we have an automatic irrigation system, it has been too hot for the sweet flowers. The blooms fade quickly and the branches with large leaves droop all day long – kind of like me!

Since the weather has started to give us a bit of a break (80s rather than 90s and not quite so much humidity), the hydrangea has started to perk up, as if they’re saying, “Ahhhhh!”

We brought these in this morning. As you can see the hydrangea is blooming nicely now. The iris is twice-blooming iris, blooming in April and again in October. I feel rich!

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Feeling Close to Nature

commons.wikipedia.org

When I was driving to get a massage this morning, I caught something at the corner of my vision. I slowed to find FIVE deer wanting to cross the road. Since I know deer tend to follow each other regardless of the circumstances, I just waited to see what they would do. The first deer crossed with no problem. The other four suddenly decided to follow the first. When they had crossed the road, I slowly started up again. When I was abreast of them, I saw a SIXTH deer still on the left side of the road, trying to decide if it should cross or not. I got past, so I kept going. I’m hoping the last one got across safely. What a beautiful sight!

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Dancing in the Rain

quotesgram.com

We had a wonderful rainy day yesterday. It rained enough that my husband was finally able to burn our trash. We had been holding it in the shop, the pile multiplying, for over a month, waiting for rain to make it safe to burn.  Amber went out to ‘help’ my husband while he burned all the boxes. He said she had a good time, running all around, wanting to ‘help’ him each time he added a box to the barrel.

We then had a list of errands to run, and of course, the rain decided to really come down the minute we pulled out of the garage. We drowned every time we got out of the truck and then returned, but I smiled the whole time. I would have used an umbrella if we were going to be out walking in it for awhile, but just getting out, rushing into the store and out again, it would have been only a hassle, and I would have drowned anyway.

By the time we got home, my hair was dripping. I toweled off my head after letting Amber out, then got thoroughly wet again trying to both clean off her nose and feet from the mud she picked up digging somewhere in the yard, and also trying to dry her off enough that I could let her inside. It took one washcloth and two towels. I used the 2nd towel on me after I let Amber in. Why is it that animals become so lovey when they’re wet and/or yucky?

We had lunch and read good books while listening to the rain. We had doors open when possible and a ceiling fan. It was WONDERFUL.

It’s really cloudy outside this morning, but we haven’t had any rain that I know of. As dry as we’ve been, I hope we get at least one more good rain before our chances go away.

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Respite

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Mother Nature is giving us a bit of a much-needed break. It started during the night. We had our bedroom window open with the attic fan on when suddenly we were awakened by an ear-splitting alarm from the gadget my husband built that sits on the window sill. It’s quiet until it gets wet – and then it shrieks so that we both get up furiously trying to get the thing to be quiet. I threw the gadget to my husband to get him to dry it off while I hurried into the hall to shut off the attic fan, turn on the ceiling and bedside fans and shut the window. Soon after I finished, my husband got the gadget dry enough to shut up.

This morning we’re enjoying a very light rain off and on. We’re hoping for a lot more, since we had the driest September – and driest month EVER since things like this have been recorded – with a TRACE of rain for the month. Thankfully, we have several reasonable chances to get rain this week. I’m doing a rain dance.

Amber had been playing in the rain this morning when I called her to come in. She immediately began to rub herself all over me, trying to get dry, I think, though maybe there was a bit of love there, as well. :0)  We had to encourage Molly strongly to get her to go out and take care of business. Both doggies are spread out on the floor beside me now, looking very comfortable, co-existing quietly.

I won’t complain if we drown the rest of the week, trying to get errands done. We’re happy that Mother Nature has decided to smile on us.

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Steaks, Potatoes, and Woofles

I just love this picture!

We’re cooking out tonight – steaks and baked potatoes – we’re not really cooking ‘woofles,’ (sorry, Amber and Molly) but I just HAD to share this picture. :0)

I love cookouts. It’s only going to be my husband and me, plus most of our animals. We all end up in a pile on the deck, surrounded by aromas that make my mouth water just thinking about them. Most everyone is there – the dogs (Molly and Amber) the cats (Abby and Smoke ) – everyone except the fish, who couldn’t care less about cooking out, and our son who is living across the world from us.

As the evening gets darker, we turn on the rope multicolored LED lights, and then, finally, the yellow light that allows my husband to see to cook. :0)  He has a beer in hand. I usually have coffee. We’re gradually getting Amber to quit dive-bombing all the others…

It’s a time to enjoy the wonderful weather. A time to r-e-l-a-x. A time to play with the animals. And a time to talk – all of us enjoying being together in no rush to accomplish anything or go anywhere. The potatoes have been nuked and then transferred to the oven to finish. The charcoal is getting hot and ready to use. The steaks are ready to bring out.

If we’re lucky, we’ll still see a hummingbird or two, maybe a firefly, maybe the pair of doves who sit on the electrical wire together.  I would love it if deer would visit us, but our animals keep that from happening. We did see a deer on the way to Lunch Bunch this morning. I’m glad he decided to dart back into the woods, rather than running into the car. He was there and then gone in the space of a second or two. A beautiful bright spot of nature reminding us to be in the moment, appreciating everything around us.

I hope you have a nice evening planned. I know a special lady who is having a birthday today who I hope is being treated like a queen in celebration. Even if this is a day like most others, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.  Maybe you can make some ‘woofles!’

 

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“The House Under the Rainbow”

Two days ago in the afternoon, my husband said, “You’ve got to go outside. Walk halfway out to the shop and then turn around and look.”

The temperature had suddenly dropped by about 20 degrees. There was a fabulous breeze and this gorgeous rainbow over the house, though no rain.  I just stood, drinking in the breeze and the beautiful rainbow for several minutes before coming back in. My husband caught this pic while he was out. Neither the rainbow nor the rainbow lasted more than a few minutes, but what glorious minutes they were!

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Hot Dog

hot Amber

With the temp and humidity today, this afternoon will FEEL like 106 degrees F.  UGH. Our forecasters are saying that tomorrow we’ll finally get our first rain in over a month and a bit of a cool down. Hooray! Meanwhile, we turn on fans, A/C, drink lots of cold drinks, and pant a lot.

hot Molly

The cats and the fish are taking things in stride.

 

Abby

 

Smoke

 

 

“The Guys”

So, until about noon, we’ll all just sit under the ceiling fan with the doors and windows open, then be really thankful for the a/c until this evening. Some of us hang our tongues out straight, some out the side.

If we get the forecasted rain tomorrow, we’ll all go out (except maybe the cats and the fish) and dance in the rain while my husband can finally burn some trash….

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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Pea Soup and Chew Toys

AcidCow.com

We just got back from grocery shopping. We had to turn on the a/c at the house first thing because it was so muggy. 97% humidity this morning. You walk outside and the sweat starts running off your head. I wash my hair every morning, but I refuse to wash it more than twice a day. The heat/humidity slap you in the face and draw all the energy out of you before you can get to the car in the garage. UGH.

The weather forecasters are saying we’ll get cooler temps and humidity starting Tuesday, I think, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Poor Amber goes out with one of us, running like a wild thing back and forth across the yard, taking care of business and then is ready to come back in, slurp a bunch of water (getting SOME of it in her mouth), plop down on the carpet and pant for the next half hour or so.

Today we brought her a new chew toy. We had to throw away one that she had completely demolished over the past few weeks. It started out really cute – a stuffed frog or something similar. It was really colorful with large eyes and had TWO squeakies inside in addition to the stuffing that squeaked in a kind of harmony. She loved it. She went around squeaking it relentlessly, making it a character-building exercise for us to try NOT to listen to. We would take as much as possible. One of us would cave and trade that toy for another, quieter one. She pulled out the stuffing, then one squeaky, and then the other, and STILL loved it. Eventually she tore it in half and started leaving strings of all colors all over the place, and eating way too much of it. Today we finally quietly threw it away, presenting her with what seems to be an armadillo. It’s squeak is different, so is a rest for our ears. She may tear it apart by the end of the day, but right now, she’s in heaven.

I’m looking forward to the cool down, when I can plan to catch up outside. I have a list as long as my arm of things I would like to do, but the direct sunlight, 90+ degree temperatures, with incredibly high humidity is more than I can handle. Fingers crossed the weather guys are right and I can play outside mid week.

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“It Came Again in Autumn…”

“It Came Again in Autumn with its Wonderful Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Happy Fall, Y’All!

In another week, we’re supposed to get a break in the temperature and humidity, plus have a chance for the first rain in a month. Hooraaaaaay!

When it’s cooler, I feel a surge in energy, ready to be outside, working and playing, appreciating. I am SO ready!

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Rose

Roses via Cathy Ruggiero

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Gorgeous Photo

Flowers and Nature via Ann Gilstrap

This photo lifted my spirits. I’m hoping it does the same for you today.

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Trying to Send Strength

DiVoran Lites

The double whammy of Mother Nature with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – with even more following on their heels – is devastating. It seems more than anyone should have to bear.  There is little we can do for our friends and relatives suffering from these awful storms. They make us feel totally helpless.

We CAN show each of our loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers. We CAN communicate and try to send strength their way. We CAN help them with whatever the aftermath is. We can try to help those we know personally, and also carefully research and donate to all those in need that we don’t know. Coming together when bad things happen is something our country does well. Our differences seem to fade, at least for a little while, and we reach out.

So many people are already devastated. We can hope that Irma will change her course, but we have no control over that. We can just reach out and do what we can.  Trying to send strength to all who need it right now.

_______________

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.”

Author Unknown

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Playing with Flowers

Viral Sprint

We had rain overnight-into-this-morning that has cooled things off. It’s a nice day (77 degrees F.) and overcast now – perfect for me to play with my flowers. I have lots of flower planters, but I’m going to concentrate on three end-to-end 8 foot long brick planters that run between our driveway area and our front yard. They are totally overgrown with all the rain and sun we’ve had and need all kinds of attention.

We don’t have any errands to run and we wore ourselves out yesterday with projects, so today is a quiet day, with a reward at the end of a grilled steak and some salad. Ahhhhhhh!

I hope the weather is nice where you are, and that you’re able to get outside and enjoy it.

Happy Wednesday!

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60% Chance

Tail and Fur

Yesterday we enjoyed a 90% solar eclipse. My husband came in a few minutes ago and said, “It looks like we’re having a REAL eclipse now.” I looked out the window and it was really DARK.

I thought a storm was imminent, so I rushed to take Amber out before the downpour – but it didn’t come. Things have lightened up a bit now, but we still have a 60% chance of rain the rest of the day and night.  I think, once we get through today, we’ll have several days where we just have a chance of the normal pop-up showers of summer.

We might actually be able to schedule getting the ham radio tower pulled up by the crane people soon! I also look forward to being able to get my flower planters under control again.  And NOW the rains have come…

cliparting.com

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Heat Index of WHAT?

I just looked up our temperatures today with the humidity and came up with a heat index of 114.

 

Guldehen Photography – Deviant Art

I just came in from checking on my husband out in the shop while walking our 5 month old lab puppy, Amber, for the 3rd time this morning. She jumped in the kiddie pool twice on this outing and then drank a LOT of water when we came in.

I’m hoping that I can catch a break on weather and do some weed spraying this evening.  I’m supposed to watch for a time we have 48 hours without rain. Yeah. Right. Usually in Arkansas in August there would be NO problem – the grass should be brown and crunchy, the ground dry as dust, things dying even with our irrigation system going. This year has been a record on rainfall, I think . It’s certainly the rainiest July and August we remember, and we’ve lived on top of this ridge line for some 30 years.

So – I’m going to go with the flow and read more of my book in the comfort of A/C with a cup of coffee or maybe some iced tea this afternoon.

Hoping to assume my new alias, “Mad Weed Killer” tonight, I hope your Sunday is enjoyable.

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Mother Nature’s Gift

We were out walking Amber last night just before dark and saw this sky. I went in to get my camera because this is really unusual. These pics are taken pointing EAST. The last I heard, the sun RISES in the EAST and SETS in the WEST.

Anyhow, the sky was spectacular and I wanted to record it and share it with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eclipse Monday

The Tennessean

My husband says, “pfffft” about the solar eclipse coming Monday. I’m like a child waiting for Christmas. Since we don’t even use the same SALT, this is not surprising.

I started making noises about wanting to be sure I saw it last week. We didn’t start looking for eclipse glasses until this morning. We’ve just come back from looking everywhere in Greenwood, calling several places in Fort Smith, and looking at Amazon online. Except for extremely expensive ones, everyone is sold out. :0(

I was really upset at myself for not thinking ahead, and upset with the world in general that I couldn’t make up for it. My husband suggested that we look for the glass inserts you put in welder’s helmets, since they come in #14 shade, the shade that is safe for viewing the eclipse. Even THOSE were sold out!

We went out to the shop and found a shade # 13 in one of my husband’s welding helmets. We came back in and Googled to see if using the #13 glass would be safe. YIPPPEEEEEEEE! We found several articles saying the #13 welding helmet glass would be fine. Just to be ultra safe, I’ll wear my sunglasses AND the welding helmet when I watch the eclipse.

ClipartKid

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Happy Hump Day

National News and Pictures via Inspire Fusion

This is the rainiest August my husband and I remember, and we’ve lived here 30 years. My husband’s favorite grass is brown and crunchy because that means we don’t have to mow. No such luck this summer. We went right out and mowed this morning before the rain started. We’re due to have “scattered heavy downpours” through the rest of the week. I’m planning to try to get some weeding and pruning done in my flower planters between ‘scattereds.’

I just got home from a haircut and errands, but I wanted to say, “Hi” before fixing lunch. I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday.

 

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Mountains

“Bucegi Mountains” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“On Mountain Paths” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Inside Day

Fotolia.com

Yesterday we worked in the yard and did the grocery shopping a day early so we wouldn’t have to get out in the rain today. I’m happy we’re getting the rain – in fact, I’ve been walking around in it this morning. But I like to do that when it’s MY choice, NOT while I’m trying to get groceries in the car, return carts, etc.

I also love it when I’ve mowed the grass, gotten lots of weed whacking done, some weeding, etc. before the rain starts. THEN I can smile at the rain, curl up with a book and enjoy the day – doing inside have-to’s in-between chapters. :0)

I’m reading Book # 35 in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts. I ordered the last of the available ones yesterday – a thing that gave me a bit of a pang since I’m almost caught up with all she’s written in the series and will have to grow up a bit when I have to wait for the next one to be available.

I’ve had a productive morning so far, taking care of animals, starting the first of several loads of wash, changing the sheets on our bed, starting a roast in the crock pot for dinner, and more. I’ll continue to check off more jobs that have been waiting on me ‘inside,’ while I was giving ‘outside’ stuff priority.

When I went out on the back porch to get Amber to go for our first walk of the day, we were having a pretty good storm. I didn’t much like having to grab the umbrella, trying to keep a rein on the puppy as she did her usual mad dash for the spots she likes to take care of business. AND, of course, we had to stop while she got treats, being a food-driven dog.  It was then a challenge to get her BACK on the porch, put the umbrella up high where she won’t eat it, and get back inside to make her breakfast. Whew!

I’ve had to put her back on the porch for a while, due to hyperactivity around Molly, the old while dog, and Abby, the old fat cat. While I was trying to get her under control, there was much hissing and spitting from Abby and Molly was trying her best to become invisible and go to a different planet. I’ll bring Amber back in soon, giving the animals another chance to ‘visit’ when Amber is hopefully more calm.

I hope the weather is pleasant where you are today, and that you’re enjoying a great Sunday.

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This is August in Arkansas?

Love This Pic

 

We’re supposed to have a high temperature today of 86 degrees F. and it’s raining.

I feel as if I’ve been dropped onto a different planet! Usually, it’s in the hundreds, hot, dry, no rain, the heat hitting you in the face the minute you step out the door, unrelenting until almost dark. Day after day of weather that makes our grass turn ‘crunchy brown,’ boiling a lot of our plants even with irrigation systems.

It’s supposed to rain through at least Monday. This is really unheard of here in Arkansas. This is the burn-your-hand-on-the-steering-wheel time of year, and I keep finding reasons to step outside and let it rain on me.

We’re about to join our friends for Friday Lunch Bunch, and I look forward to taking my time getting into the restaurant, enjoying the reprieve from the heat.

We were going to put “Hot Man” on the mailbox on the 15th,

but I’ll choose another decoration this year. This one just isn’t appropriate when Mother Nature is being so kind to us.

I hope the weather is wonderful where you are, too.

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Year of the ” “

It seems like each summer we have SOMETHING descending on us.

One year we had ladybugs. We had our home on the market because my husband had lost his job.  We had a gazillion ladybugs – plus or minus one or two – mainly in our utility room and on the back porch. Since we had to be ready for the house to be shown at a moment’s notice, we literally had to VACUUM the ladybugs up right before the people arrived. We had SO many we almost couldn’t handle the problem.

Another was the year of the flies. We bought the flycatcher thingies where you mixed up some stuff in a plastic bottle to draw the flies. We had SO many we were emptying out the containers and mixing more stuff every day – and we had SEVERAL of the traps! We had to sit on the deck, each of us armed with a flyswatter, in order to be able to cook out. UGH.

One really scary year was the year of the scorpion. Living on top of a ridge line outside the city limits, you have to expect to deal with a certain number of ‘critters’ that give you the willies; such as centipedes, tarantulas, spiders, etc. We usually have several scorpions, mainly in the garage or the door to the shop. We just keep our eyes open and kill them when we see them. I spray like a thing possessed so that we see as few of these things as possible in our home or the shop. Each time we see one, I spray everything again. My husband goes into a whole song and dance about how over-the-top I am, but I don’t care.

This year is the year of the red wasp.

The Man of Science

I can’t tell you how much I hate wasps. My husband tells me that wasps are ‘good,’ probably eating or killing something else we don’t like, but I don’t care. I was fine when I lived under the illusion that they would die if they stung you. I guess that’s bees. Anyhow, when I discovered that wasn’t true, my fear redoubled.

This year I’m spraying

  • the metal flower we built that is tied to the telephone pole in our back yard. If we can finally kill all of them that have built a nest under the 3-D center of the flower, we’ll bring it in, refurbish the paint, caulk around the center so the wasps can’t get in there, and I’ll figure something else out on decorating the center, rather than the flat glass stones that keep falling off.
  • the electrical box beside the shop door – we took the front of the box off and found a big nest inside. We’ve now sprayed that, removed the nest, sprayed again, and closed the box. We haven’t seen any more there.
  • the ‘vested popadoo’ bird we built from a small propane can and scrap metal parts. For some reason, the wasps like his NECK. Every time we pass the bird, there are 5 or 6 wasps on her neck. I’ve sprayed that several times, too.
  • the door of the well house – my husband goes to the well house door armed with a can of wasp and hornet spray. I don’t know why this is such an attractive place to them.
  • under a hydrangea leaf – I started to pull out a weed tree that had the audacity to plant itself in the middle of a nice hydrangea plant in a planter at the front of the house. When I got close, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, finding a small nest and 3 red wasps under one of the leaves. I sprayed it heavily, and will make sure they’re no longer there before I get the weed tree out.

You get the idea that they’re everywhere with a vengeance this year. I don’t know what caused so MANY of them to descend on our home and surrounding area this year, but I’m hopeful it won’t be repeated any time soon…

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Sunset

Sergio Dardon Photography

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