More Chores, More Yellowjackets

161031_logs

[ Chris the Lumberjack ]

October 30 – Near the end of last week we spent another hour in a different part of the acreage. Quite a number of big branches had fallen from the trees down by our picnic area. Some of those limbs were damaged several years ago when a real storm came up, but they weren’t broken off completely. Instead they hung on to their parent tree as long as they could, during winds and storms, but this year they had to give up. I thought it was strange that a number of the larger branches weren’t very heavy, so I could easily drag them back to the burning pile. Of course, Dale made off with the really large ones. I can help, but when it comes to abilities, he has much more along that line that I do!

161031_pear

[ Another fine pear ]

We also picked some of the pears from the tree in the pasture. A few that had already fallen looked pretty good, but most of said batch of fruit was badly bruised, or even rotten. My way of tossing them back into the pasture away from the tree? I just bend over, toss a pear between my legs like a football, and grab the next one, not even bothering to stand up! An interesting find along the way though made me think twice about continuing with that job. But, first of all, I had to run get my camera to take a picture. On one huge pear, there was a big bunch of yellow jackets!

I am not a fan of these stinging insects, not at all. My last encounter with a nest of them was earlier this summer when I was mowing around the pond. Just as I moved the mower toward a tree, out flew a whole nestful of yellow jackets. By the time they had finished attacking me, stinging and stinging, and chasing me away, I was really moaning and groaning and begging Dale to fix the problem! Of course, he couldn’t, and I was pretty miserable for about four days, much too long. I guess most people who are stung are better the next morning, but not me. So now you know why I was not too sure I wanted to get close enough to take a picture.

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[ Poison Ivy – Fall version ]

I took three or four, as I remember, each one a little closer to the yellow jackets that were so much enjoying the food they extracted from the pear! Guess they must have been busy enjoying their good luck, because not one flew up ready to pick a fight. Dale said they are all females and don’t have nests to protect now, so they aren’t as warlike as normal. That must be true because when I saw several other groups on the rotten pears, I just kicked the pears, and they flew off into the pasture, with the yellow jackets following along as fast as they could before their “dinner” was grabbed by another hungry insect.

As we walked on the trails around our property, we noticed that the poison ivy is no longer green, but has turned into yellow and orange while the stalks left behind or their usual dull gray. How I wish I could get rid of that stuff—forever! – CHRIS

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