I mean, REALLY?!? Two separate hornet nests in two consecutive days?! You've got to be freaking kidding me. The sting on my armpit is still swollen and now I get stung on the neck. You know, because the Universe apparently hates me right now.
I threw the hay fork across the yard, ran inside (all the while swearing at the hornets and my gawdawful knack for finding stinging insect nests) and once again stripped to make sure there weren't any stowaways in my clothing, and told Paul that I refused to go outside until the ground froze solid.
Unfortunately, I had to eventually venture back out to feed everyone supper so my vow to stay indoors until February was broken. And on the way out, I passed the garden where yesterday's nest was unearthed. Paul and I went out last night to try to eradicate the nest under cover of darkness with a dousing of gasoline. Did you know that yellow jackets post sentries at the entrance to the nest at night? You know, in case someone wants to come and screw with them after dark. Like with flashlights. Which they are most definitely immediately drawn to. Ask me how I know this.
Anyways, the gasoline dousing didn't get the entire yellow jacket population of the garden hive as I still saw a dozen or so buzzing in and around the nest. The only consolation I have is that they must be really busy cleaning up the bodies of their dead brothers & sisters and have to live with the smell of gasoline in their underground home.
So what is it with all the wasps around here? Are there really that many nests in the wild that we find them every stinking time we turn over a rock or a log or a bale of hay? Paul turned up two yellow jacket nests just earlier this summer and I knocked a bald faced hornet nest off the deck that same day. And after my encounter this afternoon, Paul asked me if the yellow jackets built nests in trees. Because, yep, there is another nest in a dead limb in the big oak tree next to the goat pen. It's like we've got a big ol' "Welcome Hornets - Free Continental Breakfast" sign in the yard.
I don't give two shits if wasps (yellow jackets, ground hornets, whatever) are supposed to be "good" for the ecosystem by eating lots of other insects. Besides, some of those insects that they eat are beneficial insects. So I say screw 'em. Later tonight we're going to go back out and pour more gasoline over the garden nest and do the same with the new nest in the hay. Until at last, I will throw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.
The nest in the tree is going to have to wait though. It's in a tree that was marked for cutting down anyhow, but time hasn't allowed for it to be done yet. At least we know the nest is there. Imagine the "surprise" Paul would have gotten when he felled it and an angry swarm of hornets came at him. And if we don't get to it before winter, the entire colony (except for the queen, damn her) will freeze to death anyhow. Although it's not as personally satisfying as knowing I destroyed the bastards myself. Yes, I am evil. But I can live with that.