Thursday, July 25, 2013

half a hornets nest

What's worse than a hornets nest? Half, when you are the cause. 

Yesterday we borrowed our neighbors tractor with the mowing deck attached. Our herd of cattle has been steady eating the grass along the fence line, but not close enough that we could locate the holes. Time for mowing and seeing what the marauders are up to. Since it is easier to hide in high grass it was time to tighten up. 

We knew of several holes, but the mowing revealed a total of 5 holes on the left hand side of our property. Patches were installed at each hole. 

While rolling along, Homer unknowingly split a hornets nest in half. These are the bald face hornets: solid black with white faces, fly catching and killing machines. Last year we found one nest, near the edge of the trees. This year, two nests, one discovered when split in half by the mowing deck. 

Not much that Homer hates more than stinging creatures. When he was a little boy, visiting his Aunt Gladys, he played with a pincher arm (pull the trigger and it snaps at the other end) and a wasps nest and things turned out badly. He has hated stinging creatures since. It is an uneasy truce with having this active fly catchers on the farm: because we have livestock they get to stay. But Homer would much prefer the native birds that have fly catcher as their name. Many varieties, all do one thing: catch flies while being gentle, stingless creatures.  A much more desirable solution to fly issues. 

When he turned the tractor around to widen the area he had mowed he saw something odd: white, agitated movements and quickly realized what had happened. And made a quick turn away, shut down the mower portion and got away from there as fast as possible. 

It was time for a break, and to be inside the house until the nest and inhabitants settled down. 

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