• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

A Cool Bright Day

I dreamed that I awoke to the not so distant explosions of war, just a few city blocks away. As there was nothing I could do to save myself and I could only hope that I was not in the wrong place at the wrong time to survive, I put myself back to sleep in my dream. I worry for America, North Korea, and all the countries in between; I pray there is no war.

Today is cool and bright. I walked the outside walls of my house knocking off wasp nests. Will the wasps be too cold next winter without closeness to my warm house, and die? Sadness. I have three categories of wasp on my property, paper nest wasps, mud daubers, and wood borers. Earlier this year I sawed off a thick dead pine branch with two neat little holes drilled into it, containing one wood borer wasp each. The wasps buzzed and circled looking for the enemy for a long time, but I was still and they did not notice me. I have never been stung.

I keep the front of my house free of mud dauber wasp nests, but within a few weeks of knocking off one little mud tube, another appears. Apparently mud dauber wasps find the front of my house is irresistible. The problem is that mud dauber wasps are fairly aggressive and I have to remove them so they do not menace visitors.

Now how do I get that second-year paper wasp nest that I missed last year which is attached high up outside of the attic vent; and are the wasps in my attic? There is supposed to be a screen to keep them and other critters out of the attic, but I bought this house when I was already too old to climb into the attic. I can neither climb the drop-stairs into the attic, nor set up my heavy two-story ladder. It will probably cost me a hundred dollars, if not more to remove that little bit of paper wasp nest which is smaller than the palm of my hand, and that is if I can find someone to remove it. Correction, it was free and done by me. I managed to thread a stepladder behind my forsythia bushes, I took a nap to maximize my balance, I climbed up, and with one calculated swipe of my rake, off flew the little paper wasp nest, with just one adult wasp silently spiraling out and away. Some lucky bird will eat the grubs from the paper wasp nest so I leave it lay on the lawn.

Caption: A Cool Bright Day by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.

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