Friday, August 7, 2009

Holy Yellow Jackets Lawnman!


Daddy-O first became aware of a wasps nest somewhere in our yard by him and the dog getting stung a couple of times while mowing the lawn. But he wasn’t sure of the exact location and today we found out! Who would have thought it was under ground?! These busy little wasps dug UNDER an old railroad tie and burrowed into the ground to build this GIANT nest. We flipped the old tie over and couldn’t believe the Yellow Jackets actually ate away at the stinky, icky creosoted wood as well as dug out the rocky ground to build the nest. We weren’t sure at first if they were hornets, wasps or what, but after a quick internet search of matching up pictures we determined these ground scavengers had the perfect location –near where our neighbors and us set out our garbage cans for the weekly collection and were in fact, Yellow Jackets. Luckily, Tauzer and Daddy-O avoided being stung today but had to “eliminate” the col

ony. He said it was kind of sad to watch the brain-shaped structure deflate, and kill the angry wasps as the spray we used took affect. Sorry PETA, but the nest is situated right where kids will walk by when back-to-school starts and in addition to D and Tauzer-Schnauzer being stung, so had a neighbor. My whole nest fascination continued as I poked at the beautiful earth colored layers in the Yellow Jacket’s nest. Before seeing this ground nest, I had only seen the conical gray, papery kinds of nest hanging from trees and roof eves. The swirly outer construction of terra-cotta rings inspired me. When it's safe, I'll collect some of the

outer shell of the nest for a project, I was thinking something in different colors and layers of clay…

It’s hard to focus on getting all of my work done (not because I've been watching the Yellow Jackets) because not only did the sunshine return but I have fishing on the brain! I LOVE TO FISH. We’re heading down to Homer and going Halibut fishing again with long-time family friends Sean and Geri of North Country Charters. I’m bringing plenty of ibuprofen though, because last time I went deep sea fishing, my muscles were killing me from all of the reeling in we did! Since I 

had Halibut on the brain I made a couple of the fish in steel for the upcoming G Street Artist Fair  on August 15th that a customer requested I have for sale. Shhh, don’t tell, but I also made a small Halibut (they call it "Chicken" size -which is the best eating!

for Sean & Geri as a surprise. I’m sure they’re not reading my Blog because this time of year they’re up to their anchors with charters and fish or taking pictures for their customers who caught fish!

9 comments:

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I have 2 such nests hanging from the roofline I noticed yesterday, and my spray application hasn't done much to them yet, dangit.....

cookingwithgas said...

Oh those pesky yellow jackets, they are everywhere! We have them here and know of many friends who have done the - leave the lawn mower running- arms waving- run your ass off - dance- with a bunch of mad yellow jackets after you.
Have a good fishing trip- Mark would love to go with you.
M

ang said...

wow scary stuff, i still remember none too fondly being stung by wasps last summer v. painfull..your fish are looking spiffy...

Orion Designs said...

We've had wasp nests on the ground, but never under it! Yikes!

Have a great time fishing.

cindy shake said...

Hi Gary- we had to dose the nest two times, finally the nest seemed dead BUT the wasps that survived had already started digging across the dirt into another hole! We ran out of spray... to be continued.

Hi Meredith! Wish you guys were here, fishing is always more the merrier!

thank you Ang :o)

Vicki, we had NO IDEA they could dig the ground out like that! It was such a surprise and kind of creepy, especially since they are still digging and the larva were still squiggling around -EEEEKKK!

Cowgirl Goods said...

More like HOLY CRAP! Those could of killed someone. WOW...yeah sorry PETA is right. My boxer is deathly allergic to those, we carry an epi pen for him. That would be the dog that does NOT pee in the house or gets "kennel time". Glad lawnman didn't get nailed.

Linda Starr said...

Hi Cindy, when I read the title of your post, I immediately envisoned a metal sculpture done by you of a couple of huge yellow jackets standing in human poses on your front lawn, Ha!

That nest is clay inspiring all right. When we lived in Arkansas Gary left the tractor running in the pasture and ran all the way home because he ran over one of their nests and he is allergic, by the time he got to the house he almost had a heart attack due to the fear of an allergic reaction, thankfully he didn't have one that time.

Your halibut are so beautiful and realistic looking. I once made grilled halibut with bernaise sauce - went fishing off the Marin headlands near San Francisco with my late brother. The halibut flesh was light green, but when it was cooked it turned white - of course if you catch them yourself those are always the best tasting - good luck fishing.

Patricia Griffin said...

We've got a tree/shrub in our backyard that is buzzing with some sort of stinger right now. I just duck my head and scoot by real fast, but it's time to deal with it. There must be hundreds of 'em in there. I'm kind of waiting for my hubster to take care of it....

Have a great fishing trip!

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

We seem to have had an unusually large number of wasps and yellow jackets here in Utah this summer, too. I accidentally reached right into a nest a couple weeks ago when I was trimming a bush and putting the limbs in the garbage! I'd forgotten how much those stings hurt - I've gotten used to bee stings instead. You have to admit that wasps are incredible sculptors!