Red Hot Poker of Death

Hawken the mighty Wolfhound stands near the back door last night.
Hawken the mighty Wolfhound stands near the back door last night.

One evening earlier this summer, I had just finished walking Hawken the Irish Wolfhound when I came across a nest of red wasps in the gap between the back door and the siding, and I guess I got too close, because they broke the treaty and stung me twice in the left arm.

Within 90 seconds they had been sprayed into oblivion in what could only be described as a mission of destruction. The stings were painful initially, and lasted for more than a week.

I know they're not aggressive and don't attack unless provoked, and only defend their nests, but they build those nests too close to areas I transit every day, and since they did break the cease-fire, I have no other recourse but annihilation.
I know they’re not aggressive and don’t attack unless provoked, and only defend their nests, but they build those nests too close to areas I transit every day, and since they did break the cease-fire, I have no other recourse but annihilation.

This morning I opened that same door to bring Hawken breakfast when I heard the papery whisper of dozens of red wasp wings coming from that same spot. I backed off quickly and avoided getting stung this time, but come on: They reoccupied the position! Again I sprayed them into oblivion, and tonight after walking both dogs I looked around to see dozens of dead wasps on the back porch.

Wasp stings are a nuisance for me, but if Summer the Chihuahua got stung, it could be fatal. She has recently discovered that she loves for me to walk her, so I have doubled my daily dog walking.

Summer the Chihuahua pokes around the driveway on a walk recently.
Summer the Chihuahua pokes around the driveway on a walk recently.
The disk shape on my hand is the projection of the morning sun through the peephole.
The disk shape on my hand is the projection of the morning sun through the peephole.

Finally, a unique feature of our exactly-east-facing house is that as the autumnal equinox approaches, the sun shines through the peephole (mistyped at one point “poophole”), in the front door in the morning, which is  neat.

The lensing of the peephole causes the light to split into spectra. Moving the camera to different colored parts of the light changes the result.
The lensing of the peephole causes the light to split into spectra. Moving the camera to different colored parts of the light changes the result.

1 Comment

  1. I sympathize with your wasp stings (as a longtime veteran of being stung, once by a cloud of 40 or so). It’s not pleasant.

    But I’m no longer in the front door autumn light peephole club — our front yard tree has grown large enough to shade the entire front of our house. (Yay.)

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