Last summer was hot. This summer hasn’t seemed as hot. Last year’s hot prompted us to buy a ghetto pool for the boys, but this year’s hot hasn’t quite urged us to put that pool back up for them…however, the boys have a different kind of urging that works better than hot.
I volunteered to help get the sand pit ready. Up until today, we had used the sand pit for the fire pit’s home, complete with an assortment of stumps at the back edge for the kids to have a place to sit. I’ve encouraged them to not only sit on them, but to use them as jumping-off places and hiding places and whatnot. Today, I noticed that I would need to move those stumps to level out the sand pit area for the pool. I skirted them, then picked the heaviest, largest one…and then thought I’d best start with the next to heaviest, you know, just to warm up.
I slid my gardening gloves on like I was revving up for Sturgis. Then came my best dead lift squat and carry, all the way to the edge of the sand pit until pain happened and I threw that stump like the CrossFitter that I used to be.
This, followed by several, cleverly strung together expletives and swatting at my legs until Hank, who was circling me by this point, exclaimed, “Did you get bit by these red ants?!” and I said, “No! By that [mother-something-or-other]” and pointed forcefully at the walkway. There was a yellow jacket squirming around, stunned, and Hank rode over on a white horse and smooshed it.
That’s when we heard it.
Hank went back to the stumps and kicked over the heaviest, largest one, and the biggest nest we’d seen (outside of terrible YouTube videos) was unearthed with an angry swarm of yellow jackets rising up like a born-again phoenix. There were hundreds of these things, and Hank looked at me and said, “Get out of here!” Because you know why?? He remembered that pheromone thing about yellow jackets and wasps and they like to swarm and sting things that have already been stung, but I froze for a minute thinking about that one chick in the Hunger Games movie with the tracker jackers and how she died that horrible death and then Hank came over and said, “Mary! Seriously! Get back!” just like Peeta said to Katniss and then I’m sure I hallucinated because I looked at him and FARTED. Which stunned him into silence for a minute and then he said, “Well. I’d hate to see what would happen if they all stung you.”
And I ran inside.
After I ran inside, I ran to my car and drove to Home Depot for wasp killer and bought four cans.
This is the nest after the first layer of nest and larva were melted away.
Not only did we have a ton of those tracker-jackers-I-mean-yellow-jackets, they were about to hatch a whole second army.
Hank doused it with kerosene and burned it in the fire pit.
And what’s left of the stumpyard and partial nest that fell off.
You guys. I almost died.