Seems like a shocking story as BIG as this should’ve been front page news:
“Scientists warn Alabamians of yellow jacket super nests.”
The Page 2 story (datelined “MONTGOMERY -) explained, “milder winters combined with an abundant food supply allow some (yellow jacket) colonies to survive later in the year and grow to the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.”
A yellow jacket super nest big as a VW “Punch Buggy?”
That was a big story in 2006 when 90 (NINETY) nests each capable of housing 15,000 YJ’s, were found in Alabama hinterlands.
Hornets are pests, too.
Like other insects, hornets can live in the ground in nests made of saliva and wood pulp they chew and spit out in shady areas protected from elements, like one under the House of Adams’ northern eave years ago.
Are hornets a serious problem?
Alcoholics Anonymous is one familiar 12-step program; gettin’ shed of hornets takes 13 steps: See “Hunker.com” for details.
Barring that, do what Charles Henry DeJarnette did after your scribe was stung by 19 kamikaze hornets that’d boiled out of a perfectly round hole in the ground instantly after the HoA lawnmower passed: CHD gassed ’em, threw in a lighted match and hollered “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”
Fact: Since 1959, mowing grass has been a pain in the, uh, hind side.
All summer memories don’t involve pain.
Eating blue raspberry, grape and banana popsicles and Fudgsicles is painless, excusin’ brain freeze.
Picking plums, blackberries, peaches, bullaces, mayhaws, green apples, watermelons, and various musk melons is fun.
Next-door neighbor Red Paschal’s yard grew plums, figs, pears and scuppernongs he’d share and pomegranates he wouldn’t.
We grew small green apples and large flowers pollinated by flutterbys, honeybees and occasionally hummingbirds.
Even in good summers, danger lurks.
Playing under lawn sprinklers was a joy and not nearly as life changing as the 1958 day your scribe had to be snatched off the bottom of the Pinecrest County Club pool, all but drownded, until being unceremoniously revived by a kind Geneva lady.
Thankfully, Pinecrest’s water wasn’t nearly as cold as Choctawhatchee Wells; a lad could freeze to death at the bottom of that pool.
A couple of summers later, early one bright morning, your scribe severely sprained the ankle connecting the spindly leg to the very same foot that got caught in a bicycle’s rear spokes mere hours after school let out in late May one year.
Pain from the sprained ankle and scrapes and cuts from bravely crawling through briars and jagged rocks to the house solace seeking was compounded by the fact someone had dropped off five hampers of various butterbeans and peas, to include one bushel of those aggravating-to-shell, little white peas that taste so good.
Picking purple hull peas is almost painless; eatin’ ’em by the bowlfuls is glorious; finding ’em now’s dreadful.
Seems like all pea-growers now plant pink-eyes; they just ain’t the same!
All in all, summers now lack adventures and offer little pizzazz.
Summers are now spent watching millionaires play baseball, and ageless childhood heroes cowboying, on TV, with nary a bead on our necks or inside our elbows.
Most folks inside the HoA ain’t, as Rufus “Bearcat” Thomas said, “young and loose and full of juice!”
And we don’t shell NO peas.