Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

Well, wasps would be more accurate but first, the birds.

May marks the return of Orioles and Hummingbirds to New England. I've had both in my yard. I currently have two male and one female oriole (she is in the above photo) in my yard. My daughter was just telling my brother that the male orioles were fighting over a girl! And our resident hummingbird, Zippy, was seen. We are now waiting for his wife, Mrs. Zippy, to arrive.

Orioles are great and are easy to feed. They eat grape jelly. We have a few catbirds around (one is in the tree in the above photo) and they also eat the jelly (okay, I've caught the cardinal and the chickadees tasting it too). They also eat oranges but I haven't bought any lately.

On to the insect portion of this post...

I saw a baby yellow jacket in Lola's room by her one window. I went downstairs to get one of my shoes and the new Bee Safe bee spray that I bought (active ingredient peppermint oil) and sprayed it, squished it and then flushed it. I then decided to spray all the windows with this stuff - the critter probably came in where the screen wasn't flush against the window. So I walked around to each bedroom. Then I decided I should really spray the storage area in the attic. Meanwhile, my mom had called & I was talking to her while I meandered with the bee spray.

I opened the door, started spraying and what flew right into my face - and onto my clothes - but a wasp. My poor mom - I screamed so loudly I put out her eardrum, I'm sure. I slammed the door shut & kept spraying. The spray must work because the wasp kept flying away from me. I didn't have any shoes with me but I did have a nice large pair of scissors that I grabbed out of the sewing room & then used to pick up the offender & promptly brought it down to the garbage & cut it in half.

I was crazy enough to return to the 3rd floor where a second wasp was waiting on the skylight. I quickly opened the door to the storage area, stuck my arm in and started spraying like a maniac and then just as quickly slammed the door shut. I wish I had had a video camera at the time. The insect literally stood up on its hind legs and fell backward (like it was fainting - or just feigning death) before righting itself again. I'll go in tonight, when the insects are sleeping, and spray some more. Right now I think my heart is racing too fast & I might need some daytime, mind numbing television to calm me down...

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