Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wasps and good timing- Just not for me!

Way back in the last century, we bought a small 2 bedroom flat in South Croydon, and although we stayed in it for a few months, My wife and I never lived there permanently but our oldest child did for over seven years, with some of her later time there, sharing it first with her brother and lastly, also with her little sister, till they all moved out into a bigger place at the beginning of 2003. Since then it has been rented out to various tenants over the years till now.
When we first purchased the Flat, there was no side fence on our unit separating us from the adjoining common land. As we had no pets at the time, that was no problem for us. But now that we my wife and I are now moving in to live there, and we now have two medium sized dogs, a fence is a very high priority. Anyway yesterday I organised for a friends to come around and measure up to put a fence up with the intention that he would actually start today.
Unfortunately we cannot put up a straight fence as there is a dirty big, and I do mean A DIRTY BIG tree at one end of the short fence line. Anyway after some short discussion the decision was made to put a step in the fence around the tree, and so after he had measured and left I decided to trim and clean up along the proposed fence line. When that was largely done, I noticed a rotten old stump coming out of the base of the tree near where the fence would pass, and being rotten and corky, I thought I would easily be able to knock it off and out of the way, and so using the back of the axe as a hammer proceeded to do so and was having some success, when I was bitten on the right hand. At first I thought it must have been bitten by a Bull ant and so whilst looking for it, I was bitten on the left thumb, quickly followed by a sting just above the left eye. At that Point I realised it was not bull ants, but though it was bees, only to realise later, it was a nest of European wasps that I had disturbed, and they started going crazy, so I just went! And fast! Very fast.
Later on in the day I went back and Dusted the nest as heavily as I could before they were again agitated by my presence and the white dust, and it was again time for me to leave again very quickly!
Later in the evening I decided should ring my friend and warn him about the wasp nest there.
Turns out he is so allergic to them that if he gets bit it is a trip to the Hospital! So he has delayed coming for a day whilst I “Dust" the nest again to make sure they are all dead.
So even though I got stung 3 times and still have some mild swelling, I am most thankful that it was I who discovered that nest and not my friend! If I had not cleaned up that fence line and disturbed the nest to mild repercussions, he may have done so the next day to fatal consequences.
So the moral of the story is be thankful for small mercies even if they do come with a small personal cost to you.

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