per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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I always thought that being attacked by killer bees was something that happened to other people.

There. Never thought I'd get to use a line like that, in (ostensibly) nonfiction writing, at least.

Oak Hollow, our lovely little cabin in the woods, along with peace, quiet, a nice little stream that the Vortex likes to muck about in (she has some mysterious Master Plan and is going about it in long-term Zen Gardening fashion) comes with a mild serving of Nature Red in Tooth and Claw. So far, it's mostly manifested itself in annoyances- a number of dead animals have found their way into/under/near the place (so far, we've only discovered one by the smell, thank the gods), fallen trees, thornbushes, and the inevitable mosquitoes and occasional biting flies. We've tried to maintain good relations with the local land-spirits- we have an ovoo (Mongolian-style ceremonial mound; you walk three times around it and add a rock each time you visit) at the center of the property, and I think I've mostly convinced the poison ivy that if I don't see it or run into, I will suspend my jihad against it.

This year has been pretty idyllic so far. True, we found out the deck had a rotted board by the simple expedient of the Vortex falling through it (she had a pretty spectacular bruise for awhile, but was mostly just frightened)- the cabin was built out of leftovers from a Habitat For Humanity project (or something like it), and the builders used untreated lumber on the deck and back porch… :::sigh::: There was also an eejit deer that decided to jump in front of my car… luckily, we were going so slow that we just gave it a tap enough to accelerate it out of the road and scare it and ourselves- the pizza we were bringing back wasn't even damaged.

But this Saturday we were just getting ready for a run into town when the Vortex came bolting back inside, having been stung thrice. Molly-dog was being vexed mightily by the little feckers, and it was some time before we could get her inside without letting a swarm in. She was OK, just frightened and aggrieved, and stung a couple places (thankfully, her fur is way too thick in most areas to leave her vulnerable).

Now, I'm not sure that these were honeybees- the Vortex claims one left a sting in her, but they didn't act much like bees, and my memory has them looking more like yellowjackets. Of course, I'm kinda phobic about the little beggars, and so she had to deal with the ones that rode in on Molly's fur. She says they looked more like bees. "Killer bees" sounds more dramatic, anyway…

Either way, brrr. We waited until they went away, and went to town a little later than planned. We'll need to keep an eye out in case there is a nest nearby- there is a location or two that bear checking; if found, it's WMD time- my distaste for insecticides does not extend to stinging buzzing insects. If it turns out to be yellowjackets, at least the colonies die over winter, and we'll just have to find a way to discourage the queens from nesting nearby next spring.

So, just a little reminder that the idyllic life in the woods sometimes includes "get away from me, get a way from me you motherf***ers!".

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Did any of the killer bees look like John Belushi?

no, thank the gods...

I added you + really hope that's ok. But just tell me if it isn't and I'll take you off...

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