Today was not a good digging day. I reached into a yellow jacket nest and wasn’t so lucky this time.
All I was doing was trying to clear some ornamental grass that was smothering a pretty little daylily. They didn’t need to get so vicious about it. Had one buzzed me and pointed to the opening to their nest I would have gone away and let them in peace. But no! They knew I was coming, working my way closer and closer. They waited until my hand was right THERE and then swarmed all over me.
The yard owner was working on a project nearby. It didn’t take long to figure out what was happening when I suddenly jumped up and went tearing across the grass, swatting myself everywhere. Poor dog came running to see what was up. Scared the poor thing bad when I threw my glasses to keep the yellow jackets from being trapped at my eyes.
I have four stings on one arm. At least one on my back but it could be more since I can’t twist around and see it. Multiple ones on the hand I reached into the nest with. One on my chest. And many, many on the top of my head where there was still a yellow jacket caught in my hair when I got home.
I grew up in the country. I’ve encounter yellow jackets before and since I spend summers digging the likelihood that I will again is great. But it’s been some time and I’d blissfully forgotten how much they hurt. Thinking on it they will continue to hurt and swell for days. My hand is already puffy and the ow factor around the base of my thumb is close to unbearable.
The good news is I saw the other nest I came across today before I reached into it. Yes, I kept on working after being stung. I did take a moment to mix up some mud and coat all the stings I could reach which helped some. Not enough but some. And the dog has forgiven me. When I sat down to take a break an hour later he tried to crawl up onto my lap and lick my face.
Damn yellow jackets! They just have no manners.