Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More "little pool" adventures

It is stinkin' hot here in Little Rock. Heat index today of 103. And it's dry. I can't remember the last time we saw any significant rain. The sky will spit on us every once and a while. Just enough to turn the dust on the car into mud spots.

Because it's so hot and dry, a community of yellow jackets has discovered the "little pool" and made it their personal watering hole. Once again the Arkansas wildlife had taken over the little pool. Until today when Maria's friend came over with a bathing suit and towel prepared to swim. Always the accommodating hostess, and not wanting to disappoint our guest, it was time to reclaim the little pool.

I ventured out to get a good feel for the situation. 4 or 5 bees were lounging around the pool blissfully lapping at the water. They seemed totally unphased by the carcasses of their dead bee friends floating between the top of the water and dip in the pool cover. These dudes are either really dumb or really crappy friends.

I mustered up enough instestinal fortitude to pull off the pool cover thus causing quite a ruckus among the lounging bees. I was a bit afraid until my eyes were drawn to the bottom of the pool revealing the watery grave for about 15 more bees. Aha, so they're just plain dumb and haven't figured out that the little pool is a death trap.

I called Don out to witness the carnage. Then together, armed with a Tupperware strainer, a can of wasp spray, and a fly swatter we waged war on the yellow jackets, dead and alive. While I was busy scooping and hurling the dead bodies, Don was using the fly swatter to send the live ones sailing back into the yard. This went on for what seemed like an eternity but given the temperature and relative humity it was probably only 1o minutes. The little pool was deemed safe for human occupants.

Until the girls got into the pool. And the bees returned.

For the next hour I stood guard with the fly swatter and wasp spray (admittedly some of time was spent watching from inside, but it's REALLY hot). Nobody was getting stung on my watch. Thankfully it wasn't too long before Maria's friend was ready to get out and come inside.

A side note: In preparation for writing this post I thought I'd take a picture of the little pool. As if to prove my point, when I approached the pool with camera in hand, a couple of yellow jackets stopped by for happy hour. One was floating on the water, one was already water-logged enough to be resting at the bottom of the pool and another hopped in while I watched. Can you say euthanasia? Sure I could have rescued him but after a long day of battle I felt justified in holding him under water assisted by my Tupperware strainer. By the way, a bee can hold it's breath for a surprisingly long time. I have pictures. Wanna see?

The "little pool."

Don't do it...

I warned you!

I have a feeling this problem isn't going away anytime soon. I think I've pushed my luck enough for one summer. Tomorrow we'll go to Wild River Country instead of the little pool.

Simply stated: Once again I've angered the bee community. We might have to move.