Monday, August 23, 2010

idyllic holiday, my arse

nom nom part 3

Forgive the title but .... Pender Island is awash with millions of these little fuckers right now. As soon as I sit down on the deck I'm surrounded by them checking me over for foodscraps. Having a picnic outside has been "interesting" unless the spot is well picked, and they're even active on windswsept beaches.

fuzzy foreshore courtesy of the millions of wasps buzzing around

It's not very relaxing. They are even appearing in tweets.
This evening we gave up on attempting dinner on the deck and stayed inside. The last few evenings have been a movable feast as we get and run mid-course when the onslaught gets too much.

Leave us alone! We're on holiday! (trying to be at one with nature btw, but you're not helping)

But I guess we have arrived slap-bang in the middle of their most active season for aggressively collecting sweet stuff (I kid you not). Late summer coincides with the time when most wasp colonies have grown very strong and the new crop of females are flying around looking for mates. Interestingly, it's only the females which sting and also it's only the fertilised females which survive an over-wintering. These fertilised females store sperm inside their bodies to start the new wasp colonies the next spring. Although they typically use and re-use the sperm to fertilise their eggs (have you noticed it's always the women of the family that get stuck with carrying out the reduce, re-use, recycle message?), by late summer they are 'empty' and need a new mate . A holiday is probably the last thing on their mind .... or maybe they too have heard of the hedonism of Ibiza during the summer?

I admit, I'm impressed. Yay for the wasp sisterhood (they do good work by eating crop-destroying and garden pests) and their social structure, but I wish they'd keep out of my holiday. Much as I realise I shouldn't swat them (since they release a chemical cry for help to attract more buddies) or wave my hands around in a flustereed fashion (as I don't want to be a contriibutor to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index), I do find leaving the odd cadaver a just reward for the amount of aggro they are currently causing.

the one that didn't get away!

 PS: otherwise holiday going well so far. please click on the link below to help subsidise my next one :)
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!