A million years ago we pulled up stakes from our very comfortable suburban Vancouver apartment, loaded our pared down belongings and a new baby into an old Ford crew-cab pickup and headed off into the unknown wilds of Ontario. We had signed up for 25 years of living with Nature and ‘not to be believed’ mosquito’s, black flies, deer flies and wonderful memories with my two brothers families, all on the granite of the Canadian Shield. Initially no electricity, no phones and no worries. Friends fancied us to be tough country mice for living the way we did.
Now, it would seem the circle of life has brought a lateral move to the rolling red sandstone back country of PEI. I’ve been building a lean-to to store our stuff in. My back and soft ‘office worker’ hands are complaining but the wonderful forest mixed with ocean smell is oh so worth it. That is until I had a run in with two colonies of wasps. Both my helper and me got stung and, not unlike that Ontario home a million years ago, Nature does not care about you and me.
Later that night, I crept as close as I dared to their huge paper palace hanging high in my baby barn and blasted away with some sort of toxic spray foam that guaranteed death to wasps. Then the same spray for the second offending, ground wasps nest. I remembered how very fast and incredibly painful they were.
Nature gave me the finger next morning when both nests looked to be in perfect health. I thought I might at least slow them down but no, they looked full of vim and vigor. A couple of days later my wife offered to spray them a second time. She came back saying there was no wasp nest and that perhaps I was mistaken. The next morning we went to confirm my not being a doddering old fool, only to find the eviscerated remains of the giant paper wasp nest. Something had climbed up and completely torn the nest to shreds. Then we saw that the ground wasps had also been excavated and eaten. I was a little shaken trying to think what kind of tough fucker could mow down on a nest of yellow jackets then top it off with a ground wasp nest for desert. I’m pretty sure there are no wolverines on the Island. I was relieved that the little buggers were no longer a problem for me but a little concerned that whatever monster could do this would have no trouble devouring me and my wife.
As it turns out, Raccoons are known to enjoy wasp larvae and there’s only one way to get those. I have a new respect for raccoons, nature and our paltry place in the scheme of things.
David Lewis – 2021 06 12