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Re: Advantages of Winter
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:35 PM
Jamie.270 Jamie.270 is offline
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Default Re: Advantages of Winter

My biggest difugilty with yella jackets was of my own making.
When I was about 10 y/o a friend told me about the wood duck nest boxes he had helped build and place along Recreation Creek, with the help of the game dept.
They had hung them in the aspen groves that grew on the border of the Upper Klamath Marsh Wildlife Refuge, the year before.
Being bored in mid summer, we decided to see if any of them were being used.

This of course necessitated climbing an aspen tree or two to have a look, which is no problem for an agile 10 year-old, especially on a dare.

So when it was my turn, up I went with all the caution of a hungry chimp in a banana tree. As I approached the last 3-4 feet below the nest box, I saw a small gray lump about the size of an orange on the bottom of the box. Having never seen a paper-wasp nest, I wasn't understanding what I was looking at, so I persevered in my climb. It was just about the time I was face-on with the nest box that the wasps decided to deal with the threat (me) to their nest.

Now running from an angry nest of wasps is an instinctive reaction. Though running while 25-30 feet up in an aspen tree, is not advised. But too late, my fight-or-flight response had kicked in.
Down I came, assisted by gravity and throwing caution to the wind as I recklessly tried to choose handholds and footrests among the branches, as I "ran" in mid-fall.

At first the small audience standing safely on the ground thought this was wildly entertaining, thinking I had slipped but was doing okay in my recovery.
It wasn't until they recognized that I had brought a small cloud of pi**ed-off yella-jackets with me that they decided it really wasn't all that funny.

By the time I got back to the cabin my forearms resembled Popeye's and the swelling on my face made me look like I had taken a beating.
Oddly enough, it was my right ear that hurt the worst, and for the longest.
I spent at least 3 days explaining to friends and strangers alike, why I had one HUGE ear and one that was normal sized.
At least until our small lakeside community had all heard the hilarious story of how to fall 30 feet out of an aspen tree and not suffer any broken bones.

Apparently I was better at finding handholds than I recalled, while I was doing it.
To this day I still can't recall whether or not there was a nest in that nesting box.
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