Holy smokes! I managed to unearth the yellow jackets… the ones that must`ve stung poor Ares in the head.
There is a spot beside my barn that the horses use as a bathroom. They back up to it and deposit big piles of manure, which in winter can actually cause flooding in the barn when it blocks the runoff during periodic melts and cause water to flow over the edge of the foundation. So, I took the tractor out today to clean it all up and perhaps prevent another swimming pool in the end stall this year.
Using the bucket, I was scraping along the edge of the foundation when something odd turned up. It took me a minute to process what exactly that moving mass was (being phobic about snakes, that`s always my first thought of course). Yikes! Yellow jackets. About a million of `em. Now boiling out of a nest the size of a basketball and attacking the growling beast that threatened them. I had a confused moment of what the heck to turn off, but eventually just yanked the tractor out of gear and ran for my life.
Got some wasp spray and eventually managed to reduce the numbers enough to get back and shut it off. But that tractor is going to have to sit there until dusk so I can kill the rest of them. Luckily no stings on me so far. Pretty sure I set a personal best speed record getting out of the paddock though.
I sure am hearing a LOT of stories this year about yellow jacket stings.