A few days ago, out of no where, The Bees arrived. Honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, hornets, etc. They all came at once and have swarmed our Holly Tree. I can only assume there are sweet sweet flowers there that have called to them. If you step outside it sounds like you've stepped inside of a bee's nest. They seem to come once it's sunny and/or hot out and leave at night.
I discovered them (The Bees) when I went outside to check the status of the tire planters surrounding the deck (I expected there to only be weeds as I'd not touched them since last summer when I planted things inside of them to begin with.) Instead of made 2 discoveries: (1) The Bees had arrived (more on that in just a minute) and (2) The Black Eyed Susans had in fact taken last year! I feel in love with Black Eyed Susans last year and promptly bought a large container of them for my garden. Alas I could only afford one and eagerly waited for flowers. I had weak looking green plant in the tire planter for the majority of it's life in my garden. It only bloomed for about 3-4 weeks somewhere around July/August/September (I just can't remember). To say it was a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. I'd read it was drought hardy, once it had established roots. Well I internally cursed it and thought, guess I'll try again next year. Well to my utter amazement, look what I found!
So apparently it did take, it did establish roots. I can only hope this year it blooms quicker and for much longer than last year.
Now back to today's horror story...
Naturally I have an intense fear (phobia?) of bees, or rather anything that flies and has a stinger. I have been known to run and scream (or just cry out loudly) when I cross paths (or look like I'm about to) with a bee. So as you can imagine I've been trying to prevent this from being a traumatic experience. I've taken to a mantra of "Bees are good, they're great for Mother Nature. Bees are disappearing, I can't hate them. Bees pollinate and make things nice. Bees are good...." It's mostly worked. I'm not as afraid of them as I might normally be, instead I just stay insanely still and pray the leave without stinging me. (Now once they leave, as I hope against hope they will, and I encounter a bee on its own well then I don't think I'll maintain such a calm attitude.) But back to now, I'm mostly fine around the bees, but then a wasp/hornet will swing by me and I'll run (as fast as I can while trying to NOT get stung, aka slow motion speed) straight in to the house.
So with that in mind, picture this if you will: I am reading a book on the couch (the 3rd Sookie Stackhouse novel) and turn to Zoe's Dad (Branden) and say, "Honey there's a large bug on the wall over there." He looks over and says, "Yeah I guess so. I think it's a bee.... wait it's a wasp." I did remain in my seat, I did not jump off and run away like a crazy lady. Sadly that wasn't an option as I'd have to cross the wasp's general direction to run away to any other room. Instead I stay seated while he investigates. I calmly direct him to appropriately large objects in the room he could use to try to get it out of the house (hello broom and dust pan). Now when this thing flew off the wall and went within 5 feet of me I reacted. I'm not saying it was the best reaction, or one that'd make sense to someone else. But I reacted in the only way I could think: I hid beneath a blanket (a knitted afghan with lots of holes) from the big bad wasp. Yes, I am a big baby. But yes it did make me feel safe.
I walked in to the "Red Zone" as it is to try to take photographic evidence. Sadly, I don't think you can actually see the bees. But if you were there when this picture was taken not only could you see hundreds of little bees running around but you'd have heard them loud as can be as well!
And that is the story of how Branden and my mother's quilted afghan saved me from a wasp. I told Zoë she'd just had a near death experience but I don't think she understood how close to death we both came.