Hrm. There are holes in the grass that look large enough for a small rodent's burrow. Must be Eastern Yellowjackets. I'd suspected them for a while. I finally had proof the other day.
Presenting Elvis - aka a male Vespula maculifrons. He landed on the back porch. The cooler temps had taken a toll on him that day. All the better for me, as I'm allergic to venom and these little assholes are aggressive stinging menaces.
It didn't help that Truffle and Piper kept dicking around with him. Nobody appreciates a wet dog nose dabbing your body into a wooden board. Though he didn't protest too much, I didn't want to take a chance. I used a garden glove to nudge him towards a gap in the boards.
V. maculifrons take nest defense to a whole new level. They won't nail you just once. Nope. They don't lose their stingers, and they are capable of delivering venom repeatedly until you abandon all hope and flee the area.
We made the journey to Lewis Country Gardens in Calcutta this afternoon, but nothing really jumped out at us. It's better to visit them in the spring, perhaps. The selection will be larger.
Having some time to kill, we next drove past Paris and stopped by Iannettis. We were not disappointed. Though too late in the season to find a large mixture of perennials, we did pick up different varieties of daylily, a small shrub, some heliotrope, and other assorted annuals. They also had a lush tomato hanging basket.
Afternoon and evening rain kept us from doing much in the yard. I snipped the iris to liberate three hosta (these will all be transplanted), and Better Half finished a bit of grass removal in the main bed.
I'm afraid I won't get much more done this season. My kidneys are flaring up - stones or an infection, can't tell - so movement is extremely painful. I've been sucking up the pain just to get things done but I think it's about time I made a trip to …
Just a quick entry before bed to keep people updated.
For those out of the loop, my dad went to the ER yesterday. He was behaving oddly - more confused than normal, unable to walk, a bit weak on the left side. His neurologist (well, mine, technically) insisted on an MRI. It allowed her to diagnose bleeding in his brain.
They sent him up to Allegheny General to the neuro ICU (via Life Flight - he was so excited and nervous about the flight). It was critical that they take him off his thinners to stop the bleed, thus he would require better monitoring than what's available in Steubenville. The risk of stroke is very real, but we're hoping for the best and keeping positive that things will turn out all right for him.
Mum and I are staying at Family House Neville. It's a lovely and comforting facility. Alas, no photographs - wifi is free, but limited.
We'll head over to the hospital in the morning. Tests are on the schedule, but we won't know more until we speak wit…