When I stepped from the back door a couple of days ago, my head was swarmed. While I should have just moved quickly onward, I didn’t - I waved my arms, trying to sweep the swarm away. The swarm pressed into my hair and tightened against me. Luckily, I was stung only once – the lobe of my right ear was pierced. It was wasps.
After I escaped the swarm I looked back to see that the wasps had constructed a nest on the bottom of my deck. The nest hung just two feet beyond and above the back door. It was an inopportune location for a bunch of anxious wasps as well as for me, the anxious home-owner who regularly walked below the nest.
Last night after the wasps were asleep, I sprayed their nest. I had purchased a can of wasp killer when I went to the grocery for a New York Times yesterday. I hated to destroy them. The nest was beautiful, a symmetrical, gray cone – if only they had built somewhere more distant from my door and my head. When I lifted the aerosol can toward the nest, I had expected a light spray; instead, it emerged with the force of a garden hose, recoiling my arm and blasting the nest. I backed-off to spray more. Two wasps zipped from the nest entrance, and I backed through the door. This morning I found a cluster of dead wasps, suspended together, hung from the opening of the nest. A horror. I have been their Hurricane Katrina. Forces of nature make us suffer our building choices.