A few minutes ago, something popped out of place in my right shoulder, and it is very uncomfortable. I hope I don't need to retrieve anything from a high shelf. It might pop back into place by itself eventually, since it has done so on other occasions, but if it doesn't then I'll have to go have it professionally jerked back.
But I'm not the only one with problems. The yellow jackets (known locally as meat bees for their propensity to hang around barbecues) who nested in our front lawn have a much worse problem. Last evening, my dad decided that they had to go and my sister brought over a can of some deadly chemical concoction which she sprayed into their main entrance, after blocking all the other openings to their nest. A large rock was then placed over the hole, and a tarp laid over that, weighed down by four more large rocks. This was done before sunset, and a number of the wasps had not yet returned to the nest for the night. I saw them gather and search for the opening to their home. They flew around and around, and I watched them until it became too dark to see them. Underground, their nest mates were undoubtedly expiring or digging frantically to escape the poisoned air.
It made me sad, even though I am not fond of the species, having been stung by them in the past. The early light has now revealed several of them still circling about, landing here and there, seeking the entrance to their lost home. I suppose they will wander homeless until they die. The deaths of those trapped in the nest were probably worse, as the poison most likely kills slowly by attacking the insect's central nervous system. I'm glad I don't have to see it. I'm not to happy about starting the new season with an extermination, but I suppose it had to be done. The colony might have grown large enough to pose a danger, these insects being rather aggressive, lacking barbs on their stingers (thus allowing each to deliver multiple stings) and their venom being considerably more powerful than that of the honeybee.
So, my shoulder is out of place, the day will be unpleasantly hot, the only scent I can smell on the air is not that of the delightful jasmine but the wretchedly excessive gardenias, and the earth in my front yard is full of massacred wasps. (I won't include the fact that Sluggo has behaved badly, as that is a given this time of year.) Not an auspicious beginning for the new season. At least there's a good chance that we'll be getting some casaba melon today. Mmmm, casaba. Now I will sleep, and hope not to dream of vengeful wasps.