Do you know the difference?

Allow me to introduce you to the Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Profanity Warning!

These little bastards are fucking mean! They are considered to be beneficial because they eat other insects like mosquitoes, apids and the like. I have become acquainted with them, quite painfully 6 times in the past week.

Yellowjacket.Mostly.Dorsal
Yellow Jacket

They will defend the colony very aggressively. A giant, pushing/chasing a lawnmower over the nest is to be attacked mercilessly. The sting is painful initially leaving a sharp ache the rest of the day.

MDAgroundnests
Ground-nesting insects

When the ache subsides, what you are left with is not unlike a large mosquito bite that itches for a week or more. I am amazed at the tenacity and courage of these little fuckers. Imagine giving your life trying to kill a creature several thousand times your size to defend the queen and her brood.

What I have learned.

  1. They only nest annually
  2. Only the inseminated queen survives the cold winters (not sure how I don’t care)
  3. She starts a new colony in spring
  4. Late summer the nest is at its highest density (ah now I am beginning to understand)
  5. Upon discovery stay away, let them settle down and take another pass if necessary.

The Takeaway. I have a profound curiosity for all of God’s creatures. There is something to be learned from nature that I can apply to the miracle of life and existence.

Courage, what are you willing to give your life for? Survival of a representative republic?(that’s a worthy blog post by itself) Tenacity, How adamant are you about your faith? I feel I could be better. Defense of your family. I know I can be hard on them, but I only want what’s best and will expect the same in return.

God bless all of you and thank you for reading to the end.

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What is this S%#t?

I notice this on my way home this afternoon. The evidence of the Saint Paul Police Mounted Patrol is in the neighborhood. This actually brings a smile. I love horses and I enjoy seeing them on their companions patrolling events, like today’s historic homes tour.

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Officer Hank Price and Cowboy

In other news, I am embarking on a pilgrimage of sorts. It has become painfully apparent the I have no idea, what I want to do. I know I want to help. There is a problem though. I seem to lack passion for anything. I am just finishing No Man is an Island – Thomas Merton and next in the queue is The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho I am praying and meditating on my contribution and the fears I have that interfere with me making a bold move for my own benefit. I will be making updates along the way sharing and soliciting for suggestions and experience from all who care to contribute.

It's here
It’s here!

“You can call it fall if that’s what you please…” Barney Song

I’ll leave you all with that for now except for my musical thought for this post.

RIP Walter

Vindictive

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Chinese symbols for vindictive

I can no longer endure the psychic pain of resentment. I must be rid of it as soon as it becomes evident in my thought. “resentment is like me taking poison and hoping someone else dies”. -Unknown

 

To be rid of it

  1. Consider the person, place, thing or situation.
  2. What happened
  3. Consider how this affects me and other relationships
  4. Where had I been selfish, dishonest, inconsiderate? Where if any had I hurt them. Did I arouse issues?

I write this down if possible, there is a certain magic in writing with pen/pencil and paper and holding it in my hands to be relieved of this discomfort.

I will then take time, to wish them loving kindness, that they will be relieved of suffering and the root of it.

I can now carry on my way, shedding my qualms like a loose garment.

images from Google images

 

There’s always room for improvement!

And boy, do I have some. Astronomical in size comes to mind. What brought this on? One might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. If you have been following along, you know of my desire to help. Well, it has become painfully apparent the I can do more.

Through reading blogs, scripture, news and so on. The question arises, what have you done for “the least of mine”. Not a lot I must admit. Lately, though I have given some dollars to those requesting “anything helps” at intersections.

I had, in the past that these people were actually just doing this for their job and that they probably made more money than I do. Upon reflection, I found within that this was devoid of compassion.

it's here
Like it or not-Fall is upon us

Another area in my sorted life, where I find room for improvement is in refraining from the judgment of others. This has been brought about reading from Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island “If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity…We must somehow strip ourselves of our greatest illusions about ourselves, frankly recognize in how many ways we are unlovable, descend into the depths of our being until we come to the basic reality that is in us, and learn to see that we are lovable after all in spite of everything”, and that we are loved precisely because of our flaws.

As I emerge from the other side, I am better able to love, any and all. And, most important understand.

I gotta say!

Or more appropriately, I have to say! I am in complete awe of the community that is WordPress. I am also immensely grateful for the expression put forth by all whom I enjoy following.

I have mentioned this before, but I had no idea how important it is to follow, read, like, and comment on other’s creations here, when I started. I am also a bit surprised at how much I have begun to and enjoy doing such. I found that when I took my little eclipse road trip, the while away, I missed being able to read what everybody’s been doing. Safely anyway, while driving.

I definitely have been bitten by the WordPress bug.

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Hello bug

The variety and depth of the content produced here are astounding. I find myself experiencing a full range of emotion. Joy, peace, admonishment, sadness, caring, uplifted, informed. In the words of Thomas Merton “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  All of you who I read, and some are hardly aware while others are quite close, almost intimate, do this for me. You touch me. From the depth of my soul, I thank God for you. And I thank you too!

Full

I’ll be reading you. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Uh oh!

Today I am in a state of immense gratitude for the Grace of a loving God.

It started as a peculiar smell that was reminiscent of burnt sugar turned to carbon, that I remember from elementary school science. From where the aroma emanated was a mystery. My roomy and I searched high and low, checking the stereo equipment, the fridge, among other things. The smell did not seem to be getting worse so we concluded that we would monitor and hope for the best.

We both went about our usual Saturday activities, for me, that is, on this weekend. One when I get to spend time with my daughters. I attended to a couple assignments (work) and had a plan to drive up to an event known as Game Fair. It was something I had not heard of and that it was mostly hunting related and featured events with dogs.

My older child was reluctant but was interested in spending time with me so off we went. It was moderately fun and the girls and I loved seeing all the dogs and especially puppies. Watching trained hunting dogs was fascinating and great fun for me.

We returned to my place as we had a few hours before time to return the lovelies to their mom. The smell was seemingly about the same but was stronger in a different part of the unit. Closer to the living room and I thought that maybe it was coming from the ceiling fan. So we turned that off and plugged the stereo system back in and proceeded to find a suitable movie to watch, one that the three of us might be able to agree on.

ceiling fan
ceiling fan

I took the young ladies home and returned to catch up on my reading of followed blogs. My roommate was engaged in a rather animated phone conversation, that I was doing my best to filter out details of but concluded it to be work related.

It was then that the smell took on an ominous new characteristic. It was smoke and it was in the hall and kitchen I called out to said roomy and saw flames coming out of the microwave oven.

Fire
The aftermath

Rapid action ensued fire extinguisher was located flames were doused and unit evacuated as the smoke had within less than 90 seconds filled the unit to about chest high. We went out onto the deck/balcony and went in periodically to open windows and attempt to air the place out. I was fairly sure the threat of reignition was past but my pal was not so we emptied the remaining product from the extinguisher onto the source of the still evident smoke.

Eventually, the smoke cleared enough for the alarms to stop and assessment was warranted.

If we had been asleep, out of the unit or had it been able to burn another 2 minutes the entire house would have been involved. Thank you, God!

The light within

We were saved a great deal of loss and certainly, even more, inconvenience had the whole dwelling been affected. Now only clean up and tolerance of the aroma of a camp fire inside my place.

Was going to use On Fire by Van Halen from their first CD/Album but I like this better

The things I see

The sun beating down brightly, as I am focused on the task at hand. Earbuds blasting from the playlist. The hum of the mower’s engine is evident through my body. And yet I remain aware of my surroundings. Yesterday I was working and an unusually large and overgrown lawn when I sensed something. I turned, and there she was scouting what I think is the location of her den.

coyote 2
Checking me out
Coyote 1
All good I’m out

She was trotting through where I had previously worked stopped looked at me then carried on. I guess I have adapted to my loss of hearing sense (earbuds) and pick up on other queues. I am glad I was able to capture the moment. The toad population is great this year.

toad
spots
green toad
light green

I don’t even want to think of what happens to these creatures if pass over them.

I observe all kinds of things and I saw the first snake I have ever witnessed in Minnesota. Scared the crap out of me at first, then I tried to take a picture but it found cover quickly. It was a gartter snake. Do you find thistles as beautiful as I do?

Thistle
Ooh Ouch!

These and so much more to fill my being with wonder at how much life there is beyond our immediate perception.

working
Busy Bee

It is simple but not easy to see