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

Suffering

I posted this as a reflection to my Instagram a year ago. I have migrated to this delightful world called WordPress. This is an excerpt from Thomas Merton’s autobiography Seven Storey Mountain.

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“Indeed, the truth that many people never understand,
until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid
suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and
more insignificant things begin to torture you, in
proportion to your fear of being hurt.
The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the
end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering
comes to him from things so little and so trivial that
one can say it is no longer objective at all.
It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once
the subject and the source of his pain, and his very
existence and consciousness are his greatest torture.
This is another of the great perversions by which the
devil (Ego) uses our philosophies to turn our whole nature
inside out, and eviscerate all our capacities for good,
turning them against ourselves.”

I feel blessed to have been guided by Grace to endeavor to acknowledge and embrace my discomfort and “suffering” and have emerged on the other side the better for it.

“And now for something completely different” listen and be with whatever arises

 

 

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.

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Busy Bee

It is simple but not easy to see

 

What am I afraid of?

To be honest with you, I can’t put my finger on it. I’m fairly level headed, open-minded I am committed to improving myself. I still can’t shake the idea that I’ll be found to be unappealing, odd what have you. I am petrified at the thought of putting myself out there and opening myself up for disappointment and ridicule.

I like who I have become. I want to be counted on, to be thought about and anticipated. Perhaps, I should give myself more time. I’m still afraid.

Hold On

And by Hold On I mean Let Go!, well loosen your grip just a little. Life sends us little messages in the form of how we feel or what we anticipate we’ll experience. If my experience is any indication, the more my ego is involved in the results, or if I have expectations about the desired outcome, the more self-centered fear plays its role in my emotional well-being, at the moment. In fact, I will have lost touch with now.

let go
Three things

Another aspect of experience came to light and it fits perfectly with how, when I do experience irritation or negative feelings. I allow myself to experience them fully and let them pass, instead of doing something to be rid of them. An amazingly talented writer intimated this perfectly in this piece   fitfulfearfulphantasmal.wordpress.com/…/hurry-up-and-hurt-me

This is how I view uncomfortable situations and feelings today. Let me have it because my pain is a gateway to growth and character.