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Be on Guard, Keep Awake

Saturday, July 19, 2008

“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:33)

Sun coming up on TwitPic

When fishing it is always a good idea to be mindful of your surroundings. BSDinkins and I found ourselves not being as careful as we should while fishing a pond on Friday morning. As we headed back to the dock we decided to try one more spot. Honestly there was nothing “fancy” or great about this spot, we just did not want to leave the solitude, peacefulness of an early morning fishing trip. As BSDinkins was going to tie the boat to a stump sticking out of the water, I warned him to look for snakes. This came from a close encounter with a couple of moccasins wrapped around one another on a stump limb when fishing at Low Falls back in the high school days. Now when tying off to a stump, that is what I always look for. My eyes/mind was more focused on looking for snakes than for what was awaiting us. We did not see any snakes. He went tie on. As I began to look more for the “one” our eyes missed, my eyes caught the site of a wasp nest. About 6 – 8 inches in diameter with white droppings (eggs) hanging down and 50-60 worker wasps protecting. As I warned BSDinkins to not grab hold, I believe he caught a glimpse of this site also. The boats were about 2-3 feet from the stump and we were 3-4 feet. We both eased our backs back and began to move very slowly. The next minutes were a disaster when the first worker wasp flew off and headed to BSDinkins. As this scout made the others aware, they seemed to all fly off toward him. He jumped in the water. I watched this thinking if I am still, they will fly right by as they see I am not attempting to do anything. WRONG! As I read later “wasps attack when the nest is disturbed and each can sting repeatedly”. After realizing there were more coming toward me than I could fight off, I jumped in also. We sustained bites mostly to our head (which was unusual that none bit our faces), and I received several stings to my arms (stings typically cause localized pain and swelling, but in sensitive individuals or when many stings occur whole body effects can occur including allergic reactions that may result in death; males are incapable of stinging because the stinger on the females is a modified egg-laying structure and it is not present in males). Care to know how a Paper Wasp sting compares to a Fire Ant? We swam, pulling the boats back halfway to the dock and jumped back into the boats and looked at one another knowing how much worse it could have been. My future friend, BSDinkins, said on the ride home, “there’s an illustration in this story somewhere”, which I am sure will come out sometime. Also I found out that I am allergic to wasp stings. Or maybe when I’m only bitten a dozen times.

A few pictures from our expedition
Red and I ain't talking about the fish on TwitPic

Fish-On on TwitPic


One Comment leave one →
  1. Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:45 am

    Oooo, owww, eeesh! Glad it wasn’t any worse!

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