Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friend Or Foe

I probably use the word hate more than I should. “I hate that” “I hate when that happens”, “I hate those stupid things”. Hate is a very strong word and I actually hate very little. What I really mean is that I intensely dislike that, those things, when that happens, but to save time and typing I will use the word hate in this post.

I hate yellow jackets. Not the wearable kind to keep you warm, although I myself would not wear a yellow jacket because I’m not a yellow wearer kind of person and yellow just does not look good on me. For those of you out there who have a yellow jacket, I’m sure you look gorgeous!! The yellow jackets that I hate are the little ones that fly around your head when you’re outside deciding whether they should sting you or not. In August when they become twice as aggressive as usual, which is aggressive enough thank you, it’s almost impossible to go any where outside without a couple of them dive bombing you and sending you scurrying back into the house. All summer long they continually fly around the oriole feeders trying to get to the sugar water inside and I have to keep putting a little oil around the ports to keep them out. (It works) They drive me absolutely crazy!! So yes, I hate yellow jackets.

Another thing that I hate are the crane flies. Those who follow my posts know that I have been bombarded with these insects this year since the end of September. And they’re still here. Still swarming all over the place, still in my hair, still sneaking in the house when I'm not looking and generally making pests of themselves. So yes, I hate crane flies.

Now to get to the point of this little story. Today I went outside to cut down the four o’clocks. They only had a few flowers left, and I would rather do it on a nice day like today instead of waiting too long and freezing my butt off, which I have done more than once. There was one yellow jacket out there buzzing around my head, and making a nuisance of himself but not really threatening, so I pretty much ignored him. There were, of course, also a bunch of crane flies out there keeping me company which I could have done without.

After cleaning up the plants, I sat down to take a break. There on the chair next to mine was a large crane fly. I guess he thought he needed a little rest too, after pestering me all that time. While I was debating whether I should just reach over and swat him, the yellow jacket flew over and grabbed him. Wrestled him right off that chair and onto the ground. They were both rolling around for a minute or so and then the yellow jacket grabbed tighter and flew off with him. I sat there dumbfounded almost not believing. I have never, ever seen anything like that before. Have I been wrong about the yellow jackets all this time?? Are they here to help instead of hurt?? Are they not my foes but instead my friends?? No, I can’t really say I believe that. Maybe for 2 minutes I didn’t dislike him as much as I did before, but that’s about it.


Anonymous said...

Interesting! How much weight do you think a yellow jacket can carry? Just wondering! I don't have anything specifically in mind here (yet). Don't read anything into my question!

Fla Brat

Anonymous said...

Is this how Darwin came up with the survivor lists? Great story!


Dog_geek said...

The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Now if you can just get the crane flies to launch a counter attack against the yellowjackets, to avenge their fallen comrade, perhaps you can just sit back while they wipe each other out.

Susie said...

What a funny story! Poor little cranefly. He probably was just about to tell you his life story when that mean old yellow jacket swished him off. As the yellow jacket was flying off with him he was probably hollaring in his little cranefly voice, "Help me lady, help me"!!!

In all seriousness, I can't stand those things. They are so mean!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Yellow Jackets attacking Crane Flies..maybe they were both having a really bad day. What do you suppose the yellow Jacket did with the Crane Fly? Do you have lots of Crane Fly carcasses around? :)

flydragon said...

fla brat,
I figure each yellow jacket could carry about 10# so it would take about 13 of them to carry off the thing that you don't have in mind, yet.

I don't know how Darwin came up with his list, but I know this little scene gave me the willies. After the crane flies, what next?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend only as long as enemy #2 is still around, then enemy #1 is back just being my enemy again. I'm going to have to sit outside more often to see if the crane flies are vengeful little buggers.

I think the yellow jacket was holding one of his legs over the crane fly's mouth so he couldn't scream for help.

Only crane fly carcasses I see are the ones that I splat. I'll bet there's a yellow jacket nest somewhere just littered with those 2" long skinny crane legs.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Flydragon. Wasps kill insects and caterpillars to feed to their babies. Interesting, huh?

We don't have real aggressive wasps in my area. I remember when I lived in Alabama, those red wasps would come after you if you got within 50-feet of their nests.

Anonymous said...


How many in your nest over there?

Fla Brat

flydragon said...

Hi Marnie,
Oh oh. Are you telling me that there is a nest full of little baby yellow jackets somewhere out there ? I don't like the sound of that!!

fla brat,
I haven't seen the nest but I'm sure there are more than enough to do what you're not thinking.

Anonymous said...

You should have taken some of my spiders the other day. I think they would have taken care of the crane flys. I've never seen a yellow jacket in the webs I guess they're too smart. Those buggers sure like the sugar water. They give me a hard time when I'm trying to clean and oil the hummingbird feeder. Past tense of course. Middle sis

flydragon said...

I've never seen one in the webs either. I also don't know of anything that eats them. You would think there would be something out there that likes to dine on yellow jackets but I don't know what.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I think that the yellow jackets like protein in the late summer/fall, and sugar in the early summer.Scary though isn't it. And who does eat the yellow jackets?

I have heard that BBQ chicken made with Kraft BBQ sauce works the best in summer as a bait.
And it works. We have the glass wasp traps, and it was full.

flydragon said...

I never heard about using BBQ for for them. I use the glass jars too but I put sugar water in it. Catch some but not a whole lot. Do you put the chicken right in the jar? If so, how do you kill the jackets, then?

Rudee said...

Very funny! We had a bee incident while dining al fresco yesterday afternoon. A yellow jacket bee flew into my friend's cocktail and just helped himself to a bellini. Raspberry. He flew off after filling up-perhaps a bit tipsy from the proseco and schnapps.

flydragon said...

Well, now we know. They like sugar water, bbq chicken, craneflies, bellinis and schnapps.