Oct 262012
 
Huge bald-faced hornet nest hanging from a tree limb

Huge bald-faced hornet nest hanging from a tree limb

I was working on my rental house on Whidbey Island a few weeks ago when I noticed a huge paper nest hanging from a low tree limb next to the house. I didn’t want to get too close to the nest to identify the insects since it was being patrolled by a half dozen wasp-like insects. There was no way I was going to destroy the nest myself so I made a quick call to the local pest control company.

The exterminator quickly identified the culprit as the bald-faced hornet. Hornets are a type of wasp that build paper nests. Common on the West Coast, bald-face hornets build large paper nests to raise their young and are very aggressive.

The pest control man, suited up in protective clothing and headgear, slowly approached the nest with a dusting bulb containing an insecticide called Tempo dust. This insecticide uses a fast knockdown chemical called cyfluthrin that kills quickly and also has a long-term residual effect.

Slowly approaching hornet nest with protective clothing and headgear

Slowly approaching hornet nest with protective clothing and headgear

Upon the first dusting directly into the nest entry hole, the hornets immediately became agitated. After a few dust applications, the nest was left alone for a few days so that patrolling hornets returning to the nest would also get dusted. The exterminator removed the entire nest after a few days.

 

 

 

Applying Temp dust into entry hole of bald-faced hornet paper nest

Applying Temp dust into entry hole of bald-faced hornet paper nest

I was glad I did not tackle the nest myself since these hornets are very protective of the nest and are very aggressive when disturbed. In contrast to bees, hornets will sting repeatedly and will not die after stinging. Because hornet stingers are not barbed, they do not pull out of their bodies.

 

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Seahawks’ Unbelievable Rally to Edge Patriots

 Posted by on October 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm  Sports  No Responses »
Oct 152012
 

 

Seahawks rally to beat the Patriots 24-23

Seahawks rally to beat the Patriots 24-23

Yesterday, I witnessed one of the best Seahawks comeback victories (I know, there hasn’t been very many of them) in recent memory at CenturyLink Field.  The Seahawks, down by 13 points in the fourth quarter, came storming back to beat the Patriots 24-23.

Two of the most impressive aspects of the game were the Seahawks defense coming through with clutch stops under pressure and the long passes by QB Russell Wilson. The Hawks’ defense has come through time and time again this year, keeping the Seahawks competitive in every game this season.

Russell Wilson looked good with some long completions early in the game. And he made a clutch pass at the end to win the game. Wilson finished 16 of 27 for 293 yards, his best performance of the year. But it was clear that Russell Wilson is no Tom Brady. The Patriots QB was extremely impressive to see in live action. Super poised in the pocket, he simply picked his targets and delivered a laser pass for a completion. He made it look effortless. It was only when the Seahawks finally pressured him late in the game did his smoothness and accuracy fall apart in the final minutes of the game.

Just like they did when in the final seconds of the recent Seahawks-Packers game, the stadium went berserk when Sidney Rice caught a deep ball from Wilson for a touchdown with about a minute left in the game. The fans, myself included, were in utter disbelief. Yes, we imagined the home team could win after the previous touchdown but few of us thought they would actually pull it off.

Seahawks fans are not used to big come back victories. Maybe we should get used to them?

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Seattle Rains Finally Come After Long Dry Spell

 Posted by on October 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Oct 132012
 
Autumn leaves turning red in Seattle area

Autumn leaves turning red in Seattle area

After an unusually long dry spell this summer, the rains have finally arrived in the Seattle area. The leaves, as if in synch, are starting to turn to their deep reds and yellows. The fleece jackets are out in full display.

This has been a phenomenal summer and early fall weather-wise. Seattle’s has recorded only 0.03 inches of rain since July 23rd! We’ve had about 78 days without significant rain–the driest period on record since 1945. It was weird to wake up to so many sunny mornings.

With the storms rolling in this weekend, everyone recognizes that we’re back to business as usual. Many of us are hunkering down with our books or tablets for our usual rainy weather until next spring. But the rivers, trees, and fish here need the sustaining rain. Salmon in the Puget Sound are milling about in the saltwater in the last few weeks. They need the rain to provide the trigger for them to move up to their freshwater spawning grounds.

I welcome the rain; it’s what makes Western Washington so green and beautiful.

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