The Swarm of Yellow Jackets

I decided to go swimming in the lake and being a good ecological citizen and trying to get a bit more exercise than I normally do, I took the bike down. It is not far, but there are hills.... going down is fun, but riding up the hills is hard work.

The lake was too warm and too full of algae, so I decided just to sunbathe and read. A family with a bunch of kids came to swim, and then another family with 3 kids, all decked out in fishing gear. They headed out through the woods to the fishing bridge single file, first Papa, then the three children with Mama heading up the rear. They looked like the duck family that was crossing the street in Malmö yesterday.

I returned to my book. Just a few minutes later the family came running and screaming out of the woods, helter-skelter, with the mom swinging her towel and hitting at the kids. I looked up rather puzzledly, and the father hollered "Getingar!", yellow jackets. Now I saw it too, every member of the family had yellow jackets swarming around them, and they had been bitten many places. The mother was trying to scare off or kill all she could.

I dug into my backpack for my Fenestil, there are lots of yellow jackets around and I am allergic, so I always carry some with me. I offered it to them. The father wavered for an instant, then gratefully took the tube. They needed half the tube, as all of the family had been bitten more than 10 times each, some were already swelling up. Luckily, no one had gotten bitten in the mouth or neck.

The father explained - the got out to the bridge and there was a (something), he was speaking Skaanska, a dialect with lots of strange terms for things. The youngest kid had kicked it while the others were settling in to fish. Turned out there was a big yellow jacket nest underneath, and they were not amused, so they attacked the family.

They hovered around for a while, undecided what to do. There were still yellow jackets all over, and they were now investigating me. They decided to leave and I did too - since they left their little yellow friends for me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon on my lawn - no water, but fewer yellow jackets 'cause I built a nasty yellow jacket trap out of a used honey-jar with a thin neck, at least a dozen have drowned since this morning.

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