Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday August 28, 2010 Neighbors and Hornets

Saturday August 28,2010
Some History, Neighbors and European Hornets

I took an extra 20 minutes to take the roads less traveled on my way out to Old Rag. The next shot is nothing but an example of the view out my car window as I travelled along a back country road.

On my way home from Old Rag I passed this sign many times before I took the time to stop and read it. For those who are curious here is what it says.

With Fall 2010 approaching I thought it time to once again start up the leaf condition shot.

I was surprised to see a family from my neighborhood. This was the first time up Old Rag for two members of their party. I was able to overlap and share a few Old Rag fun facts with them for about a quarter mile of their trip.

Another Old Rag Sunset.

European Hornets Vespra crabro L.
I had parked in the old upper parking lot and got to my car in the dark. When I arrived at the car I place my pack on my car hood and then slid into the driver's seat in order to grab a Gator Aide I had left on the passenger seat. While taking time to down the Gator Aide I decided to turn on the car and its lights. After a few minutes I got out of the car and decided to do my end of hike stuff when I noticed there were around four humungous (2 inch) hornets that looked liked supersized yellow jackets flying around my car's hood. One of them made a hovering flight right for my forehead. Waving my arms around and backing up into the parking I ducked its approach only to suddenly see it flying strainght at my face again. It suddenly dawned on me that it was attracted to/ attacking my head lamp so I turned it off and the threat went away. As long as I did not have my head lamp on the gathering hornets did not seem to be concerned with my presence but they clearly did not like the bright lights of my car and with every passing second another hornet seemed to join the swarm. Even though I tried to hurry, by the time I was ready to leave there were over thirty European Hornets flying around and landing on the headlamps of my car. When I opened the door of my car one of the swarm flew into the passenger compartment to attack the cab light. Since he was fixated with his attack on the cab light he was easy to take care of. It turns out that this particular species is known for beign attracted too and or attacking lights at night. I did not get stung but based on their size they looked like they could deliver one heck of a sting. Check out the following links for additional information and pictures:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip on the hornets. I have been seeing them around Hawksbill Cabin recently...they seem clumsier than the normal yellow jackets, but big enough to be scary!