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How... Nice 
19th-Jan-2009 07:17 pm
Left work early today. Got home 5:45. Managed to extricate my huge pole-thing with a saw and branch-clipper from the side of the garage that is full of junk. (Long story; don't ask.)

What did I do?
Hat on, gloves on, went out the back door of the garage and tried to attack the limbs of the Maples that have been scratching the wall and roof. Too high. Grumble. Stood on the deck and brought down some portions of limbs that were hovering close, or hanging low over the deck. (No, I'm not tall enough to get up to the joins with the trunk, nor strong enough to cut through such large limbs, but it's COLD here for now, so I'm hoping it'll be okay.) Perhaps some other day if I get home while it's not too dark out, but still winter, I'll try to lean out the bathroom window and cut some more.

Even with the leverage this tool provides, I was unable to cut some of the branches I could reach and wanted to. Oh well. I did my best.

I remembered how, many years ago, I needed to cut a branch that was hanging low over the deck, and it broke my heart to do so, because there was a tiny, perhaps one inch, rough-sphere that looked like it was pieced together of moss clinging to that branch -- a hummingbird nest. While I was thinking of this, and trying to find branches that I could cut, I saw ... something.

After a short while (I was inside by 6pm) I decided I'd done what I could and headed in.

What did I feel?
Tried to close the door to the garage and lock it, and my hands wouldn't obey me. I took my glove off so I could look at my fingers and better tell them what to do to lock the door. Finally succeeded. Wended my way through the stuff to the door and into the house. Once in, I took the gloves off and told the spouse how after even such a tiny amount of time, wearing winter gear, my fingers were completely numb.

Then that changed. PAINPAINPAINPAIN. I found snow in the pocket of my coat, and that felt good. Probably 5 minutes later the pain had diminished and I had fingers again. (They can even type!)

Then I made the spouse put on shoes and a coat and come out while there was still some vestige of light to verify what I thought I saw.

What did I see?
Clinging to a limb that is suspended over the roof is a nest. Not a hummingbird nest.

It looks like it's about the size and shape of a coconut in the husk. Although one end is a bit blunter, and I think there's an access hole there. It looks like it's made out of paper. Perhaps held together with a bit of mud here and there.

Spouse mused that it really didn't look much like a swallow nest. I can't speak to that, but what it pattern-matches for me is something I have seen up close and personal before and I'm thinking we have us a nice wasp/yellow-jacket/something nest hovering just out of reach above the door to the deck. What I don't know is whether they're inside, dormant, and will continue to build it bigger next year, or if it's done with.

I don't have a good feeling about this.

You know, I'd really rather have hummingbirds. They're nicer, and they might even be smaller.
20th-Jan-2009 01:09 am (UTC)
You have a..."huge pole-thing"? (snicker) And extricated it with a saw and branch clipper???? OWWWW!

My husband is cringing in between giggle fits.
20th-Jan-2009 02:11 am (UTC)

20th-Jan-2009 02:15 am (UTC)
No, no, no - I believe you misunderstand. I *think* what she means is that she has a huge pole thing, upon the end of which is a saw and branch-clipper. The huge pole thing allows one to raise the saw and branch-clipper into the tree in order to prune the branches.

Although I think I had a flash vision of the same image your husband did, the first time reading the post. *Something* left me snorting.

Sorry, Margaret. (g)
20th-Jan-2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Even better, it's bright orange!

Shame on me -- I usually LEAD people into the gutter.
20th-Jan-2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Somehow I just knew you'd be responding to that...
20th-Jan-2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Wikipedia and Google hits seem to indicate strongly that nests are not reused and don't require any action.

The nest is question could be yellowjacket or hornet as it is enclosed. The several smaller open nests under the eaves are more like the described paper wasp nests.
20th-Jan-2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Given a tall enough ladder you could get the nest into a plastic trash bag and get rid of it.
20th-Jan-2009 02:14 am (UTC)
True enough. And we do have one of those foldy-ladders. (Although, fully extended, _I'm_ not going to climb it in that location. Don't trust my balance, don't trust the deck. Course, I'd trust me to "spot" the ladder even less, so I just might eat those words.)

I should probably photograph it first. If I can get home in the daylight and keep my fingers (and the camera) thawed long enough.
20th-Jan-2009 04:42 am (UTC)
I am fairly certain the nests are not reused.

Besides, even if they were hibernating in there, if you knock it down this time of year they will not survive the cold.

In fact, even in the summer, the best time to do away with hornets and wasps is when it is cool. They are slow moving and all packed away inside the nest. Perfect time to use chemical weapons on them.

So I would take it out now. Just bat it down with your "pole".
20th-Jan-2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
My pole is only about 10 feet long :-) and it's probably 25 feet up, so I'll have to be trickier than that... but yeah... that's a good idea. Next time I'm home and it's not too dark. And I have half a brain.
20th-Jan-2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
I was going to suggest you have Clark get a can of wasp killer on a long pole to spray it just in case. But that would invite comments about him squirting things out of his long pole, and that just wouldn't be classy. And me, I'm all about the class.
20th-Jan-2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
20th-Jan-2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ah . . . "mbumby -- Winter Pole Dancer!"

In the entertainment biz, ya gotta have a gimmick!
20th-Jan-2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Ow. Ow. Ow.
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