Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Woman vs. Nature

We have one of those rainwater collection barrels that attaches to your gutter downspout. Today I decided to clean it out even though we will probably never ever use it. But it's clean. 

During that process I angered a family of yellowjackets whose home I accidentally destroyed when I cleaned out the section of downspout below the diverter using water from my high powered hose spray nozzle. They came after me but I valiantly fought them off by running in circles with the hose nozzle wide open and spraying like Old Faithful.

I managed to avoid any wasp stings but I did step in fire ants which is pretty normal for me. In fact I'm surprised that I only did it once.

After that, I tried to take an old spray nozzle off a water hose that was here when we moved in and that we planned to throw away cuz it's cheap and yucky. The nozzle wouldn't come off. At all. Not even after soaking it with Liquid Wrench then trying to pry it off with a hammer and chisel. The hose was a cheap piece of junk but the nozzle was heavy duty metal, let me tell ya. I worked on that thing off and on for several hours before I finally decided to just beat it to death with a hammer. That worked. The metal finally broke and when it separated from the hose there was corrosion in there that looked prehistoric.

Once that long difficult job was done, I was satisfied and chunked the hose and the nozzle in the trash. Why would I spend so much time removing the nozzle that I was going to throw away from the hose that I was going to throw away? Because I am a crazy person!! I couldn't stand that I couldn't remove it! It was winning and that can't be! I just had to know that it could be done. And it could even though the nozzle did not survive the separation procedure.

Then I decided I would get rid of 3 old plastic pots, the kind you get when you buy a tree, that are sitting in a corner of the yard gathering weeds. One of them even has a chicken tree or something similar growing in it. I could see some plastic fence mesh in one of the pots so I tried to pull it out with one hand while steadying myself by grabbing the edge of the pot with the other hand. That turned out to be a bad idea when I felt something stinging me and looked down to see that I had a hand full of fire ants. I just kept thinking to myself, "Well, it's not quite as bad as stepping in them twice".

I abandoned my plan to get rid of the flower pots and concentrated on the fire ants instead. They are common and abundant in Texas so this is nothing new. We've been baiting them since we moved in but it usually takes a couple of months before they finally decide to move on. You don't really kill off all the fire ants in your yard. You basically just chase them into your neighbor's yard.

I didn't think sprinkling bait in the plastic pots would be a good idea since I would have to reach through all the foliage to get to them, increasing my chances of a third fire ant episode and two is my daily limit. So I chose to use some Sevin spray that hooks up to the water hose. I screwed the hose to the bottle, turned on the water, turned the valve on the Sevin bottle to the 'on' position, then sprayed the heck out of the tree pots and everything else in that corner just for good measure.

I think I probably should have read the directions on the Sevin bottle before using it because when I was done, the bottle was more full than it was when I started. Apparently I filled it with water and failed to flush it out or something. I don't know. I still haven't read the directions. Maybe some day I will.

Tomorrow I will try again to get rid of those pots and with my luck will end up destroying the home of some angry scorpions or some other stinging creatures. It's never a roly poly house.


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