Wednesday, 24 December 2008



My apricot tree is loaded with fruit. They are just starting to ripen and we may, may, have some ripe for tomorrow, Christmas Day.


But I found the local birds were on the case as well and the wattlebirds were devaluing my crop; when it comes to ripe and wattlebirds, near enough is good enough apparently. I recruited my resident stepladder (aka Simon) and spread birdnetting over the tree.

While I was tying it down I made a discovery:

Insects had built a nest in the trunk of the tree. Rats!

And or, more accurately, wasps!

Or even more accurately, European wasps!

So, primed on how to deal with them, I stole some red cellophane off a present under the tree and taped it to my torch. Apparently wasps can't see red. Funny how English has the term 'seeing red' for when someone is angry. I was about to make them very angry but still hopeful that they would not see me in the red gloamin* of my torch. And from a safe distance and ready to run, I squirted the contents of a can of 'Wasp-rid R Us' at the entrance in the tree while trying to block a sudden but quite relevant question from my mind: Is there more than one entrance?

The entrance is now quiet.

I hope the nest does not mean that the tree is totally rotten inside now; its days may be numbered.

If the can of insecticide doesn't kill it in the meantime, of course.


*Gloamin is the tid o day whan it is nae fell daurk thareoot, but the sun is nae up.


  1. Sorry - I sent over those European wasps as I'm just terrified of them!

    Please forgive me.

  2. Interesting - I always thought the gloaming was the evening. I remember at the age of 16 being much enamoured of a Scottish singer in a pier-end summer show at Aberystwyth (Wales), when he sang Harry Lauder's famous song:

    Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonnie banks o' Clyde,
    Roamin' in the gloamin' wi' ma lassie by ma side,
    When the sun has gone to rest, that's the time that I like best,
    O, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'!

    If you fancy hearing the original you will find it on:

    The dictionary confirms, however that the gloaming or twilight can be morning or evening.

  3. the picture looks scary enough! it's just staring back at me!

  4. yes alison...scary enuf.

    happy holiday to u Lee..:)
    have a merry christmas...

  5. Mum likes all types of creepy crawlies but she HATES wasps. She starts screaming like a right girlie if she sees one. She stopped me trying to eat them when I was a pup - good thing I reckon!

  6. YIKES! sure hope the problem is resolved and the resolution does not amplify the problem in other ways.

    You and your trees - I am so envious! I wish we had such lovely fruit trees!

    Sending joy-filled holiday wishes across these many miles to you and your family. Enjoy your holiday in your warm, exotic location. We are snowed in here, enjoying the beautiful landscape but wishing we could drive away to a fabulous holiday feast on Thursday! May 2009 bring peace and understanding to our deeply troubled world.

  7. LadyFi: Thanks heaps!

    Judith: I was fascinated to find that there is a Scottish wikipedia!

    Alison: It's all an illusion!

    Dr No: Thank You

    Henry: Eating wasps is a lousy career move.

    Sky: Thank you and Amen.

  8. Merry Christmas Lee & Margaret :o)

  9. Merry Christmas to the Kennedys..and the roaming they know you guys have a lot of yummy stuffs around. So, what's on the table tonight?

  10. ewwhhh - hope they don't eat your apricots and the tree lives.
    Merry XMAS!!!

  11. I always thought 'gloaming' was a great word!

    A very happy Christmas to you, wasps or no wasps!

  12. They look horrid. I'm glad you did away with them.

    Enjoy your apricots tomorrow!

  13. Good luck Lee. We had them nesting inside our house wall. had to do the red celephane over the touch and insecticide too. It worked so I hope its the same for you!
    Merry christmas from the Wasps! LOL

  14. ah, a bit of justice served?
    wasps gone, the spray unnerved.
    But the darkest hour
    when they're not at the flower,
    lack of fruit may be what you deserve.

    Now, I'm not banging your desire
    to be rid of the menace fliers.
    But here, bees have been rare
    sometimes the apple trees are bare,
    And have brought me to resort to using old fryers.

    That may sound a bit nonsensical, I surmise
    But, lacking bees, I used a surprise.
    Putting meats by the trees
    (and keeping the dogs away, please)
    I've fancied the interest of some many flies.

    They also spread the pollen all about
    And, yes, so bothersome, I usually pout.
    But, it does the trick,
    and nary a bug ever sick,
    And last years crop was something of a shout!

    (canned quite a bit, too!)


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