Father’s Day weekend was supposed to be downtime between several weekends of travel, before and after. We were pretty successful in that as in we didn’t leave the city limits but that doesn’t mean the weekend was exactly uneventful.
Saturday went by without incident. Mowed the grass, did the laundry, listened to the radio, wrote a letter, and read my “Our State” magazine that came in the mail.
Sunday, however, was a bit different. Being that it was supposed to get hot later in the day we ventured out to the Maritime Museum’s walking trail to pick up a few lingering Geocaches and get them off of our not-found list. The first couple of caches went without any problems but then we started looking for the 2nd Chance Cache. We were probably no further than forty to fifty feet from the trail looking for this cache. A had already given up hope on finding it and was out on the trail when it hit me. I had stumbled onto the nest of some ground bees! I got hit twice in quick succession on my left ankle. The second sting made me loose hold on my phone which I ended up leaving on the forest floor. Another sting to my right knee made me forget about the phone as I made a dash for freedom. Oddly enough only one bee followed me the short distance I had run which I thought wasn’t traditional for ground bees. What I didn’t know, and wouldn’t know for some hours to come, was that they were too busy attacking my phone.
A and I hiked out the mile and a half to the vehicle and went home. After a shower, medication, and lunch, we decided to go back out to the scene to see if we could retrieve my phone. I found it pretty quickly but was amazed to see it covered in bees! They were still dive bombing the device as it lay helpless on the ground. A rescue plan had to be devised.
A trip to the local Ace Hardware yielded duct tape, screen, leather gloves, and an expandable 12-foot paint pole. Back on the scene A taped the screen over my head and gloves to my hands. I wrapped duct tape sticky side out onto the end of the paint pole and trekked out into the woods. With the bees still crawling over and dive bombing my phone I extended the paint pole and plopped it directly onto the phone. Surprisingly the phone stuck immediately and as I removed it from the ground the bees just left it alone. Several minutes worth of planning for a few seconds of implementation. I headed back towards the trail, phone in hand, to my waiting wife (with a camera in her hand). No bees followed and all my protective equipment was for nought (although I wouldn’t try it again without it).
Perhaps there is a lesson in all of this. One, stay out of the woods in the summer (I’m not convinced of this one just yet) and two, bees will be attracted to something left during an attack and may just leave you alone (always keep something in your hand but just make sure it isn’t something that cost a lot of money).