We tried to hire someone to come and clear our hillsides along our driveway. We were convinced to let them spray an herbicide that would kill the weeds and small trees growing close to the edge of the drive and leave the grass. Then the weeds would fall over and we would just have to cut down the nuisance trees.
Nuisance trees: trees that grow where they are not wanted and don't die when sprayed, as opposed to wanted trees that won't grow where planted and die when sniffing any Round Up.
This was not a successful experiment. We have spent two hours each day for three mornings clearing out the dead and dying weeds and cutting the dead and dying trees. Two hours a day, because then we are wiped out and have to go so something else less physical. That two hours fills the truck up about three times for dumping or burning.
It is difficult to work on the hillsides because they are steep and the grass is thick so it disguises holes and rocks. It is slick, so footing is a problem. My feet and ankles hurt from trying to keep upright and I fall on my tush about every thirty minutes.
I use the battery powered trimmer, hand saw and loppers. Lee uses the chain saw. They scare me. When trimming in vines and berry bushes, bugs fly around your face and you get slapped by the freshly cut berry vines. It hurts. Especially when they hit you in the face. But if you are going to clear the area, you just have to put on your big girl panties and power through the unpleasantness.
Yesterday I was clearing a big thicket of vines. I saw a bunch of flying insects, but kept on using the noisy trimmers, even though I was getting stabbed by a blackberry at my neck. Wait a minute, That was a sting. A wasp sting.
It seems I had cut into a wasp nest. They objected to this invasion in a serious way.
I yelled and tried to stop the trimmer. I back up and tried to run down the hill, while waving them away. Naturally I fell and rolled to the bottom of the hill in a small patch of dead, but still thorny, blackberry canes. I landed in the ditch with my head downhill and was unable to get up. I was still being stung and yelling for Lee who had no idea what happened, other than I had fallen.
This is where I landed and the trimmer I dropped.
"Help me up. Wasps." was about all I remember saying. Lee reached out and pulled me up. I was still being stung and I ran down the drive, swatting at the wasps. Now Lee is getting stung. When he reached for me they must have flown up his sleeve into his shirt.
"Take off your shirt." he tells me. So I did. No wasps in there, but whoever drives by will be surprised. I shook out my shirt and put it back on. We finally got far enough away that the drone strikes stop. I am stung through shirt and pants. The worst are on the face and neck. Lee also. I head up to the house and get the wasp spray. These guys are going to have to move or die. Wasp spray is great because it fires about 20 feet. I am not getting close to that nest any time soon.
I sprayed the entire can and could still see a bunch of wasps flying around. We decided discretion is the better part of valor and gave that section of the drive a wide berth. We cut for another hour until we were both too sore from the work and the stings that were swelling, to continue.
You can see the section we left for another day. Or year!
I took Tylenol PM and finally slept the night. Lee tried to tough it out and was scratching all night. His hand and jaw are swollen. I just have red sore spots, except for my neck that is also swollen.
This morning was a recon and destroy day. We bought wasp spray in quantity and I will spray this evening when the wasps are in the nest and not out flying around. I pretend to care about the environment and recycle and try to go green. But, when push comes to shove, all bets are off and other clichés like that! This is war and I have Lowe's insecticide aisle on my side. And while I am at it, I am spraying the whole outside of the house for those damn stink bugs that are starting up again after a minor reprieve. Take that! DIE!