Sunday, July 27 2003
Along the Stick Trail this morning, Sally was doing as she usually does, stuffing her snout under rocks in the fruitless pursuit of chipmunks. Suddenly I saw her beat a retreat. Something bad must have happened. Then I saw what the problem was: a Yellow Jacket was burrowing into the fur of her leg. I swatted it away and Sally stood there for a moment contemplating the itchy burn of what was probably at least two stings. Then she went immediately back to where she'd been attacked. She'd evidently had a lesson to teach that chipmunk, airforce or no! I had to insist that we move on. In addition to stinging insects, I've been a little concerned that Sally might eventually encounter a poisonous snake, though they are very rare in the Catskills. I never worry about them when I walk barefoot in the forest, something I've done all my life.
Later I'd finished a second episode of clearing Blackberry canes and other picker bushes from the path leading down to the trampoline when I decided to boing up and down a few times. After I'd vaulted into the air a few times, a small cloud of hornets had begun boiling up from beneath one side of the sphincter of springs. I immediately jumped down and looked underneath to see where they were coming from. Sure enough, there it was, a globular hornet's nest a little bigger than my fist. I don't know how I'm going to deal with them without playing Saddam Hussein to their Kurdistan. The trampoline is useless until they're evicted.
Gretchen and Sarah the Korean returned from their Massachusetts adventure tonight.
For the past few days I found myself suffering from one of those spells of malaise whose principle hallmark is a lack of focus. I'd have lots of things I could be doing, but unwilling to commit to any of them, I'd surf the web aimlessly instead. By tonight, I'd managed to pry myself out of the mud. I began scraping together a means for doing MySQL development on my home network.
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