Monday, 14 September 2015


About this time every year we get a swarm. Originally we thought it was honey bees, but after discussing it with some people we'd decided it is more likely to be wasps, in our Willow trees. We've got one massive one on the edge of the road beside our driveway - AKA, right beside the house, since we're that close to the road and there's another one out in the back yard. There are a couple other smaller willow's, but these two seem to be the most affected by the wasps.
There are literally hundreds of them, creating this excessive buzzing noise right outside, and if you were to stand a few metres back from the tree and look into it you can see them all flying around inside the branches. It's not particularly nice, especially as Dad is severely allergic to them...

It's only been happening these last few years, but from memory I think a friend said it was essentially because of an aphid? Possibly an Australian one, of sorts, that are attacking willow trees by eating the leaves, leaving behind uh, remains, which the wasps then come and eat? I think. Don't quote me on that one! Anyway, the wasps are here and yet again they're here to stay until the poor willow tree loses its leaves again come late autumn. Lucky I'm not the tree climbing sort, huh? Otherwise I'd be seriously deprived of two good climbing trees! It certainly makes it uncomfortable being outside, you can never be too sure around wasps...

The sun was here two days ago, and we're stoked to see it again today after all the rain we've been having. It's amazing though, how one day of warm sun after a period of cold weather can make the grass bolt. You just see these shards of grass leaves, picking up their roots and running high speed for who knows where, but it's quite interesting ;) lol Nah, it is a good thing to see, especially as we've had a heck of a lot more rain this spring so far. One farmer reckoned last year they only got just over 100mm in September, but they've had well over that already and we're only half way through - it's no wonder their farm is so muddy. It's nice to see a growth spurt happening in some areas.

Steptember is still coming along OK, just a pity we can't manage to get any more sponsorship, but hey, you can only do so much, right? My personal best so far the other day was over 14 thousand steps - not bad for me really, but I'd done a fair bit of work and then I came home and walked two kilometres on the treadmill - gaining me a good three thousand steps in just over 25 minutes. Great how that works, but yesterday was a shocker and today will be similar as I'm just so tired! It's bad when you can barely keep your eyes open during milking lol.
35 hours of work this week, the most "work" for me in quite a long while as I haven't managed to get my hands on all that much until now. Which, perhaps in the scheme of things doesn't seem like much - but it's not bad when it's basically just relief work, huh?! Nick did 40 hours though, so I'm pretty much on par with him this week, for a change...

Will be glad to get a few full days off sometime soon though, although it proves to not work in too well with my can't get it both ways unfortunately!!


  1. Those wasps are annoying, thankfully they haven't arrived here yet, but they will soon. They eat the actual aphid itself, a willow aphid which arrived a few years back. Any chance of finding the nest nearby? It would be useful if you could...

    1. Oh right. Yeah nah I'm not completely sure where the nest is, we thought it was in the ground in some flax last year, but not completely sure. We thought some insecticide might do the trick, but Dad reckons not, so not too sure how to kill them - other than with fuel? hmm it is annoying, yes.

    2. hen you could still get Cooper's Maggot dust, that was what everyone used. But it's not made any more... The hole becomes pretty obvious when you do find it. Petrol in if you can poor it down works, but if the nest doesn't go down, some Dust2Dust around the entrance and puffed up into it or some WaspOut sprayed into it may work... Or if your feeling brave, catch some in an onion sack, put fly strike powder on them, then release them. The theory is they go back to the nest and everyone licks it off them, but... :P
      Also, diesel and then light it. that burns up nicely, but a wee bit of a fire hazard. And don't light petrol, could be dangerous... :P
      Hehe, we had something like 5 nests we destroyed last year, it's becoming a familiar experience... :P

    3. Hmm lighting petrol...why not? Should be fun! Haha no that's not an option - lighting the diesel that is. If it's where we thought it was last time, it's right beside the road - literally. So potentially wouldn't be all that safe!

      Familiar experience, huh? They're nasty little buggers aye? We used to have german wasps at the last farm, there were nests all over the posts, which gets a little freaky when you're trying to latch gates on the posts they're attached to!

  2. It has been really nice lately. The last couple days we've had good weather. Pity it all had to crumble today. It's not cold though, just wet. It was...yesterday, I think...when I went outside to feed my horses and there was that real strong sense of that spring has finally arrived. You know, the sun was out, and it was really warm, and humid, I think it was the humidity that got me thinking that more than anything. Two days of warm, sunny weather has dried up a bit of the mud, but there' still a fair bit around. I can't wait for summer, though!

    Ouch, I severely dislike any insect that stings...or bites...or come to thing about it...any insect at all, except for butterflies. Fingers crossed no one gets hit!!

    1. That's good! I love it when you have a sense of spring huh? It's definitely a nice, motivating feeling - all I'd want to do is soak up the sun! :) I can't wait for summer either, but as per normal I'll hate it after a couple weeks hehe

      I'm not too keen on insects either, except for the monarch butterflies, and praying mantis. A heck of a lot of people I know treat the praying mantis like I'd treat a spider, with complete disgust. I'm not sure why, many people say they bite but I love them haha, but everything else....nope.

    2. Yeah, nah. Bugs give me the shivers.

    3. You like praying mantises too?? Lol my mum does and I just think it's weird, but I tell her she can like them but they still have to stay OUTside! haha :P
      Spider? I'm shivering just looking at the word on the screen...:P