A Song a Day – Day 261

European hornet

One of the bad boys

Our little apartment has been something of a Noak’s Ark since we’ve lived in it. The first summer we were besieged by ants. Our environmentally friendly attempts to encourage them to leave didn’t work and it wasn’t until we applied the stuff that would kill a small child that they decided to try somewhere else. Last summer there were very few ants, but wasps decided to build their nest in our miscellaneous items basket at the top of the wardrobe.  They too took a bit of dislodging but eventually left.

This year, we’ve had no ants at all and the wasps got very short shrift after they tried to make a comeback. Instead we’ve had hornets in the chimney. Hornets, like cicadas, grillons and non-bumble bees are a species that I’ve only discovered since I’ve lived in the south of France. They look like wasps but they’re about four times bigger. Almost the size of a small bird (well, a very small bird). They fall down the chimney and end up buzzing against the glass of the stove compartment of the fire, angrier than trapped tigers. Last night we decided we’d had enough and took drastic action.

Within minutes we had a swarmette of hornets whose house was on fire circling around the chimney top. To add to the drama, when they eventually escaped, it was raining heavily outside. I almost felt sorry for them. Meanwhile, inside the house we were equally uncomfortable. There’s a reason why people don’t light their fires in summertime.  Not only was the fire burning merrily away, a gratin was baking in the oven and the paint was melting off the walls.

Song of the day

Today’s tune is another classic oldie but goldie. It is Aretha Franklin with Natural Woman.


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