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New Kid's View

Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.

Cautionary Tale 1 -- Hornets

Hornet nest

 This is the hornet nest in a low limb (low enough for me at 5'4" to reach) of a mock crab apple tree in our front yard. Given its size, it had to have been there a while, but didn't discover it until Monday -- despite mowing underneath that limb at least weekly and sitting on a nearby bench for at least half an hour this past Saturday. 

This past Monday, when I shook a nearby limb of the mock crab apple, trying to dislodge a small branch with a cluster of dried leaves that had fallen from the adjacent oak tree, my hand was suddenly on fire. I had no idea what had happened until hornets were dive bombing me and chased me as I ran around to the back of the house and turned a garden hose on them. I was lucky. Total of only six stings -- three on one hand, one on the other and one on my shoulder. Later, when I looked in the tree, the nest was so well camouflaged that I had trouble locating it. When I did, I was shocked at how close I had been when I disturbed them. 

Two cans of Black Flag spray for stinging insects later, followed by the recommended 24-hour waiting period, we checked the nest. Still some hornets crawling and looping around it. We'll give it another spray treatment and try to get a garbage bag around it so we can get it down and, hopefully, smoother the critters. 

We need to make sure they are dead since a grandchild has said she wants to dissect it. We need to be extra cautious though as we know the nest can be active weeks after being sprayed.

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