11 September 2016
Indian summer dirt bees.
In the summer's end, start of fall, the yellow jacket hornets rise from the dirt, like the zombies in Dawn of the Dead. They come up en masse, en swarm, and if you step on them, good luck with that. They love the cool forest, under roots and stumps, even in the mist and fog they're there once the light starts to change. Don't step on the nest.
Halfway through our loop this morning, Banksy first, then minutes later Gustavo gets attacked. We were in the middle of a long loop, 5 1/2 or so miles. I cut off the last section I'd thought we'd walk, because Banksy, reasonably tough forest creature that she is, was miserable, slinking along and dragging her tail low through the pokies, wouldn't stand still long enough to let me touch her back where they got her.
Gustavo's sadness induced paralysis means I carry him for a couple of miles, putting him down every so often to see if he feels better yet, enough to walk. He also won't let me touch him where they got him, screams and bites me with his gums when I try to pull out stingers, but if I hold him close in my arms and walk, that seems to make him happy. He's never in his life tried to bite me, but that's how bad it felt, the worst thing he's felt, ever. So I hold him as tight as I can, and tell him I'll carry him as long as he needs.
By the time we make it to the last little bridge, he's miraculously cured. That's about right, 10 minutes per bee bite is what I figure when they get me. Hurts bad. We head down to the creek for one last splash. Usually it's Otterpop they want, we've chased her down to the creek before, her running like a bat out of hell with a whole swarm attached to her ass. She knows to find the creek and dive in, usually gets them off. I don't worry about her, she knows how to handle tough situations.
Gustavo and Banksy, they don't know things like this, but it's ok with me they don't run off. We just walk along quiet and miserable, trudging along to evacuate as fast as we can. Bee sting wears off, and turns into an itch later. They don't know that, I do. I don't bother to explain it to them, how would that help? I know they'll survive this attack. Just trudge along and when it feels better, we stay down at the creek for a little bit before hiking back up the hill.
by team small dog at 3:19 PM