I had a Jumanji-reminiscent encounter the other day with a wasp. I was trimming some botanical overgrowth at the edge of the property when an over-sized, chattering mosquito darted out from below and approached in winding circles around my head. No, mosquitoes don’t enunciate their buzzing quite so well, so perhaps it was a bee or wasp. Annoyed with the disorientation of mumbling in one ear, then the other, then the first, then the second, I walked away to the front yard. It followed and circled even more closely.
‘Well screw you!’ I thought and tried to waft it one direction and trot in the other.
It followed. It stung my hand. I ran. It followed. I have had bumble bee and yellow jacket stings before, but they were pure misunderstandings–sting, forgive, forget. Not this one. I never saw it as it managed to swirl around my head but never pass before my eyes. I ran around the house to gain some distance and dove for the back garage door. Shoot, I fumbled the knob. I could hear it closing in. Somehow I got in and closed the door with the wasp on the other side.
Anger-management classes for that one.
I had been little when I received the other two stings, and considering how much time I spend outside at farms and such, I concede that I was overdue.
I may never identify the perpetrator, but curious demanded I at least research if a person can distinguish between different hymenopterans. True enough and unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail published an article awhile back featuring a field entomologist that claimed he could identify different species by their bites and stings. I’m certain he’s not alone.