|Posted by cameladventures on December 1, 2012 at 7:30 AM|
Winter is here. I know that because the cold bit through to my bones this morning as I walked dogs, crunching through the frost which left the whole landscape blanketed in white until lunch time. The sun is shining now but the temperature remains icy cold.
It's not all bad news. Temperatures below freezing will mean we can soon evict the squatters from our attic.
The cosy, and rather large, nest pictured above is home to some very aggressive and nasty characters known to the French as frélon and to us as hornets.
However, they are not hornets like any you would see in the UK.
If you haven't ever encountered a French hornet... imagine Mike Tyson, after a year taking steroids, wearing a black & yellow stripey jumper and you'll have a good idea.
As for the aggression... again, imagine Mike Tyson after a year taking steroids... but, in a really, really BAD mood!!!
These creatures actually cause several human fatalities each year here in France.
Darren did have a bout with one lone squatter in the summer.
It happened late one night, in our kitchen.
Darren was armed with a large can of 'Raid' but despite spraying half the contents at the creature (and all over the kitchen) Mr. Mike Stripey-Jumper just kept flying at Darren in attack mode.
Of course I helped - by keeping myself and Phoenix in the lounge while I poked my head around the door and shouted helpful instructions.
Darren did win that particular bout, eventually, but not before sustaining injury in the form of a nasty sting to his chin.
So, you can imagine our reluctance to attempt to deal with the nest before severely cold weather has either killed them off or at least made them drowsy enough to give us a fighting chance.
Today's winter weather has inspired confidence - the squatters' days are numbered. We have the equipment at the ready and for them, the end is nigh.
I am hoping it is only for the frélon that the end is nigh.
Some would have us believe the ancient Mayan calendar predicted the world will end on 21st December 2012.
That would be very inconvenient indeed, we have lots of plans for 2013!
I guess we shall just have to wait and see.
Que sera, sera - what will be, will be.
In the meantime..........
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas