The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bad day on the farm!

Monday I mowed the yard and started weed eating but ran out of string and couldn't get the head off the weed eater to replace the string. Had to wait for husband to come home so he could do it for me. By that time it was too late to do any more so I decided to do it on Tuesday morning.

After feeding the boys and cleaning the barn I got my tall rubber boots on, didn't want to run into a copperhead while mowing along the creek. Didn't have to worry about that!

I finished around the house started along the fence by the back of the house. When I got to the end of the yard I started around behind the propane tank.  The tank sits about 3 feet below a hill that runs up the the fence. There are two lilac bushes, a spice bush and some Peony's along the hills edge right behind the tank. I had weed eated right behind the tank at ground level and started from the Peony's up on the bank cutting the tall weeds. I felt the string hit the trunk of the smaller lilac bush....THEN...
I see a black cloud appear and time seemed to sound nothing but this black cloud.... HORNETS!!! The black cloud was hornets right in front of me about chest level, OK I must have run but I don't remember. I was at the end of the garden about 20 feet away and was being stung, a lot! I was trying to get the snap unhooked from the weedeater that was still running, finally got it off. I didn't through it on the ground but laid it down gently being stung the whole time????? I should have thrown it down and run! 15 more feet away from the still running weedeater, finally got the stinging hornets off me, turned to see where the rest of them were. Thank goodness for the propane tank, I couldn't believe it the hornets were attacking it. I grabbed the weedeater, shut it off and made a WIDE circle away from the garden, actually I was in the road walking to the other side of the house to see just how bad they got me.
this is what stung me, bald faced hornets....(picture taken from the internet)
I knew they stung my elbow, little finger, leg and stomach but how many times I didn't know. Talk about stinging, burning and itching....Holy Cow!!!! Put the weedeater on the patio went inside to strip off my clothing that was covered with grass and stuck to my skin because I was sweating,  OUCH!!!
This is what I saw when I looked out the window after about 20 minutes, they were still after the tank. Damned mean hornets!!!
I counted 5 stings but there were two more I over looked. I got stung three times on my elbow. I couldn't find the Benadryl then remembered that I had given the last two to Petey when he got snake bit!!! But I did have some generic severe sinus and allergy meds, looked at the ingredients and it was the same as Benadryl. I took two! Then hit the shower, a very painful shower! Thank goodness they didn't sting me back or my face.....I am REAL lucky that 7 stings is all I got with the amount of hornets that must be in that nest; the nest is larger than a riding helmet!!!!!

Another scary thing is I have been mowing with the big riding mower right past that nest on the hill and have come so close to hitting it with the blower guard on the mower!

  Yesterday there was a very large purple spot on the side of my finger right between the first and second joint in that finger. There is a large red spot around the top of my hand and around me thumb too.
My arm and elbow are really swollen and you can see the red where the poison has spread. I have put Benadryl cream on the stings, something called SkeeterStick and an herbal spray and still the itching is driving me CRAZY!!!! Where the redness is it's pretty hot too. I read that hornets sting is like a mix of honey bee and wasp......Holy Crap...This is my first hornet sting and I hope I never hit one of these nests again. I thought yellow jackets sting was bad.....this is about 4 times more painful and itchy!!!!

I'll tell you what, from now on when I am running the weedeater I am really going to scout out bushes and overhanging trees and look for these gray nests. I do have to admit that the hornets are beautiful a black and ivory body and the nest has the most beautiful swirls and silvery colorings I have ever seen but I think that I prefer to see them on the internet......definitely NOT in person!!!


Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Oh Jane, I am so sorry! There is nothing worse. I'm glad you weren't more seriously stung. I'm deathly allergic to hornets and yellow jackets and carry an epi-pen with me always in case I'm stung by one.

You are right, their nests are beautiful. We had a friend who would take old hornets nests and make lamps out of them.

Anonymous said...

Ouch - poor you! We've never had trouble with the bald-faced hornets - they come and scrape the wood from our patio chairs while we're sitting there. I'll bet they're protective of their nests, though. The ones we have trouble with are the tiny black and yellow fast ones that live in the ground - those ones will mob you - and the ones that live inside light fixtures, metal gates, electrical outlets, etc. - the ones that nest under the eaves are pretty placid. Hope those sore spots feel better soon!

Jeni said...

WOW !!!! OUCH!! That completely sucks! Those little monsters are MEAN !!! I hope the poison works it way out soon and you find some relief.


Jacque. said...

ohmygosh, I would have died of fright, for sure! I hope it all goes away and you feel better soon!

Paint Girl said...

Oh goodness! I am so sorry those nasty hornets stung you! I have never been stung by a bee, and I really don't ever want to be stung! I can feel your pain by just looking at your arm. Hope you are feeling better soon!

allhorsestuff said...

OH Man...I am hurting for you!
Those look wicked for sure Jane!

I actually hunt down those things when they are JUST beginning to build the nest... I can't abide them around me so I hunt them down and foil the plans!
Maybe ambush the nest at dark!

Leah Fry said...

So glad you were not stung even more and that you had the quick wits to scout up the generic allergy meds. Very close call.

Unknown said...

OWW! They are bad this year.
I got stung four times in two days. The first time if I was allergic to bees I would have got the darwinism award for stupidest death. There were bees at the back door where I bring the horses in when I work them and so I got that foam stuff that fills up their nest so they can't get out. I foamed it and then stood there making sure they were dead like an idiot. A lone bee came up where I was standing about 10 feet away, must have seen his fallen comrades and mauled my ear. He got me once near my earring on my cartilage and a second time inside my ear. I high tailed it out of there and went into the house where my ear proceeded to swell twice it's size in 15 minutes. Good thing I am not allergic like my dad.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Yikes! I hate those things. There's nothing like a mean hornet stinging away and they do hurt awfully. Hope you heal quickly.

jane augenstein said...

Thanks everyone, the nest is all quite now since husband sprayed hornet killer on the last night. I really hated doing that but they were right by where I mow weekly and the propane tank is. When the man comes to fill the tank he usually blows off some of it and the hornets might have come after him, not good.

My elbow and little finger are still really hurting and seem to be a little more swollen if that's possible! And the itching, holy moly, it's driving me nuts! I have tried everything to make it stop itching but nothing is helping. Man I hope I never run into hornets again!!!!

Anonymous said...

OH MY!!! Glad you didn't get any more stings. Next time, just drop the weed eater and RUN!! Or is it drop and roll?? I hate bees, wasps, hornets. They can be a real pain! Keep us updated! Julie

Desert Rose said...

wow...I think the only way it could have been worse is if you were riding when you were attacked! I haven't been stung in years...but I do seem to get spider bites quite regularly and they cause a very simular reaction with me!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

OH my goodness, Jane! How horrible! Such mean, evil creatures. Yes, good thing you weren't riding when they attacked. That could have been dangerous!

And I'm glad you're not allergic, too. Poor thing, you must be hurting so bad. Did you try using some triple antibiotic plus ointment, too? The plus is extra medication to remove pain. Maybe it would work on the stung areas, too, and give you some relief.

If we had hornets here, I'd have my husband out spraying the wasp and hornet poison on everthing! gah!

Feel better soon, k? Sending you healing wishes.



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