Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A Change Is Coming

My life in appalachia a change is coming

We’ve experienced the hottest weather of the summer over the last week or so. But even in the heat I can feel change is afoot in the air.

Bugs are scurrying trying to do what they need to do-they feel it too. Bees are in a hurry and mad about the impending doom they know is waiting round the corner-woe unto anyone who gets to close to a hornet or yellow jacket nest this time of the year.

Fall is on the way even if we are still sweating.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 5:14 am

    You got that right on the Hornets or yellow jackets. A guy I work with got stung in the face this past week after he open the meter base the wasp nest was in it, swelled one side of his face, couldn’t see out one eye..

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I’m so happy that I’ll be back at my beloved cabin in only a couple days, soaking in what is sure to be more comfortable summer heat than what I’ve been experiencing in FL. I can’t wait to touch the earth in our garden, hear the bees buzzing, the creek splashing over the stones and relax in my rocker staring over the mountain tops…home sweet home, here I come!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    A couple weeks ago me and my dog
    both got inoculated (our arthritus shots) by a big yellow jacket nest of them boogers. I was working on my water at the time and stopped and poured gas on a nest big as my head thru a crack on the porch.
    I lit a weed and “poof”, almost
    caught the house on fire. (and me ’bout out of water!) But the
    jackets are gone! …Ken

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Ethylene’s poem is beautifully spot on.
    and – yes – even here in central Texas, fall is sneaking into the smell of the air, is peeking in with the goldening of the evening light, is whispering its coming amid the sounds of the evening
    Haven’t had as many wasps etc. as usual this summer. Perhaps the unusual amount of moisture in early summer kept their numbers down here. Sometimes worry that they’re challenged by the same thing (whatever it may be) stressing bees – – but have had enough pollinators of some kind to keep us supplied with tomatoes and bell peppers – not abundant like the squash – but just enough.
    Decided to look up wasps – after all, everything in nature has a purpose whether we like it or not – the following provided a good read about them if you’d like to share it: Check out the references at the end of the entry; it offers some good source material.

  • Reply
    Mel Hawkins
    August 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    It’s feeling quite “Fallish” up here in these Blue Ridges of the “Applechains”–the shadders are deep and forbidding& the leaves are falling like they know something we don’t. I don’t know what causes it, but something has changed our weather patterns from when I was a kid for sure. God or man (or both)…?? I guess the answer depends on ones political leanings.

  • Reply
    Otto Backus
    August 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Something strange is happening around here with all the insects. They don’t buzz any more. They all make a beep beep beep sound, but only when they fly backward. Think maybe the trash truck brought em?

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

    The last couple of days have been such a pleasure. Working outside to try to remove more weeds than I know what to do with has been easier. I love this new change; it just gives me a lot of energy and pleasure to be out and about.

  • Reply
    Teresa Atkinson
    August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    i take a friend’s son to meet his bus everyday and we have been talking about the change in the air as well. the light is different along with all those other signs.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

    The heat has been brutal here in Kentucky with eight consecutive days over 90 degrees. It’s the humidity that has me wilting like the vegetation. Fall is my least favorite time of year, but I’m kinda looking forward to it now.
    I asked Granny and Pap how to get rid of a hornet’s nest in a pear tree last year. It was the biggest one any of us had ever seen. I didn’t mow under it for weeks. A bunch of kids caught me gone out of town and threw bottles, shoes and rocks at it until it fell in shreds. I just discovered a new nest in another pear tree I’ve been mowing under all summer.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 26, 2014 at 8:47 am

    We haven’t seen yellow jackets like in the past. Roy usually has to walk the yard this time of year before mowing. We have burnt out as many as 9 nests in the front yard alone. Seems they have been dwindling the last few years.
    My husband absolutely hates the things. More than once he has left the mower running while he hi-tailed it to the house for cover. We could be looking in the wrong places this year.
    Our son just finally got rid of a big nest that had build just about his two door garage. They must like the buzz of the door. They had crawled up under the vinyl paneling. He finally ordered some dust with a long nozzle offline and puffed some of it way up under the paneling. So far no more yellow jackets. He has a large dog/cat free yard for them to build in and they didn’t. Plus a nice wild pear for them to feast on near the edge of he woods. I think this is a sign we are going to have a cold winter.
    We have had several really thick morning fogs. When we got our corn, we noticed that the husks were especially thick on all of it. We bought it along from different farm areas too, and different species of corn, didn’t matter all had very think husks.
    I still haven’t seen a Wooly Bear caterpillar. Have you?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Here in Brevard, NC, the temperature dropped on Sunday and is predicted to be cool all week. Lows in the 50s and highs in mid-80s. It is really nice!

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    August 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Well, I know for sure that all of the wasps moved down here to Florida.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 26, 2014 at 8:27 am

    A certain aura of solemnity and sadness settles over me as I consider the approach of fall. Although normally an optimistic person, one who seeks to see the brighter side of even hard times, I nevertheless allow my thoughts to turn somber when fall approaches. In that vein, I share here a poem I wrote about fall and the pensive mood it brings to me. I guess we all have that penchant to think sober thoughts at times, and fall has a way of bringing these on. I use as an epigraph to the poem a quotation from the poet Thomas Hood.
    ‘Old Autumn in the Misty Morn’
    “I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
    Stand shadowless like silence,
    Listening in silence.” (Thomas Hood, 1799-1845)
    ‘I saw old Autumn in the misty morn’
    Gray cloak drawn close against the chill,
    Recalcitrant as a stubborn child,
    Painting the trees on dale and hill.
    I saw her stand ‘shadowless like silence,’
    Mellowing shorter day and longer night
    Until the wordless landscape lay
    A canvas for shadows of birds in flight.
    And ‘listening in silence’
    I sensed quiet echoes of aeons gone,
    Passing sentinels of times ago
    Marching unheard–and autumns spent alone.
    -Ethelene Dyer Jones (written November 1, 1997)
    Even with the sad-toned poem, I still love fall, its blaze of color climbing our mountains, the sense of nature closing down for a much-needed rest, shorter days and longer nights, with the season heralded by “October’s bright blue weather” and moving on to November’s season of gratitude and praise.

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    August 26, 2014 at 8:24 am

    A yellow jacket nest was found in my yard last week. Although they weren’t in an angry mood, took care of them anyway as I don’t want to deal with allergic reaction to a sting. Agree fall is definitely in the air. The daylight is getting shorter and the mornings, even when warm, simply have that feel of fall. We, too, have had some of the warmest weather of the summer for several days now here along Lake Michigan.

  • Reply
    Gwen Trivett
    August 26, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Yellow Jackets, Wasps, and Hornets have been especially bad for us this year. Two hornets nests were built in the eves of our house, and several yellow jacket nests built in the dirt of the hill behind the house. I’m scared to go outside!! LOL
    Have you heard the old wives tale about the hornets nests predicting the winter? I forget if they are built up high we’ll have a bad winter, or if they are low we’ll have a bad winter. They are especially low this year, for the most part. Last year they were high.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Working in the woods in Autumn one of the worst things a person could run across was a ground hornet nest. Makes the hairs stand up on my arms just thinking of it. Now and then I’d have them make a nest just a few feet from my back door…one of the few things I would destroy without a moment of regret.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 26, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Tipper, all this talk of yellow jackets are making me itch. I got into a nest a few weeks ago and got about 20 stings. It took a little over two weeks for that to stop hurting and itching. I don’t want any more of that, for sure.
    Yes, I feel it in the air too. The light’s a little different and it’s cooler at night, like it’s supposed to be here in the mountains. My friend Saleh is wrapping up his garden. Yesterday I canned the last of the grape juice.
    I’m ready for this change. It’s one of the wonderful things about living here, the ongoing drama of the mountain seasons!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Don-I know why you haven’t run into any yellow jackets-they all moved over here LOL : ) Two different people shared their yellow jacket run-ins with me yesterday. Then last night Granny and Paul added to the list by sharing the bee run-in stories they’d heard that day. Pap told the girls a story about a man accidentally weed-eating a nest-not funny. But the funny part was the man had never seen a yellow jacket before and had to ask Pap what was biting him!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 26, 2014 at 5:57 am

    I agree. We’ve had some of our hottest weather the last couple of days, but the life energy level of summer is fading. The first planting of corn is drying on the stalk, but providing some runner support for crowder peas and a late planting of beans. Dogwoods are showing a little red. Jarfly rasping has quieted.
    I can’t remember a year when I’ve not had an encounter with yellow jackets – they routinely build a nest around the stump area of an old chestnut tree in the yard, but I’ve not seen a single one around the yard or in the garden working on corn cobs, over ripe tomatoes or the Concord grapes of our neighbors. They also like to build in banks alongside of hiking trails, but on a 16+ mile walk week before last, I saw nary a one.
    Have you seen yellow jackets this year?

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