There is beauty in wild things, but I have learned my lesson about letting wild things go too far.
Take, for instance, the wild things that grow in my garden. Those first green leaves that pop up without your ever having to plant them — it’s such a temptation to let them grow. Especially when you see the wild things growing and thriving about 10 times faster than the puny seeds you intentionally put into the ground.
But a month down the road you will realize your mistake when the wild thing has grown into a huge vine that takes over the whole garden plot, suffocating your puny plants, and by next August will have produced one or two nuclear-looking globes that may or may not be safe to eat. If you’re going to be a gardener, you have to have the courage of your convictions and wipe out those errant wild things right off the bat. Remember, you are the human and higher on the food chain than the wild thing. Plus, plants that you spend money on have priority.
So it is with bugs. I know that wasps and hornets are not people’s favorite animals, and there are good reasons for that. Lately we’ve heard about a creature called a “murder hornet” which is somewhat of a misnomer since hornets do not plot homicide, and if they did kill you it would probably be more like voluntary manslaughter.
People do their best to get rid of wasps and hornets, yet obviously we are not winning that battle since they come back every year. Even though I do not like to get stung, and I also have honeybees to protect, I feel a little guilty killing wasps and even hornets because, in their own way, they are wild things and are beautiful.
A couple of years ago I had an infestation of bald-faced hornets. We tried to wipe them out by burning their nest, but they came back with a vengeance a couple of weeks later. I was forced to buy some wasp spray, and late one night some intrepid friends of mine and I sneaked out there and sprayed the dickens out of the hornet nest.
The next morning, we peeked out at the carnage and found a beautifully woven Chinese lantern-like nest the hornets had created to raise their young. I couldn’t help feeling some regret about slaughtering the little artistic creatures who crafted such beauty out of wood pulp and spit.
Yes, there is beauty in wild things. But wild things can sting you, and when they do the admiration goes down the tubes.
Hedberg may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 983-2326.