hornet-infested cuckoo clocks

This afternoon I dismantled the two bavarian cuckoo clocks that have welcomed visitors to our house for the past year and a half. I wasn’t entirely heartbroken about their demise- the idea I had for them didn’t translate and frankly they always struck me as more kitschy than quirky. And to think, at one point I’d planned to add cuckoo clocks to each fencepost in the front yard, haha!

Sadly, both clocks ultimately turned into bustling hornet condos. Most of the time we could tolerate them. But then last summer on warm days the hornets could get downright ornery. Already this spring, they’d moved back in. I didn’t want to always be worrying about whether or not Adam and Oliver Fern (or the mail carrier) would get stung so this morning I decided today was the day I’d show the hornets who the boss is. I got the back panels off both clocks without any problem (I wasn’t feeling like the boss, I was bracing myself for a 15 yard dash back into the house). Quite surprisingly, I was able to undo the handful of long screws that served as the cuckoos’ anchor on the fencepost…… without arousing suspicion.

As a matter of fact, I chuckled when a humongous fat slug tumbled out of the inside of one clock! That was unexpected! But I got shivers down my spine when after gingerly laying the clocks upside down on the driveway and peering into the attic eaves: Inside both, enormous baseball-sized papery nest combs. It was a warm, sunny afternoon but thankfully the hornets inside were mired in a sort of torpor. They sat there drowsily wiggling their antennae. I was going to shoot some close-ups of the nests to share with you, but by the time I came back out with my camera the hornets were waking up and getting a little feisty so I felt I had no choice but to douse them with hornet spray. Tonight, I bagged the cuckoo clocks and trashed them.

This morning Adam and I went for a long walk from Ravenna, down through the University District. Well, I walked. Adam scootered. Tonight, we walked with some friends over to East Madison for dinner at Harvest Vine. I had the venison and leek rag-out-something-or-rather. The founding chef of Harvest Vine, Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez, used to live in our block but he moved away. I never saw him not wearing his beret…..

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