Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The meadow and the wasp

After a few luxurious rest days in Picton, staying at the palatial vacation home rented by our friends Hendrik, Eric, and Janelle, we headed down to Blenheim and across the country to Westport. Blenheim was a particularly nasty town, with no plant life within city limits, lots of shouting, scowling, and angry citizens, and little to recommend it. But soon after, we had some nice touring up a minor road through farmland and then up to the mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park. On our third night on the road, we stayed in the town of Owen River, which as far as I could discern, consisted solely of a single pub on an otherwise empty stretch of highway.

Behind the pub was a lovely meadow next to a river rapids with a shelter, hot showers, and toilets. Everything you could want from a campsite. Despite a moment of despair as we watched the only other tenants of the site wash their motorhome with a hose from the rain barrel that provided the water for the site, we soon settled in to a very lovely evening.

The site did have one drawback. The flowery grasslands attracted many wasps and giant bumblebees. Now as we all learned as children, if you don't bother a wasp, the wasp won't bother you. Perchance you've since questioned the truth of this statement. How does the wasp decide if you're bothering it? Does the wasp detect your emotions and feelings, and provided you maintain a calm posture, continue on it's way without interaction?

To investigate, after my morning shower, I put on my bike shorts without shaking them out. When I felt the wasp in my shorts, I immediately with good will and good intentions, sought to lower my shorts to allow the wasp to continue on its day without further disturbance. I regret to report that despite my positive feelings and my desire to set the wasp free, it reacted in a vengeful and hostile fashion stinging me in my groin. I must thus conclude that intentions notwithstanding, the merest minor disturbance of being trapped between spandex shorts and a thigh can cause a wasp to react in a most vigorous fashion.

Tomorrow, I'll be heading down the West Coast #6 highway to Greymouth. More updates as internet access permits.

This is my second post in a day. The first post is Pedaller's Paradise.

1 comment:

Nature Nerd said...

Hmm, you seem to have a pattern of insect bites in the groin on bike trips to locations with lots of sheep. At least it keeps your fans entertained.