Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bees - Another Story From Our Mango Tree.

She was sweeping the fallen leaves from under the mango tree outside the gate.  I was sitting in the porch with a neighbor discussing the next Rukun Tentangga event.  Suddenly she threw away her broom and was yelling and sweeping her face and arms and running into the porch.

Midget bees!  Miniature in size but aggressive when their nest is disturbed.

I quickly rose and went to her aid.  A few of them were still trying to attack her.  I tried to wave them away.  They wanted to attack me.  I swept at them with my bare hands.  Strangely they weren't keen to attack me.  They backed off. 

Obviously she had taken a swipe at what she thought was a bunch of dried leaves with the broom.  That bunch of leaves turned out to be a bee-hive.  I thought we were lucky she hadn't brought down the whole thing!  And luckily those stings weren't venomous.  They caused some pain and itchiness lasting a few days. 

I decided I had to get rid of them.  But not knowing how they'd react if I burn their nest, I decided to call the fire brigade.  The guy asked me what's the problem.  I told him.

They came in their big fire-truck and half a dozen guys.  First guy said to burn the nest.  Another asked me for a can of aerosol bug destroyer.  I said I don't have any.  He told me to go and buy one.  I looked at him in disbelief.  Anyway I managed to borrow one from a neighbor.

He sprayed at the nest liberally.  Most of the bees flew away.  Then he asked for some old newspapers.  He lighted them and torched the nest.  Then he asked for a pair of cutters and a plastic bag.  Then he asked for a stool.  He cut the nest and stuffed it into the plastic bag and handed everything back to me.

I asked him what should I do with the nest.  He said, 'Throw it away'.

The next day the bees were back trying to rebuild their nest.  I got myself a can of water-based insecticide and did the fire brigade thing on them myself.

Sometimes when they get in each others way, man and nature just can't co-exist without friction.  Pity.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Perth In The Spring

They said there's nothing interesting in Perth.  I didn't think so.  And I was right.  I came, I saw and enjoyed most of it.  Other people probably see Perth as something else.  Like the guy at the immigration who greeted me with, 'Welcome to Perth!  Enjoy the Casino!!'  I laughed.  I wasn't there for some luck and chance.  Gambling isn't my cup-of-tea anyway.

I was there to take it easy.  For a change of scenery and a feel of the cool crisp air of spring when flowers bloom and birds sing (and crows cawing in their Aussie accent)... and the call of the kookaburra in the old gum tree (nah... that's another old Aussie folk song I remember from ages ago) and the stirrings of sweet romance among our group of young friends thrown into the setting.  And the ever-present seagulls that seem to be all over the city, not just around the harbor of Fremantle.  All these blend in beautifully with the trip and is etched into my memory of Perth.

We stayed a few days to witness my niece's convocation at UWA.

We then traveled south in rented cars guided by GPS and stayed a couple of days in a farmhouse in Margaret River, an area famous for its winery, chocolates, honey and other farm products.  We had ice-cream at Simmo's.  We went to the Sugar-loaf Rocks and the Canal Rocks and stared at the in-coming surf and listened to the mighty roar of the waves from the Indian Ocean.  We were fascinated by myriads of colorful flowers growing on hill slopes and among the rocks.

We also 'crawled' our way into one of the many caves in the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge region.
Different people see different things.  And different people see things differently.  We see mostly what we want to see.

I was up and about one cold morning roaming along the perimeter of the farm overlooking a huge meadow.  An older traveling companion remarked that there's nothing here.  He saw that there's nothing of value growing on the farm.  No fruit trees, cattle, sheep nor crops.  Couldn't fault him for that.  He's a business-man.

He wasn't looking at the things I saw through my camera's lenses.  A lovely scene of fresh, green serenity on a beautiful spring morning.