My back porch is sacred to me.
Nowhere do I enjoy being more, than sitting in my favourite chair on that porch.
Perfect on a sunny afternoon. Western exposure, bordered by a long garden. Sun + cold beverage + feet up = ahhhhhhhhhhhh. 'Nuff said.
Perfect on a rainy day. As long as the wind isn't howling, you can sit on the porch and watch the storms roll in. Enjoy the smell and the coolness of the rain without getting wet. The lavender I have planted smells especially nice and fragrant on rainy days.
When I'm at work on a beautiful day, I daydream about getting home and porch sitting.
I can sit in silence and listen to the cardinals singing. Or I can crank up my iPod through the outdoor speakers that Chuckles installed a couple of years ago, and rock out with my cock out.
Depends on my mood.
There's a long history of porch sitting here in America. There's an art to it. Everyone loves to porch sit. Even Mark Twain.
Our friends Sean and Andie are moving into a different house next month. It's pretty nice.
It's pretty large, has a HUGE yard, a fenced in garden, beautiful trees. Which one of those perks is the most important to them?
None of the above. All Andie kept saying was, "But it has a PORCH SWING."
Porches are important!
The back porch is my sanctuary. Anybody messes with my porch? I mess up their FACE.
A couple of days ago, Chuckles and I were parked on the porch after work. We were watching a giant bee droning around the eaves of the house.
I'm talking about a huge-ass bee.
These bees have been hanging out the last 2 or 3 weeks. They'll lazily dive-bomb you if you try to get anything done in the garden.
"Those are boring bees," said Chuckles.
Boring bees, eh?
Do they ambush you with calculus equations when you're least expecting it?
Do they show you endless slides of family vactions?
Do they prattle on for hours about their stamp collections?
Do they use really bad puns?
A friend of mine said that an image of bees playing golf was brought to mind.
People here call them boring bees, but they're actually carpenter bees.
Little fuckers look innocent, don't they? Especially against that poncy pink background.
Well they're not.
I've heard of honey bees. Mason bees. Killer bees.
Normally, I love bees. But wood-eatin' bees??
You know what I say to that.
Anyway, Chuck and I were sitting on the porch watching that gargantuan, slovenly bee, when Chuck looks down beside his chair and says, "What the hell is this shit? Sawdust?"
Uh-oh. Our relaxing afternoon of porch sitting had been interrupted. Chuckles turned into a bee-seeking missile. Everytime one of the fat bees would come buzzing up to the screen, he would watch it to see if it disappeared.
We knew that the bees couldn't be boring holes inside the porch, because it's all lined in vinyl siding with no cracks in it. Ceiling included. Plus, every time a bee would actually make it through a rip in the screen, it would just stupidly run itself into a corner and repeatedly hit the screen, trapped. They're not the brightest crayons in the box.
However, the porch is framed up with treated wood to support the screen.
Wood-chewin' bees don't normally bore holes into treated wood, but the wood is a few years old now, and spends most of the day in bright sun, so the treatment has worn out a bit.
It seemed we searched every inch of the wood, and still couldn't find a hole. Chuck sat back down but was still restless. Like a cat tracking a canary.
The bee suddenly disappeared.
"A-ha!" Chuck shouted, and bolted from his chair to see where the bee went.
He finally found the hole. Clever little bee bastards. The entrance point was chewed away just where the top of the screen door rested whilst closed. There was just enough of a crack between the door and the wood above for the fat-ass bees to squeeze through.
Whilst Chuckles was busy pissing off the bees by hammering on the frame (such a shit-disturber, my husband), I went to go look up what we could do about it. Like a good wife should.
According to the Gospel of Wikipedia, they like to bore into wood that faces the sun. They bore a single hole upwards into the wood, and then chew tunnels horizontally, where they lay eggs.
It seems to be a very bad idea to try to plug the hole. Since they make holes horizontally through the wood, this wouldn't do much good anyway. But we couldn't just let them go to town on it. My beloved porch would end up looking like swiss cheese!
Chuckles decided he was going to rip down the piece of wood above the screen door and see how far they'd burrowed.
It wasn't as bad as it might have been if we'd waited.
Chuck sawed the wood apart to see what they did to the inside of the 2x4. It was interesting, it was just like the illustration I posted above (click on my pics, they look better that way), minus the bee eggs. Hadn't got that far along yet.
Three cuts. You can get a pretty good picture of the damage they can do. Also of how dry Chuck's hands are.
They were also starting on a second hole on the other end.
Chuck said he's worked on old houses in Jacksonville that were completely infested with these bees. Gack!
He cut a new piece of treated 2x4 and replaced it where the old one had been. Good as new! I'm thinking we're going to have to do that to the whole frame of the porch eventually.
Bee-ware the wood-chewin' bees, they'll get into your house when you least expect it!!