Vespa crabo and friends

Those who know would call our title subject a hornet, which along with its associate the verspula germanica or wasp; is one of the little known objects of Hurricane Irene”s wrath. And even though I am one of those who had incurred their wrath at various times ( since I suffer from  a pronounced allergic reaction to their stings) I feel a duty to come to their defense.

We in North Carolina suffered significant damage from Irene although ours was not as widespread as that in some northeastern states. Hard to tell that to the residents of Hatteras though. One species that was significantly affected was those of the stinging variety. The combination of wind and water wreaked havoc on their nests and in the words of  the N C Division of Public Health may have caused them to be very aggressive as  a result. That’s a real no brainer, huh?

Come on, if your nest  was waterlogged and then blown several hundred  feet from its preferred location, you might be in a bad mood also. So, for a while give these guys  a wide berth and please, if at all possible, avoid using the Raid.


September 4, 2011 Posted by | Weather | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moravian Boneyard

" God's Acre" at Old Salem

Sort of staying with the Saturday theme, this will approach the topic from a different perspective and maybe a more positive one at that. The place is Winston-Salem,NC or rather a part of that city known as Old Salem where  an old tradition will take place on Easter Sunday, April 4. It is a tradition that goes back to 1771, predating the birth of these United States.

This tradition is the Easter Sunrise service in  a place known as God’s Acre. In German the term is Gottesacker or field of God. It is actually a  burial ground for Moravians who lived in Winston-Salem. The site is organized by choirs; all married men buried together, all married women buried together and so on.

The site is the focal point for an annual sunrise service attended by thousands every year.My wife and I have atended twice. Our first visit was as  really young married couple while the second wasas chaperones for a rambunctious but wonderful group of young people who still have a special place in our hearts. Both times the service was quite moving and seemed to fill us with a great sense of awe and reverence. In spite of the crowds there was very little noise other than the musical communication  between the groups of strategically positioned Moravian musicians.

Since the service is  a “sunrise” service, one obviously has to arise  rather early, to make a bit of a sacrifice compared to one’s normal routine. That  plus the locale plus the local history of over 200 years added to the  fact that this is one incredible event that one is  celebrating made our two trips very, very unique and worshipful.

I  had actually attended a sunrise service around 10 years earlier while still in high school. That event was also very special but presented me with a unique “gift” that I have kept to this day. At that service  I was stung by some type of insect and came oh so close to going into anaphylactic shock. Yep, that is when I developed  my allergy to bee venom, an affliction that I still have some 40+ years later.

So, if you have never had the blessing of attending   a sunrise service, I encourage you to avail yourself of that  opportunity this Easter season. And, some day, I hope you make the trek to Old Salem for this event will show  you that our Moravian friends are known for much more than their culinary talents.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Christianity, Life and Death | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment