The tarantula hawk in my Jeep

I really must be becoming an old hand because once this would really have freaked me out. You know what a tarantula hawk is? It’s an enormous wasp with bright red wings, very distinctive, and it’s said to have the second most painful venom of any insect. Curiously it’s not actually poisonous, but that’s another story. They say if you get stung by one there’s nothing to do but lie on the ground and scream till the pain fades.

They’re very common here. Fortunately they’re not the least bit aggressive unless you look like a tarantula and a female feels like laying an egg. Then you’re in for a very bad day. But lately there’s been a couple that seem to want to make sure I’m not a big brown hairy spider before they go off and do something else. Yesterday I slammed the Jeep into gear to keep one that seemed hell-bent on flying in the driver’s-side window from getting its wish. This morning I had one land on my shoulder, which is not as heart-warming as it may have imagined.

And then later this morning, between morning chores and the Monday water run to town, as I was greeting D&L on the road,…

IMG_0086
…this big ol’ red-winged wasp started flying back and forth past my nose, finally settling on a heartfelt desire to leave through the passenger-side window, which was mostly closed. Why it couldn’t have left by the driver-side window, which was wide open, I really couldn’t say.

So I had to lean over to the wasp and roll down the window to get rid of it. Like I said, there was a time when that would have freaked me right the hell out. Now it’s just part of the local color.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to The tarantula hawk in my Jeep

  1. George says:

    To see what it feels like to get stung by one, this guy did it on purpose.

    https://youtu.be/MnExgQ81fhU

    ago to around 10:30 to see the actual sting and aftermath.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    I guess that LB is smart enough to not mess with them as well? Or wasn’t he riding along at the time?

  3. Joel says:

    No, he wasn’t there. But in general he’s not upset by insects.

  4. Kentucky says:

    Maybe they like yellow Jeeps . . .

  5. maybe tarantulas are in short supply? maybe a hairy beard reminds the hawk of a hairy spider?

  6. Unclezip says:

    I’ve met those guys on the desert – sounds like a P-47 cruising by.

To the stake with the heretic!