File this one under things you don’t want to see in your garden footwear. Ever. Under any circumstances.
No, it’s not mold or a dreadful case of athlete’s foot. Something even worse than that. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind ('”let’s just sell the house” said the LFG hubby fearfully) to fling said shoe across the yard so forcefully it whisked straight through the Viburnum hedge (below) and bounced off the neighbors fence. Which bumped the small yellow jacket nest loose. Yes, that’s right, a most ill tempered member of the wasp family had taken up residence in my muck shoes. Visit the link to find out more, way, way more, than you want to know about wasps, including pictures.
On to part deux. Urban legend says that this (below) is how normal, sensible gardeners store their footwear. Cuts down on finding twigs, stray children (see last pic), rock collections, long forgotten Easter eggs, or water in them. (Don’t worry, I just posed the boots this way. I usually leave mine right side up like a dope.)
And when one leaves the boots right side up, one should not be surprised when things take up residence. As I am beginning to discover to my dismay.
After shaking the boots vigorously to loosen the web and stamping on them for good measure, I ran upstairs to find my thickest wool socks. Thus endowed, I reluctantly, fearfully slid the boots on, felt no bite/wiggle/hiss in response and then went about my chores with a firm resolve to wear my boots more often, to bed even, so no critters had the chance to get cozy.
Thankfully, Alaska is not home to giant man-eating scorpions, tarantulas, gnomes, or the rats of NIMH. Otherwise this would probably be posted from a bed at API (Alaska Psychiatric Institute).
What would be the worst thing to find in your garden footwear?