The Old Men of the Mountain column is my favorite

To the Editor:

The Old Men of the Mountain column in The Enterprise is my favorite — relevant, always well written with interesting anecdotes and commentary on our time and times before by a band of local elders who share their accumulated life lessons and observations that younger folks may learn and benefit from. All the more possible if they buy and actually read the paper or, better yet, subscribe!

The recent Old Men discussion of carpenter bees hit home as they, too, have been my nemesis the past few weeks. For all my life I thought they were just harmless bumblebees just buzzing around the purple flowering Ajuga. Four years ago my mom convinced me otherwise as those innocent bees I thought I knew were anything but harmless. Proof was in the exposed perforated house rafters. And so my campaign to eliminate them began.

Forgoing poisonous sprays, my fine-tuned thinking machine devised a simple vacuum removal procedure. I cut in two a plastic juice bottle whose diameter neatly coincides with a vacuum tube which I then mounted it onto, forming a make-do funnel. I found three of four tubes are needed. Adding an extension cord is a must for greater area coverage.

With patience I stalk the bees, waiting for them to hover in place. A quick thrust from as close as possible drives them down into the funnel. As they a reach the tube at the bottom, a quick flick of the wrist keeps them off balance as they are sucked in, making the most pleasant rattling noise as they go down the hose into the vacuum canister and their doom.

It is a simple method but time consuming as there are many misses as the bees are quite elusive and there are so many bees. But if you pursue them daily, the numbers diminish nicely. And taking breaks from the bee battle gives you an opportunity to mow the lawn for a while, awaiting the bees’ return for another counter attack.

My only disappointment with the OMOTM is twofold but related. Referring to their extraordinary group members as “Old Farts” [OF] I find offensive, not humorous and derogatory. The acronym for both the group and the members could be simplified to “OMM” as “the” and “of” can be passed over but understood. OMM is better said.

Ed Cowley




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