Egg Drop Contest Entry
In the comment feed of my The Great Craft Explosion post, we had some discussion about a metal chickadee that was on my deck. It’s a really cool outdoor candle holder that Sean’s mother got me a few years back. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one that thought it was cool. A bunch of yellow jackets claimed squatter’s rights and built themselves a nest inside.
So…. yesterday, noting that a nest of yellow jackets in the middle of the deck probably won’t be appealing to prospective house buyers, I decided I needed to get rid of them. But the question was how?!?! In the past few weeks, I had noted that the yellow jackets had very little interest in stinging me. But still, it wasn’t something I wanted to tempt them with.
In January, Penn and I played a game of soccer using gravity as an opponent. And as frequently as I drop things, gravity is not always my friend. But with my yellow jacket situation, I joined forces with gravity and it became my ally. I slowly picked up the metal chickadee and then (not so slowly) threw it off the deck.
Boy, were those buggers surprised!
I wasn’t entirely certain about my next step, but I did know it involved a can of Raid. I waited for the surprised swarm to calm down, then I walked down the stairs to inspect the aftermath of my Shock and Awe Campaign. What I saw absolutely amazed me.
Even though I threw that thing off the roof of my house, it had impacted the ground and rolled across the grass, the nest was 100% in tact. AND the yellow jackets were back to work, tending to their eggs like nothing had happened.
The candle holder also survived the fall, but I expected that. It’s very solidly built. With the nest, I was dumbfounded. I expected total devastation. Yellow jackets, it seems, are marvelous engineers. I was so impressed with the handiwork of the yellow jackets and their work ethic, I aborted the Raid phase of my operation. I decided that I would let the yellow jackets live.
But obviously, the middle of my side yard isn’t the best place either. So I picked up their nest (my trust level in the yellow jackets grows with every encounter) and placed it in the woods in my backyard. And despite what happened the last time I picked up their nest, the yellow jackets stayed hard at work and did not sting me. They rule.
I can not state enough how amazed I am that their nest survived. Have you ever seen those Egg Drop competitions? The Blacksburg library does it annually for children, but I’ve also heard of college Physics and Engineering Departments doing it too. Basically, you aim to build a contraption that will protect an egg from shattering upon a fall. People come with crazy designs:
Egg Drop Entries at Colorado University (Photos by AMagill)
Egg Drop Contests always sounded interesting, but I never really knew where to begin in regards to a design. Now, I have inspiration…from nature. :)
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