Of the old 'hood

I grew up in Alum Rock Park. I attended its day camp, swam in its creek, and walked every trail before I ever got a driver's permit. My transportation options were walking, biking, or begging for ride. At some point, probably around puberty, I stopped going there and switched to hanging out in the HS band room and various coffee shops.

Today, Tammy and I volunteered on a trail restoration crew in my old stomping grounds. It was good to be back. The other volunteers were great (Shout out to Troop 476, good work guys). I met a same-age woman who grew up not far from me. Our spouses were properly annoyed as we reminisced about the old hood.

The downside was that Tammy was stung thrice by a disturbed yellow jacket nest. Those little buggers took no mercy. Once one had taken a bite, she left a chemical scent that told her sisters who to attack.

Despite other members of the crew getting stung (some multiple times), I came out unscathed. Somebody speculated that it was because I have a Hymenoptera familiar: ants, wasps, and bees let me be.

We also saw a beautiful Jerusalem cricket. This little guy might be big (at least 6cm), but she doesn't bite or sting. I hadn't seen one before. I need to bring my field guide to California insects with me when I go outdoors. It'll help me look smarter ;-)

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