Off the East end of the Silver Cottage row homes are a pair of very old, very large trees. They are also rotting from the inside and one of them lost a large branch in a recent storm. So the property owner is having at least one of the trees cut down. When I got home from work on Friday, they were well into the project. The crew was using a cherry picker to get part-way up the tree, then climbing from there. No safety lines that I could see. It hurt me just to look at it.
Saturday morning I was looking out the window now and then to check their progress. Early on I looked out the window, just in time to see the guy on the cherry picker drop his saw to the deck and start yelling and jumping around. I assumed the worst and was expecting to see blood and body parts and bones sticking out of severed limbs. But after a moment I recognized the motions of the "get the nasty flying insect away from me" dance. He was doing the dance like a scared little girl.
This blew my mind. This guy was macho enough to dance 50 feet above the ground with a chain saw, but lost it when he got stung by a bee.
The deck lowered, then raised 30 minutes later. There were two macho dudes this time, armed with bug spray. There was a nest in the rotted center of the tree, and the saw had opened it up. So they sprayed it to oblivion, then finished the cut from the other side of the limb.
I've dealt with bees and wasps before, and usually do it with calm grace. But I also know how much a sting hurts. I figure in the balance of things, the tree dude is way more macho than me. It was interesting to watch.