Sunday, July 31, 2011


This week I'm going to a conference out of town. I'm just going to be gone 3 nights and returning the 4th day. Packing is not a simple task for me because I'm a worrywart and need to pack for every situation that has happened to me in the past and caught me unprepared.

For example, a few years ago, a group of us traveled to Oklahoma to mist net with Country Girl's parents, who ran their own banding station. As we all know, it is difficult to eat decent on a road trip as there are more places off the highway offering fried foods, than better-for-you fresh foods. If I'm not mistaken, we had breakfast at McDonald's and lunch at Burger King and when we arrived at Country Girl's parents house, we ate yet more fried and fast food. I was fine for the mist netting and the rest of the day, but later that night, all the junk food eating caught up with my sensitive stomach. I spent most of the night in the bathroom with things...ahem...coming out the "south end" if you catch my meaning. We left for home the following morning and it was a miserable ride home.

Another time, Danno and I went to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon for vacation and one morning I ate a breakfast item that contained a great deal of dairy, which is a no-no for someone like me, who is lactose intolerant. I didn't have my Lact-aid pills on me, which helps me digest the lactose in dairy products, but I figured I would be ok, since I had not consumed any dairy on the trip. Boy I could not have been more wrong in my assumption. Of course that was the morning we decided to drive into Sedona and went up and down several narrow windy roads. I thought for sure I was going to hurl during that drive, but I somehow managed to hold it together.

Zantac, Pepto-Bismol and Lact-aid now go into the suitcase with every trip and once I'm at my destination, I will take Zantac daily, whether I need it or not. There's nothing more miserable than GI problems on a trip.

Other maladies I've experienced and now pack for are headaches, backaches, blisters and sleeplessness. In go the Tylenol, Tylenol-PM, Moleskin and bandaids. I pack extra pants, socks, underwear and a raincoat to boot when I'm traveling.

I just finished packing here is a summary of the thoughts that flew through my mind at the speed of sound all the while running back and forth, up and down the stairs and under the bed, throwing things in the suitcase.

"Let's see, I've got my nice clothes packed for the conference days. I don't want to look like a slob. But what if everyone goes out to dinner afterwards? The itinerary said dinner optional. Does that mean I need to change? Good grief that means 2 changes of clothes for each day!"

Then I'm combing through my closet looking for dresses and skirts and then looking at the space left in my suitcase.

"Screw it. I'm still going to look nice enough for dinner. It's not the end of the world if these people see me in the same clothes for dinner. I may not even want to be social after 8 hours of workshops."

Then I begin to worry about the "driving day" clothes. The clothes that are comfortable for the hours long drive to and from the conference. No one but my bird friends are going to see me in my dress downs and since they've already seen me sweaty, muddy with bird poop on my shirt (and sometimes pants) I'm not too concerned with my appearance. This time I'll actually be clean and NOT smell! Two t-shirts and a pair of jeans are tossed in the suitcase.

Then I worry about entertainment for myself during the down time.

"Do I take my nook or one of the books Wewa sent me for my birthday? Hmm. I could take both. What if I don't like the book I pick? At least I'll have something else to read in case that happens and there are several books stored in the nook."


"Ohh I should take a crossword puzzle book and my ipod. Crap where is the charger for my nook? And my phone? And my camera batteries? And pencils. I'll need to take pencils and pens with me."

For the next few minutes I run around in search of my ipod, phone and camera battery chargers which are all found and placed in my camera bag. Pencils, pens and pencil sharpener are located and dropped in the bag as well.

"Hm, what am I forgetting? Oh! Notebook to take notes and my travel journal. I can't forget those."

I'm all over the place with packing because the next thing I'm worrying about is hats and hair accessories and how to pack my tube of shaving cream, which won't fit in either my travel case or in a ziplock sandwich bag. Ball cap, headband and ponytail holders are found and packed. Shaving cream is placed in a sock at the bottom of the suitcase.

My thoughts return to the electronics. I double check to make sure the power cord is in with the laptop, verify that I have extra camera batteries and memory cards as well as the memory card adaptor for the laptop.

I've packed my extra pair of glasses, face cream, deodorant, and toothbrush but no toothpaste. Dang I knew there was something I was forgetting to pack.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My addiction to Facebook

I have a morning ritual that usually involves Facebook. After getting dressed and brushing my teeth, I grab a bite to eat before sitting down to look at Facebook. First I hit the news feed to see what my friends have been up to over the last 12 hours. Reading the news feed includes reading and replying to statuses and photos, reading links to articles and blogs my groups (such as National Geographic or NPR) post, and sometimes re-posting these articles.

I do like the groups option on Facebook. Not only can you keep up on the news of the nationally known organizations of your choice (such as Smithsonian, NASA and the like) but many local businesses have thrown their hats into the Facebook arena giving you the opportunity to learn more about their events. For example, I belong to the group of an independent bookstore and they frequently post author signings and sales. And of course, belonging to the TV stations helps when you forget your favorite TV show is on and the station posts a reminder about that program ;)

Then I go to the "Games" tab. Facebook gamers know the Games page is the clearinghouse where your fellow game players put in requests for materials needed for quests in their games such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, Frontierville, Cityville and the like.

Then I hit my games Frontierville, Farmville and Cityville. While these games have very different settings, they do have some overlap. In Frontierville, the goal is to create a settlement town. Your town has an Inn, Foundry, Blacksmith, Saloon, Post Office and more. Of course you have your own home as well as crops and animals to tend. The game offers different quests, such as the series devoted to a couple getting married (helping the man find the perfect ring, creating a dress for the bride and decorating the chapel). Other quests focus on gathering components for a new barn or an addition to the Inn.

Farmville is all about planting crops and creating foods, such as pies, cakes and beverages. Farmville recently added a workshop where you can create fences, food for your animals, tractor parts and the like. You can obtain gasoline for your harvesters, experience points and mastery points for your crops if you buy goods from your neighbors as well.

In Cityville you are given the task of creating your own modern city, complete with hotels, apartment complexes, neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

I've often asked myself just what it is that has got me hooked on Facebook and there is no one reason. From the people perspective, I love being able to see what my friends are doing. I laugh and marvel over the humor and creativity in their posts.I enjoy looking at the pictures of their families, trips and every day life. I say prayers and try to offer words of support for those going through difficult times and I offer encouragement and praise for those who are in the midst of achievements. In essence I enjoy the fly-on-the-wall view of the daily lives of my friends.

I like to share what's going on in my life as well. Facebook is a place where I can share my passion of photography and my love for the birds and all things wild. Often times, I'll be working out in the field and be in the midst of a beautiful field of flowers, or holding a bird and think "Man, I've got to share this on Facebook!" and pull out my phone to take a picture, or download photos later from my digital camera. I want to share what I see, what I'm thinking. In terms of conservation and wildlife, I feel sharing my experiences is a passive way of teaching. It's a non-threatening, non-judgmental way of educating my friends and anyone who may be peering in, on the wonders of the natural world and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

In terms of the games, well, I think those satisfy my cataloging and collecting quirks. If I collect x-number of parts, I will complete this building, and if I plant and harvest x-number of crops, I complete this quest and get that reward.

So yes, I am addicted to Facebook. I probably, well, I do spend more time on it than I should but there are worst things to be hooked World of Warcraft. And I'm addicted to that as well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

War by Sebastian Junger

The U.S. has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan for over 10 years now and I've grown increasingly interested in this war. To be honest (and I know several of you are going to shake your fists at me for saying this), I find the politics of this war confusing, because I know there is more to this war on terror than meets the eye and I believe there is much more going on behind the scenes than is being reported. I believe there is a great deal the public does not know.

The aspect of this war that I'm drawn to are the men and women that are fighting on the front lines. These are the people carrying out the orders from the White House and they are the most affected by the decisions of our elected officials. I wanted to know the day to day life of our soldiers as well as the physical and psychological impact this war is having on them.

The book War by Sebastian Junger fulfilled my desire for that firsthand knowledge and more. Sebastian Junger, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and the New York Times, made 5 visits over the course of 15 months to a platoon in the Korengal Valley from 2007-2009 at a time when this was the most violent posting during the war. According to the book, "...nearly 1/5th of combat experienced by the 70,000 troops in Afghanistan was being fought by the 150 men of Battle Company in this outpost. 70% of the bombs dropped in Afghanistan were dropped in and around the Korengal Valley during this time period."

Junger covers the primitive living conditions of the soldiers (for example, no running water), the group dynamics of the platoon, not to mention the danger these men faced on a daily basis. He went into some detail of the soldiers constantly policing themselves. In war, there is little room for error or oversight. An untied shoe could trip a soldier during an ambush, thereby jeopardizing not only his life, but the lives of his comrades. A soldier who left a jacket behind in a village could mean that that article of clothing falls into the hands of a Taliban soldier, who could now pass as an American soldier and kill someone.

Junger ties in ballistics and human reaction during combat. Obviously danger is an every day fact of life for our front line soldiers but what I didn't realize was the initial silence of that first gun shot. Time and again, a soldier would be killed in a mundane activity, such as cooking or walking across the post because he didn't hear that first shot in an ambush. According to Junger, if the enemy fires their weapon from a 300-400 yard distance, that bullet will travel that distance in about 1/2 second, or 2000mph. In every case a gun is fired, the solider has to rely on sight rather than sound because the sound of the gunshot is heard a full second AFTER it is fired. The brain requires 2/10th of a second to understand the visual stimuli and another 2/10th second to react, and in that span of time, the bullet has traveled at least 30 feet.

Although he touches upon it frequently throughout the book, Junger spends the last chapter on the concept of Brotherhood that the soldiers share and few civilians can truly understand. This passage seemed to describe Brotherhood for me.

"As defined by soldiers, brotherhood is the willingness to sacrifice one's life for the group. Brotherhood has nothing to do with feelings, it has to do with how you define your relationship to others. It has to do with the profound decision to put the welfare of the group above your welfare...who you are entirely depends on your willingness to surrender who you are."

Junger is a champion to our military men and women and gives voice to the issues they face both in war and in civilian life. If you want to know what a soldier looks at in battle and get a glimpse at what goes on in their heads, I recommend this book. I have no doubt Junger will continue to campaign for the causes of our soldiers and our men and women of uniform could not have a better ally on their side.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Firelands, part one

Nearly a year has passed since Silverwolfe and her friends killed the Lich King. The heroes left the icy continent of Northrend after slaying the undead king and experienced a brief reprieve from the violence, enjoying the relative peace in their homelands of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdom on the world of Azeroth. But little did they know of the trouble that was forming beneath their feet.

A long time ago, the titans created the Elemental Plane within the Twisting Nether to imprison those elementals and spirits who tried to destroy Azeroth. This plane consists of 4 regions for each of the elements; The Skywall (air), Deepholm (earth), The Abyssal Maw (water) and the Firelands (fire). Deep within The Temple of Earth in the elemental plane of Deepholm, the Twilight Hammer sect was aiding the dragon Deathwing in his recovery from his last fight with the armies of Azeroth, hammering their new creation of elementium armor onto the dragon.

Deathwing awoke in late fall, erupting from Deepholm into the world above, leaving much destruction in his wake and creating a rift between the Elemental Plane and Azeroth. Elementals imprisoned for centuries poured out and wreaked havoc on the people of the Eastern Kingdom and Kalimdor. More specifically, the powerful fire lord Ragnaros ordered his minions to set fire to the World Tree of Nordrassil, a tree sacred to the Night Elves and the last symbol of healing for the world of Azeroth.

The druids of the Cenarion Circle and their Horde and Alliance supporters fought these fiery enemies and not only push Ragnaros' minions away from the World Tree, but managed to set up a foothold in the Firelands. The Avengers of Hyjal, a quickly growing group of warriors, healers and magic users, want to push past the gates of Ragnaros lair and destroy this elemental lord.

Silverwolfe and her friends joined forces with The Avengers of Hyjal and agreed to go in and clean house with the goal of eventually slaying Ragnaros. There are many savage monsters and demons that roam the fiery reaches of this plane and freely patrolling this domain was the hunter Shannox and his 2 animal companions Riplimb and Rageface.

The group was warned of Shannox and his pets and as they were to find out, Shannox was not only a big demon but his dogs were relentless with a penchant for mauling faces. Silverwolfe was given the task of keeping her paladin friend Sabie alive who was fighting Shannox and this was no easy task, given all the cruel tricks this hunter had up his sleeve.

All hunters of Azeroth use various types of traps to capture their prey or snare their enemies and Shannox was no exception. He frequently threw immolation traps that dealt an incredible amount of fire damage when stepped on and made the victim more vulnerable to additional damage. He also threw down crystal traps that encased the unsuspecting hero in a red crystal tomb.

Here an unlucky person is encased in a crystal trap.

Shannox enjoyed toying with the band of heroes and often involved his dogs in this game. From time to time the hunter would hurl his mighty spear for Riplimb to fetch. When it hit the ground, the spear would cause the ground to erupt into fire, causing injury to anyone within 50 yards of the weapon's reach. When the spear was thrown, Riplimb would break away from his enemy (his opponent being Silverwolfe's friend and fellow druid Catballou) to retrieve the spear and return it to Shannox.

Silverwolfe felt for her friends because while she was healing Sabie, she saw and heard the ravages of the dogs. Catballou was able to maintain the attention of Riplimb, but Rageface was uncontrollable, running from person to person, stunning them and knocking them down before tearing at their faces. Before long, Silverwolfe fell victim to Rageface as well.

Luckily her friends were able to keep her alive through the ordeal and managed to pull the dog off the healer. When Rageface was killed, Shannox got angry. He roared and called upon the Fire Lord to increase his strength.

Angsti, the priestess of Elune joined healing forces with Silverwolfe to keep Sabie alive. Shannox was growing weary from his multiple injuries, turning the tides in favor of the group, but the fight was growing more difficult as well, for the more damage Shannox took, the more frenzied Riplimb became at the sight of his wounded master.

When Riplimb was finally slain, Shannox screamed and hurled his spear into the ground, catching the entire group in a wave of molten eruptions.

See all those little fireballs in the background? Yeah, Shannox spear did that and the picture doesn't do the immensity of the fire justice.

In the end, the wounds inflicted on Shannox did him in and the group successfully killed the hunter. There are many more monsters to slay and powerful enemies to defeat in this place. But those are battles for another day. For now, Silverwolfe and her friends are recovering from their injuries and resting before rejoining The Avengers of Hyjal.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I swear they smell my fear

Well, I'm pretty much back into bee phobia mode. I grew up terrified of bees and for half my field work career, I ran the other way when I encountered a bee or went out of my way to avoid them. I would say I outgrew the phobia about 2 summers ago. I was confident around the bees and I didn't go out of my way to avoid them. But that damn sting last week knocked me down a few pegs.

I was out bright and early this morning to check nest boxes and band chicks. I had just pulled 3 chicks out of a nest box when a BUMBLE BEE landed on the box.

I inwardly cursed, but hoped by the time I finished banding the chicks, the bee would have moved on. No such luck. I stood there for a few minutes and watched the bee move up and down the box. That bee wasn't going anywhere. So I called Bug Lady and asked her what I should do. She suggested I grab something with a handle and flip the lid off the box in attempts to scare the bee off. I asked her if the bee would come after me and sting me if I swatted at him. She didn't think it would sting me, but she knew I was a bit gun shy after my sting.

I shoved the lid off the box and while the bee did fly off the box, it returned to the box and flew towards the top.

Crap. What if it went INSIDE the box? To make a long story short, after consulting Bug Lady yet again, I obtained a towel to throw over the bee but managed to get Stream Girl to swat at the bee with the towel. That damn bee would NOT move! So I ended up placing the chicks inside the box and drilling the lid back on standing back as far as possible. That bee was a stubborn cuss. It sat there the entire time, even with the noise and vibration of the drill, it would not move.

I'm convinced these bees can smell my fear.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dust Bowl Days

The weather here has been crazy hot and has me reminiscing over the trip I took this spring to Kansas, Oklahoma and a small part of New Mexico. It was my "Dust Bowl tour" and these were the states that were hit the hardest by the Dust Bowl. I've become a bit of a history buff, especially interested in the history of the American West, and any history on man's impact on nature.

The book "The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl" by Timothy Eagan inspired my trip. Back in 2000, I spent half the summer working in the Oklahoma panhandle and the northwest portion of New Mexico and Eagan's book mentioned many towns that I drove through that summer. I remembered the abandoned buildings that dotted the landscape along the long stretches of empty highway. Were some of those empty houses, barns and sheds remnants of the Dust Bowl era?

Last fall I started reading books, researching the Dust Bowl online and calling small town city halls. I wanted to visit and see any old houses or farmsteads that were still standing. I wanted to stand on the same land that was buried under dirt during those difficult times, to see what a homesteader may have seen over 60 years ago.

On my trip I spoke with a Dust Bowl survivor, visited several Historical Societies and Museums to read old newspaper articles and spent an incredible day exploring abandoned homesteads that served as homes during those dark days. I kept a journal and took a lot of photographs. Here are excerpts from my journal and a few photographs. To respect the privacy of those who owned the homesteads, I omitted photos of specific buildings but don't worry, there will be a picture or two from that day.

So here is the journal. I apologize if it jumps around but to save space, I'm limiting it to excerpts of the meat of the day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

...I headed for Hugoton, KS. I spoke with Ms. G.R, the curator of the musuem on the phone back in November and she sent me a packet of information. I went in this afternoon and introduced myself. She vividly remembered the Dust Bowl days (she graduated from High School in 1941). She recalled frequently shoveling dirt out of the house that was shin-deep. She remembered a time when the ceiling came crashing down because the attic became so heavy with dirt. She told me the ceiling did not have wood back then but were rather made of plaster. Ms. R said the house didn't have a basement, but her dad dug a basement under the house and they spent most of their time in that dug-out basement to avoid the dirt...Ms. R said Saturdays were shopping days when most people went to the Market to buy, sell or barter goods. Many people traded their eggs, cream, milk and butter to the grocery store for fresh vegetables. It was a beneficial trade on both ends because the grocery stores usually did not carry those dairy products and there were people in town who bought those goods.
I mentioned to Ms. R that I came across a dilapidated store on the highway around Woods, KS. She said it was an old gas station that was closer to town during the Dust Bowl Days. When it went out of business, a couple bought the building and moved it to Woods, KS but has since been abandoned once the couple died.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yesterday I went to the Herzstein History Museum in New Mexico and met up with the museum curator and her staff. The museum didn't have as much information on the Dust Bowl as I had hoped, but the photos and articles they did have were amazing. There was a display on Black Sunday in addition to other photos. I scanned a few photos and an article.

Photos from the Herzstein History Museum in Clayton, New Mexico

Newspaper clipping at the Herzstein History Museum

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yesterday was an awesome day. Peregrinus (Country Girl and her beau Peregrinus came into town on Friday night) hooked me up with a colleague who had access to several homesteads that were active and in existence during the Dust Bowl Days....Some of the houses were still made with sod!

Most of the outer walls of these houses were made with sod and plastered over with chicken wire holding the plaster up.

Some of the inner walls and ceilings of these houses consisted of thin wooden slates covered with plaster. Most of the houses were in some form of disrepair; holes in walls, walls missing, broken window panes, screens hanging off doors, missing shingles, holes in the ceiling or roof. But almost all the houses were in good shape. The barns back in the 30s (and probably 20s and 40s as well) were multi-functional, holding grains, farm equipment and sometimes even animals. The barns that housed grains often had wires supporting the walls because the walls tended to bow out when holding the weight of grain...

Most of the houses contained evidence of inhabitants; a table, a mattress with exposed springs, torn up carpet, a suitcase left behind, a broken telephone, even an early 20th century washing machine.

We spent an extra few minutes bird watching at each of the homesteads. I finally got to see Barn Owls again after 11 years. More than half the sites had Barn Owls that we flushed out upon entering a building. It was nice to see them floating on the air once again.

I spent a bit of time with Peregrinus and Country Girl birdwatching at a beautiful state park over the weekend and in addition to the owls, hawks, meadowlarks, horned larks and other songbirds, we saw pronghorn, big horn sheep (introduced into the area) and even a few donkeys. The homesteaders were drawn to the Great Plains for the fertile soil and their actions altered the landscape, but even so, I find this area beautiful.

I enjoyed my trip in this portion of the Great Plains, there is definitely an allure for me to the small towns. It wasn't unusual for someone to stop and ask if I need help when I was pulled over on the shoulder of the road to take a photograph, bird watch or read a historic marker, watching people wave and speak with each other in restaurants and stores and being approached in these same places to see where I was from and share their stories once I told them the purpose of my visit. I loved the personal stories from Ms. R, the various museum curators and the proprietors of the Bed and Breakfast establishments that I stayed in. I heard so many town stories I don't think I would have read in any book. Time definitely does seem to slow down in a small town and I wonder if the manners, closeness and overall atmosphere was the same today in these towns as it was back in the 30s.

I'm not finished with my Dust Bowl Tour. I need at least one more trip and I can't wait to go back in time to explore the past in this part of the states.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Natural Misunderstanding

Well last post was December 17th. How did THAT happen? Every time I go several months without posting, I swear that I will be better about blogging and it just doesn't I will just say I will do the best I can.

I had two interesting encounters with nature this week. Tuesday morning I was out on one of my prairies doing a bird census. Right now, the grasses and flowers are reaching their peak in terms of blooms and height. A good portion of this prairie has plants that are at least 6 feet tall and I spend a great deal of time wading through this sea of grasses looking for birds.

Tuesday morning I was walking through a cluster of Bee Balm. As I passed through the flowers, I noticed several bumblebees and honey bees but paid them little attention. While I don't plow through an area full of bees, I don't go out of my way to avoid them. Usually the bees leave me alone as I pass. But not that day. I was in the midst of walking through these flowers when I felt a sharp pain on my upper thigh. A stinging pain, as in a bee sting.

Not the actual offending bee, but probably his brother.

I'm glad there was no one around because I'm not sure I would have wanted someone to over hear the rather loud conversation I had with myself.

"Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow!" I shouted, wondering if I walked through a patch of thorns. But the pain persisted. In fact, it got worse. I looked down and found a bumble bee on my thigh.

"Oh my God bee! Get off me!!" I screamed, brushing the now dead bee off my leg.

"Ow ow ow ow. Holy $hit!!" I continued, practically running through the dense prairie vegetation as if to outrun the pain. Um, no. You can't outrun a bee sting on your thigh or any part of your body for that matter.

I slowed down and continued my bird census in a bit of a daze. I got stung! In the 10 years of field work of outrunning angry wasps flying around nest boxes and walking through fields of bees, I had NEVER been stung. NEVER. Even in childhood, I had somehow managed to avoid stinging insects. And now, the sting-free record was broken. In a way, I had prided myself in avoiding stings all these years. I got sunburns, poison ivy rashes, mild dehydration, an occasional back strain and endless mosquito bites but NEVER a bee or a wasp sting.

When I got home, I found a large red area at least 4 inches in diameter on my thigh. I kept ice on my wound and whined about it most of the day. The pain lasted most of the day but finally subsided by the time I went to bed. By the next morning, most of the irritation had disappeared and the sting site only hurt if I poked it.

Today I went out to the Ecology Center to set up mist nets for Monday. My equipment is kept in a small room in the office basement and when I went in the room to grab my bird box, there was a bumble bee crawling around on the floor. I put my equipment next to the door, grabbed a cup and a laminated piece of paper and warily approached the bee. I put the cup over the bee.


The cup vibrated, causing me to flinch with each angry buzz.

Now I had to slip the laminated paper under the cup.


Oh my gawd if I failed in getting this bee outside, it was going to kick my a$$. So I called Bug Lady. This is a paraphrased version of our conversation:

"Hey Bug Lady. I'm at the Ecology Center and there's a bumble bee in the basement. I've got him trapped in a cup but I don't know how to release him."

"Do you have access to a broom?" she asked.

I frowned as I stared at the buzzing cup. What did she want me to do? Sweep the bee out? How was that going to work?

"Umm no. But there's a shovel outside. Should I get something softer like a broom?" I asked.

"No. The point is you want a long stick so when you take him outside, you're going to knock the cup over with the stick and get your buns back inside."

"Ohhh. Ok."

I brought the shovel in from outside and stuck it next to the door and willed myself to pick the bee up.


The angry buzzing nearly caused me to drop the cup/paper and filled me with fear. Holding this flimsy piece of paper wasn't the best idea. What if this bee decided to attack and sting the paper? My hand was right on the other side! I put the cup/bee/paper on a nearby table to pick up a garden glove when somehow the bee slipped out of the cup and began flying around the room.

I don't think I ever moved that fast running out of the basement to the safety of the outdoors. I'm pretty sure I blacked out while running because one moment I was staring at the bee and the next moment I was outside slamming the door shut in fear.

He's still in the basement and with my luck he's in my supply box waiting to ambush me tomorrow morning.