Friday Roundup

Friday Roundup: Things Learned from Yellow Jackets and Holiday House Tour Updates

Crows at the MSV Invitational Outdoor Sculpture Show
Make sure you slip over to the MSV Gardens soon before these crows and other outdoor sculptures fly away on October 31!

We seem to be drawing to the end of our interior yellow jacket swarm saga at the Hexagon House. Things that have been learned from this experience include:

  1. Yellow jackets will burrow into your houseplants’ soil, cling to your radiators for warmth, find past holes in the interior woodwork, and settle in.
  2. Closing off the room of entry from the rest of the house mostly contained the wasps to one room while pest control methods did their work.
  3. In sufficient numbers, the swarm will set off the motion sensors in the alarm system.
  4. Yellow jackets will leave behind excrement on your walls. Luckily, the excrement is reportedly nontoxic, and cleaned up easily enough with a bit of light scrubbing.
  5. Dead yellow jackets in concentrated numbers have an overwhelming stink similar to dried fish food flakes.
  6. Even though the yellow jackets were contained primarily to one room, the cleanup took longer than expected, even with multiple cleanups during each die-off wave. Leave yourself plenty of time and have a vacuum with a good crevice tool on hand to get all the bits and pieces.

We ask you to still exercise caution around the Hexagon House exterior, as the yellow jackets are still in the area around the front porch. They have been well-behaved outdoor neighbors, but we do not recommend long-term indoor cohabitation.

Thank you all for your patience while we waited to announce our 2021 Holiday House Tour lineup. We are easing our way back into the holiday tradition with three homes this year, 25 West Piccadilly Street, 321 South Stewart Street, and 814 South Washington Street. None of the buildings have been opened to the Holiday House Tour before, and we are excited to share them and their renovation stories with you this year. We are also looking forward to renewing our partnership with Winchester Little Theatre to provide costumed carolers during the tour, and free hot drinks will be served on Sunday at the Bough & Dough Shop at the Hexagon House.

The tour will be held on Sunday, December 5 between noon and 4 PM. We ask that visitors come prepared with face masks and be understanding that they may need to wait in line outside the homes (so dress for the weather and wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes). We expect the group sizes going through the homes may be more limited in the size this year than some other years, and please remember to keep up your social distancing while you wait.

Ticket prices are set at $20 per adult in advance, and $25 at the door. This year we will not be offering single-site admission tickets. Advance tickets will be available for purchase in person at Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, and the Bough & Dough Shop at the Hexagon House, as well as online and by mail. We plan to have tickets available for purchase starting November 15; the program booklets may be slightly delayed, but online versions will be made available by November 15.

As you may know, the Holiday House Tour is PHW’s major fundraising event of the year, and we are indebted to our major sponsor the Bank of Clarke County, and our supporting advertisers The Shenandoah Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Lisa T. McCoig, CPA, PC, Colony Realty, Belle Grove Plantation, Summit Community Bank, Frederick Block, Brick & Stone, and Angel’s Roost Quilts. Their financial support helps us to produce our program booklets, tickets, postcard mailers, and other costs associated with providing this fun and educational event. Be sure to say thanks to our sponsors for helping us host the 45th annual Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop!