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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, May 14, 2012

Industrious and dangeruos...

I've been down  with a wicked sinus infection.
I'm sure as soon as I walked in the door of my nieces and nephews house,
the virus bugs rubbed their evil little hands together and declared me 'fresh meat'.
The other drag of this is that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.
In fact I am sitting on the porch with my tea as I write, looking out at all of
the new growth, green and vibrant, watching and listening to the birdsong.
Yesterday morning I managed to pull my sorry butt out to the garden to
have a look at all of the weeds coming up.
Every time I bent over my head just about exploded so I decided
to clean out the little greenhouse a bit.
That's when I noticed it.
An industrious hornet working on the beginnings of it's nest.
Look at those amazing markings!
Normally, if this was going on away from a place where I don't walk in and out of, I wouldn't mind.
In fact I would welcome the opportunity to witness this marvel of architecture...
The amount of work which goes into making a nest of any kind is huge.
Chewing off bits of woods, munching it up into pulp and then constructing near
perfect chambers for which to provide home to your offspring.
Without thumbs or tools!
Unfortunately this one will have to go and find a different spot.
Hornets can be aggressive and my greenhouse is very small.
Hopefully it will find a new spot to build.
Then I went over to my deck in the garden where I have a large bell hanging and I
heard muffled buzzing inside.
A yellow jacket wasp flew out and instantly I knew what was going on here.
Up inside the bell is a tennis ball sized nest being built...
This tenant is not very welcome here either.
A yellow jacket nest can house hundreds of wasps and this being one
of the principal places I spend time in the summer, well you get the picture.
I think I will wait until the evening and put a bag around the whole thing and move
it somewhere where I can watch it's progress from a distance.
Some industrious creatures I do welcome as close to the house as possible.
On the way back into the house, I heard the stressful call of a mother robin.
I knew that the enemy must be close by...I had a look around and discovered
him safely napping in the house...
So back out I went by the laurel bushes to have a peek...
Well hidden beneath the boughs, in the shade I spotted them...

So well hidden it was hard to get a picture but here's a few snippets of the new babies,
probably only a week old.
 Mama bird was not far away keeping watch before
she flew in with lunch...
Keeping watch for the many dangers.
...and I thought babysitting for a week was work!


Mary said...

I love all of your photos, Kerry. I'll think of them, especially mother robin and her offspring, when i'm out this afternoon in traffic doing errands. Dream of being closer (much) :) to nature. I actually like wasps; i just don't want them too close to me. I tend to look funny when they buzz around my chaise lounge, and i run around with flailing arms like a crazy woman! :D Good thing we have a fence. I love love your pic of Reuben here! It's so adorable and typically feline that i laughed out loud. I want to show our Tennessee his twin!

Cobalt Violet said...

Wow, you have a lot discovery channel events going on in your neck of the woods! Very interesting insects but definitely at a safe distance. Love baby birds. I've been watching some nest building around my parents' place but haven't seen anything hatch yet.

Hope you feel better!!!

Sherry O'Keefe said...

what a great shot of your cat! (along with all the others). my parents just discovered a robin's nest on top of their ladder, which they need to use but have decided to wait until the robins are done with it. a few more weeks, perhaps.

Suz said...

I hope you feel better soon
Love that cat
hope the baby robins all make it

the wild magnolia said...

terrific photos.

feel better soon.

farmlady said...

Great post. I love the photos of the babies. Marvelous shots.
Glad your cat was in the house. Ours is an outdoor cat and she is always on the hunt for unsuspecting birds.
Love the photo of your cat.
Those wasps are a nuisance aren't they? We just removed one in the goat house and on the end of our rolled up bamboo shade. They're everywhere. I found one a while back inside a birdhouse. Geezz! It's hard to be nice to them.
Again, your photos were great. You really showed the effort they make to build a nest.

Valerie Brown said...

Bells must be a favorite spot for wasp nests! Every year (sometimes twice a year) the wasps try to set up shop in our bell - right by the front door! Luckily we're on to them now!