Friday, 10 July 2009

writing, wasp nest, photo

So there I was, writing my new short story, when a voice calls 'Get your shoes on and come and see what I've found!'

Obediently, I set down the keyboard, and head for the kitchen. David stands at the patio doors, looking dishevelled. Unsprprisingly, really, as he's busy moving several huge boxes from the garage to the shed at the bottom of the garden ready for the cavity wall insulation team to arrive on Wednesday. (They'd arrived yesterday, but the surveyor had failed to inspect the garage, and therefore I hadn't been informed that the wall between the house and garage needed to be cleared ready for injection!)

As he had stacked some blue plastic baskets in the shed, he'd heard a buzzing. After glancing up, he fled the shed and came to call me.

I walked down with him, he wouldn't tell me what it was, I was guessing rats, mice, squirrels, he just wouldn't tell me. I soon saw for myself, and headed back to the house for my camera:)

You can see the blue boxes, and just behind them adjacent to the single shed door, (which we don't use, as you can tell from the ivy creeping in through it), is the wasp's nest.
If you look closely you can see a few wasps walking around quite nonchalantly.

They are fascinating objects, wasp's nests. When David was helping me clear out the loft about 3 years ago, we found a huge one under the eaves. It wasn't it use, so we dismantled it, and I took it into the junior school where I worked, for the children to see. The science teacher adopted it, and for all I know it could still be used as a resource! It was beautiful. All the different shades where different trees had been used by the wasps to form the paper thin walls made fantastic patterns in swirls.

It was incredibly lightweight, despite its size, and remarkably strong, though each layer was very delicate. Mother Nature has some wonderful things in her store cupboard. So many of us go through life with our eyes blinkered to what's around us. Yet miraculous things occur all the time, unapprciated for the most part. Like the humble wasp's nest. Truly beautiful, but hidden away by its makers. A remarkable feat of collaborative work.


  1. Its fascinating but at the same time scares me! I remember one summer years ago when mum had some top soil in the garden. It was just in a pile and covered with plastic. When she finally got round to using it, she found a nest of hedgehogs! 6 teeny weeny baby hedgehogs were there waiting for their mother to come back with food. It turned out she was going to the garden across the road for the dog food that was being left for her. Luckily its a quiet street and whenever anyone saw her crossing we would stand guard to make sure no cars ran her over! Mum couldn't use the soil until they'd gone.

  2. I would be very intrigued by an empty one and pleased to have the chance to study it, but I would be running fast in the opposite direction of the one currently in use!

  3. Baby hedgehogs, how sweet :)

    Strangely enough it wasn't scary! They were concerned with their business, and we didn't disturb them, so they stayed around the nest and didn't venture into the rest of the shed whilst we were there - it is a huge shed, as we joined two together, so there's room for both of us to share!
    Having said that, I shall be disposing of it at the end of the season, as wasps are not my favourite insects!!
    Another school can benefit from it, but I'll post some photos so people can see the beauty:)


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