Monday, 19 January 2015

They'll be back

Des res: An empty wasps' nest

I took this wasps' nest down today. It was empty and they had finished with it long ago and I couldn't help marvelling at the intricate construction. All those hexagonal cells made by creatures that many people would quite happily squash with a rolled-up newspaper.

The wasps build a nest in the recess of one of our living room windows every year. It's outside and even when the window is open, which it is for much of the summer, the wasps stay outside, too. Although I've taken down this nest, I fully expect wasps to build in the same spot this summer, it seems to be a prime location.

Some visitors to our house express horror that we don't take the nest down before the wasps have completed it in order to discourage them, but to be honest they're not bad neighbours and wasps perform a vital function in "the grand scheme of things" which is more than can sometimes be said for humans.

I fully accept that some wasps can be a nuisance, particularly when you're eating, and others have a painful sting. In outdoor tavernas, one way of dealing with nuisance wasps in the summer is to light a small pile of ground Greek coffee. This then smoulders away and, at least in theory, drives the wasps away. I have to say that so far as this customer goes, the smouldering coffee trick also comes close to driving me away, too.

There are well over 100,000 species of wasps and I have absolutely no idea what sort are the wasps who live just outside our living room. Whatever they are, they get on with their lives and seem quite content to let me get on with mine, which is largely the way I approach most of my life.

Finding music to go with this posting wasn't straightforward and then I stumbled across this little ditty, which I rather like.

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