Sunday, August 2, 2009

Into the nest!

I was doing some work in my back yard yesterday. I wasn't happy with the way I had done a panel on my deck, so I took it upon myself to fix it. Step one: remove old boards. Step two: discover wasps' nest attached to back of one board. Step three: freak out! Step 4: grab camera and take some of the most awesome macros I've ever shot.

Let me me put this in perspective -- it really was just the start of a wasp' nest, not a full blown barracks, with only a few wasps crawling on it. So it's not like I was putting my life in danger here. The nest was about the size of a walnut, and fully attached to one board. That made it really easy to position the nest in a spot that was easy to photograph without royally provoking the wasps into launching a nuclear attack against me.

That said, I STILL took my time and moved very slowly as I took these pictures. I was also a little worried that my flash would make them go berserk, and a couple of times they certainly looked a little annoyed with me. But I guess they didn't see me as a threat to the nest, so they left me alone.

One thing that I found fascinating was that the hive is shaped like a tree. I thought at first there was a nail sticking out of the board on which they had built the nest, but the "tree truck" was actually part of the structure they had manufactured. Who knew!

Alas, I have a one-year-old running around, so I had no choice but to destroy the nest. But not before I was able to shoot LOTS of images. Here are a handful. Click on them for larger versions, and MANY more of these little guys and their nest.

- jc

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