Sunday, August 24, 2008

Smaller Harvesting

Potter Wasp
(Eumenes fraternus)

Late summer (or early autumn) is upon us, and all nature seems to be preoccupied with feeding, gathering and storing. The shortening days and waning light are a clear signal that we should all be thinking about winter, long nights and deep cold, of harvesting, putting food by and filling our larders.

Amid all the buzzing in the garden behind the little blue house in the village yesterday afternoon, a solitary attenuated shape flew into the garden and came to rest among the garlic chives. It paused for a moment and then began to feed with single-minded intention and focus, quaffing nectar from every tiny chive blossom in turn before flying off to investigate the autumn blooming sedums and late summer roses.

One does not usually think of wasps as being beneficial visitors to the garden, but potter wasps are just that - beneficial, and they are (for the most part) not aggressive in their approach to existence and flight. I always enjoy watching them work and then finding their tiny jug shaped brood cells in the garden, each about the size of a marble and cunningly crafted from mud.

Learning more about these wasps is another project scheduled for the depths of winter when the wind howls in the eaves and snow is reaching up to embrace the rafters.


IndigoSunMoon said...

Your photos are always so perfect. This one didn't disappoint.
Your writings are beautiful, and moving. I'm very glad I found your blog.

Sky said...

brrrrrrrrrrrr.....this post made me remember the chill of winter!

such a treat to visit you. i love to read your enlightening words. i had never heard of these wasps.

Anonymous said...

They other day i was sitting on the stoop of my apartment building here in central Minnesota, and I saw the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life: a metallic blue colored wasp dragging a big dead cricket across the concrete steps and up the brick wall! Have you ever heard of such a thing? What kind of wasp is it?

Hecate RavenMoon said...

Blessed be.

I am a first time reader of your blog and I have to say that I am impressed with your enlightening words.

To be sure, I will be a regular reader of your blog.

Have a great week.