May 12th, 2017
The ducks seem to be becoming semi-permanent residents on our pond. The female keeps looking around the area in a vaguely broody way as though she is thinking about making a nest. I would have thought it was a bit late in the year – in any case I would rather she didn’t as I suspect Schrodi would “like” ducklings (not in a good way).
I went to mow the lawn the other night and noticed there was a medium sized wasps’ nest in the corner at the back. R hates wasps and was all for spraying it with Raid – I stood and watched it for a while and saw no evidence that there were any insects coming or going, apart from one large wasp which was hanging around the doorway. So I went and wrapped up in protective gear in case it was a live one (goggles, net, boots etc.) and pushed it down with a pole (don’t do this at home). No wasps – so it must have been there since last year. I did, however notice that the large wasp was still hanging about, and when I went to investigate the scene later on – sure enough, a very small nest was in the process of being built on the door – obviously by the queen. It was quite fascinating to watch – rather like those machines at the seaside that they use to make candy floss. Having said this, I am not that keen on wasps (I was badly stung on the feet a few years ago trying to find Tora in a wood) and we could not have a nest right in the door of our tractor shed. So I shooed her away, knocked the incipient nest down, and closed the shed door. Hopefully she will find an alternative site for it in a tree.
BTW – I can’t ever think about wasps without this sketch from Burnistoun coming to mind – Unnamable, Unimaginable Thing in my Basement.