Yesterday evening I took the kayak out round the lake on which our house sits. It’s a little over two miles all round and, after just over half a mile, I noticed something hanging from a waterside maple. I paddled closer. It was this wasps’ nest.
It was more than a foot/30cm+ from top to bottom, it was hanging from a rather slender branch (as you can just see) about 12ft/4m out from the shore and its weight had brought it down perilously close to the water… It was hanging just a few inches above the surface. I suppose when the wasps started building it was 2-3ft/60-90cm above the water – not any more. As it grew larger and heavier it hung lower and lower.
There was a noticeable hole towards the bottom of the nest, on the side facing the shore, and there were large, dark wasps going in and out. I’d have liked to take a closer look but, to be honest, I didn’t want to get too near. And the wind kept blowing me towards it.. But I wanted to take a picture…
My knowledge of the behavior of wasps is largely derived from TV cartoons so I knew that if I got too close they’d all come streaming out of the nest and chase me across the lake as I paddled frantically to get away until I jumped in the water – at which point they’d all laugh and head back home. So I soon paddled away.
Still, it was a great thing to see – even if it may only take one thunderstorm to raise the water level and ruin their nest. And thunderstorms are forecast today.
UPDATE: Two weeks later I paddled over and took another look - someone's smashed up the nest. What's the point of that?