No, whining is not the sound I am referring to in my title ‘Sounds of Summer’. Though long hot days have a tendency to leave one feeling tired, which has a tendency to turn laughter into whine.
Still, I’m tired. Exhausted, even. But, I want to share something with you. I’ve kept this from you guys for several weeks, because I wasn’t sure how to go about sharing it. Plus, I’m still bothered by it. Truly.
See, some Bald-Faced Hornets decided to take hold of branch on a tree near our house. Although the tree and the nest were not on our property, the boys and I visited the nest daily. We were fascinated. And, by keeping a safe distance, we were never in any danger. Those hornets didn’t mind us quietly observing their activity. They were too busy taking care of their queen.
For almost two months, we watched the hornets. We listened to the buzzing sounds. We pretended we were the hornets as they flew in and out of the nest.
“Hi Mom! I’m home!”
“Bye Mom! I’ll be back soon!”
“Hey Mom, it’s me!”
“Bye Mom! I’ll be home in time for supper.”
Back and forth, the boys and I pretended to be the hornets. Again I say, we were fascinated.
One Sunday morning, a friend of mine was interested in exploring the great outdoors. I suggested she make the drive to our house, letting her know she and I could explore some land near our house. Though she lived an hour away, my friend took me up on my offer. Within two hours of my friend expressing an interest in exploring, she and I were headed outdoors, cameras in hand.
Before we went to the land of lakes, rivers and creeks, I took her to the hornet’s nest. When we arrived, I notice the activity had diminished greatly. Then I noticed a dark discoloration at the base of the nest. I wondered if heavy rain had drenched the nest, though that didn’t seem right to me.
While my friend and I were taking pictures, I found something in the grass. My heart broke.
Someone had taken a can of wasp spray and emptied the contents of the can on the nest.
I understand some people are allergic to bees. Deathly allergic. I do not wish bee stings on anyone allergic to bees. However, one might be correct in assuming that I wished the holder of the spray can was stung – once, twice or six times.
The barren nest still hangs on the tree; and the boys and I continue to stop and look, wondering why someone would disturb and kill something that was not harming anyone.
Below is a combination of video I shot of the nest – before and after the attack. Interestingly enough (to me, anyway), the sounds in the background prior to the attack are cheerful birds. Whereas after the attack, the sounds are the distinctive hiss of cicadas.
10 thoughts on “Sounds of Summer”
Our ecosystem is very fragile in ways more complicated than a trip to the store to purchase a can of spray. I doubt the perpetrator polarized on the wasps even heard what you all did.
Georgette, one thing that bothers me the most is the fact that I do not think it was the owner of the property that destroyed the nest. I cannot imagine a home owner leaving an empty can of wasp spray in their yard. Even if they threw it in an desperate attempt to run from the swarm of attacked bees… I would assume the property owner would return to clean up the mess.
With our ecosystem hanging in precarious balance, I’m troubled by actions like this on so many fronts. Like you, I can’t imagine the property owner destroying the nest and and tossing the can; it’d go in the trash can.
This seems like the work of folks excited by the thought of the power they can wield over “lesser” creatures. So sad. 😦
I think it is sad, too, Deb. And, I feel it is safe to say the sprayer was looking forward to see the ‘havoc’ s/he created.
I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of insects in general. Just yesterday, I was bitten twice by a spider (I think). Seriously, I look like I could be an extra on True Blood. Even so, this doesn’t sound like the sort of thing I would ever do. As long as the buzzies and creepy crawlies are outside leaving me alone I’m more than happy to leave them alone, too. And on someone else’s property? That seems… hmm…
It’s OK, SIG. I’m not a huge fan of insects, per se. I’m fine as long as I can observe from afar and leave when I want to leave. I don’t need to be stuck in a room with insects. Thanks, but no thanks. 🙂 Maybe it was the property owner that sprayed the nest. Certainly, it’s his/her prerogative. I’d expect him/her to pick up the trash, though. Who knows. If I see the neighbor, I will ask.
Not good. Not good at all. We had a wasps nest near our greenhouse and just left it, they weren’t bothering us and we weren’t bothering them. To use wasp spray (and chemicals, really) where there is other wildlife is present is wrong anyway.
I agree, Val. I’m happy to hear your buzzing visitors were able to live happily ever after, without bothering anyone.
I’m always amazed by the homes birds and insects manage to create, and find myself wishing I could see the work in progress, rather than just the finished nest. How do they do it? I’m glad you have that sense of curiosity and respect, too, and are sharing it with your kids. It could be that most people do, but as we learn every day in the news, it takes only one person to injure and destroy. The nest in the top picture looks a little like a broken heart.
Thank you for posting this.
I thought the same thing, Charles – regarding the nest resembling a broken heart.
And like you, I wonder how they build the nest. It is as if it is not there one day – then POOF! a complete nest! The building process must be interesting to see – and I wonder how long it takes. I should research that with my boys. By the way, we still drive by the nest – it’s as if the boys and I are waiting for the nest to come alive again. It hasn’t.
Glad you liked the post. Thank you for visiting.