Saturday, April 26, 2014

Work of Art from a Bald-Faced Hornet

 According to Wickipedia, the bald-faced hornet actually belongs to a genus of yellowjackets in North America, but unlike many congeners it lacks yellow coloring.   Instead, it is called a hornet in the American sense of a wasp that builds paper nests.  It is best known for its large, football-shaped paper nest, which it builds in the spring to rear young.  The bald-faced hornet is protective of the nest and will sting repeatedly if it is disturbed.  This wasp is more aggressive than most yellowjackets of Dolichovespula and the genus Vespula, and the nest should be observed only from a distance.

Uhmmmm - had I known this yesterday I probably wouldn't have been sticking my camera under the hose hangar in my backyard.  And unfortunately, since this is near a water spigot that I will probably be using daily to water my vegetable garden, it's going to have to go.  Or at least Mr. Hornet is.


am of two minds on this - while I don't want to be stung, this hornet "home" is absolutely a beautiful work of art.  Isn't it incredible how even a small insect can create something so delicate and colorful with only wood and saliva?  It's about the size of a tennis ball or maybe just a little smaller.  Most nests are much bigger than this one and oval-shaped so it makes one wonder - was Mr. Hornet was just making a condo for himself? Not only that but it appears to have a double wall for protection from the elements.  And I wonder how it's attached to the hose hangar! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

January - oh my -  you'd think I'd gone on a trip around the world it's been so long since I blogged.  Let's just put it down to winter blahs.  Now that we're having a few warmish days in between the cooler ones, my mind is starting to defrost.

Warm enough this afternoon after work to paint the front of this

a light blue.  Step one of getting ready to plant when I'm sure no more freezes are headed our way - can you hear Mother Nature laughing  as I say that?  I'm thinking succulents this year since it gets so hot in the summer that most flowers don't last very long even watering every day.

We've had the back yard polished a bit - three trees cut down and all the brush around the fences cleared - well mostly cleared.  So we're moving this from the mostly shady front yard

to the sunnier back yard this year and I'm giving it one more year of producing some gorgeous tomatoes and beans and whatever else I can come up with that my black thumb doesn't kill.  What's that old saying?  The fourth time is the charm - bwahahahahahaha!  We'll see what happens.

Two art retreats so far this year.  The first in January at Serenbe  - about 30 minutes from me - sponsored by Jenni and Tiffin and it was really a bunch of fun.  I was able to re-connect with a wonderful friend from Washington state and her lovely daughter as well as meet lots of great people from neighboring states.  The projects were totally out of my box so it was really nice to try some different things.  Then a few weekends ago, a friend and I took two classes in Cindy Wunsch's fabulous Studio Be in Nashville (I met Cindy at the first art retreat).  Be still my beating heart - what a great place!  There was art everywhere and her studio sink looked just like mine - totally splotted with paint LOL  There was also the biggest Goodwill store just down the street that had lots of treasures - so that was just an added bonus. 

And.....ta da......I repainted my studio over the winter, added a new table that I built (and Mr. Whimsey decided to "help" with) and FINALLY got some storage units that would keep my treasures from getting so dusty.  So here is a look at the studio before I goobered up the table with projects last weekend LOL

Well that about catches you up on me.  Now if we could just catch up to spring!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Cardinal Hotel

Yes it's snowing in Atlanta.  When I got home from work today the bird feeders were looking a little empty.  There were a couple or three cardinals as well as Carolina red-wings and finches feeding.  So I added some seed to our triangle feeder, the bowl on the pole, and threw some on the ground. 

Well - they called their friends!  At one point there were 13 male cardinals here along with most of their spouses.  Mr. Whimsey is out right now putting more seed out.  It's snowing like the dickens and since birds need much more food in these conditions to keep their energy up and keep warm, we're opening the hotel kitchen.  LOL
Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and warm!