Mystery of the curious wasps

Hi everyone,

We have a table just outside our breakfast room and sometimes we eat out there. Lately the wasps have become a nuisance. They aren’t being aggressive but we clearly are in their way. They dart around us as though they are checking out our presence and feeling vexed about our intrusion into their territory.

I thought they might have a nest inside the umbrella but when I opened it there was nothing there. We’ve gone on eating at the table with a weary eye on our visitors. The only only structure near us is a small bird house. My sister Jule gave it to me the Christmas before she died. I’ve never hung it but for sentimental reasons keep it on the deck to think of Jule and because it’s a cute little house. The mystery was finally solved when I noticed one of the wasps size us up, circle our heads, home in on the little bird house, and fly in through the opening. Our bird house has wasps living in it. Not an uncommon thing in the animal kingdom, from humans to insects, to occasionally take up residence in opportunistic though unexected places.

So close to our breakfast room door it’s only a matter of time before we find a wasp inside. It will try futiely to return to this bird house condo, not understanding glass or why it can’t get past it. Unless I happen to find it and usher it out the door, it could wind up like the poem I published in THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET.


Bumping at the windowpane
He fought against the solid air
That held him as a prisoner there,
But all his struggles were in vain.

Never comprehending glass
Clear as air that stopped him hard
And blocked his freedom to the yard,
Repeatedly he tried to pass.

Eventually he lost his fight
And perished on a sunny sill
Facing toward his freedom still,
Wings awry in broken flight.

He had a name, Trypoxylon,
A small but vibrant living thing
Who came in by the door in spring
And in a day or two was gone.

(c) 2003 David L. Harrison
Originally published in THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET
Wordsong, Boyds Mills Press

The will to be

Hi everyone,

Two years ago we planted coleus in two pots. We’ve since replaced them with daisies, but the coleus are not to be denied. With help from birds and wind, this year we have a patio garden of coleus sprouting from the tiniest of cracks between paving stones. We were going to pull them up and re-pot them but have grown fond of their wild spirit. Anything that determined to survive deserves a little respect!

Down front

Hi everyone

The other night we ate lakeside and afterward retired to lounges facing the water to watch sunset reflected on the face of Goose Lake.
I guess we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the view. There’s always some joker who stands right in your way when you’re trying to take a picture.

Waiting it out

Hi everyone,

The other day my Internet Explorer disappeared so I couldn’t get into my blog to post anything. Yesterday IE returned from its little vacation. I don’t know where it went but am glad it’s back.

While the pandemic rages on we take pleasure in nature’s beauty that surrounds us. This is, after all, a bountiful time of year. Birds are going through three feeders of seed per day. The muskrat patrols our side of the lake as the last light fades from the day. Our band of randy toads holes up by day and serenades the females late into the night. Geese proudly announce their return to the lake each evening from neighboring fields and lawns. A robin downs its last worm of the day and sings from tree tops about what a fine bird it is. A pair of cowbirds come and go without a care in the world while some poor mother bird of a different species sits on the extra eggs that mysteriously appeared in her nest. A blue wasp lands on the lip of the fountain, crawls rapidly down to the water, and takes a thirsty drink. Purple martins swoop over our heads at twilight sweeping up their last snacks of emerging insects from the lake before calling it a day. Meanwhile our three-year-old hibiscus has gone through some kind of metamorphosis during which it shed all its old leaves, replaced them with new ones, and began blowing out blossoms again. We added two new hibiscus plants this year, and they’re doing all they can to compete, but the old-timer is showing the kids how it’s done.

I can’t go out to play these days. No book signings. No schools. No conferences. No speaking anywhere else. But the singing toads don’t care. The blooming plants don’t care. The honking geese don’t care. What they don’t know is how much they help me not to care either. We hunker down, wait it out, and take our coffee outside.