Sunday, August 16, 2009
It was a beautiful morning to be in the garden. Ed and I both went out while the river valley fog hung in the air. We like to be in the garden when it's a little cooler before the sun really heats things up. Ed started cleaning up after the garlic and I worked on an iris bed on far side of the garden. "Whoa, something really big came down the hill , around the garbage can, and onto the grass. I wonder what it was?" Ed called from the compost pile. I went to check it out. The tall weeds were really crushed down were something had moved from the blueberry hill onto the lawn.
After we had been working for awhile longer I heard, " Becky, they're gone!" I didn't get it right away. "The hornets, the nest, it's all gone". I went to look, approaching with some trepidation. I'm not fond of bee stings of any sort. Sure enough, there were no hornets flying in or out. I could see no sign of the gray basketball sized nest. Scraps of gray hornet paper littered the ground.
I got the camera, quietly approached the hole in the bushes, and gingerly zoomed in. Only a little of the paper nest stuck to the rugosa rose remained. We have no way of knowing if the night visitor that trampled the weeds also ate the hornet nest. Skunks do share the garden with us and they are known to eat bee's nests. The wide path could have been caused by a bear or a drunken neighbor. The neighbor would have fallen over the garbage pail so it must have been a bear. We have never seen a bear here. If it was a bear, his timing was perfect and his manners impeccable. The missing nest and the wide path are the only traces of the visit.