First of all, thank you so very much to all who stopped by to help me celebrate my 8 years yesterday! Lots of great big virtual hugs winging their way across Blip-land.
Today came in hot and sticky. The dog days of summer are definitely here right now. I spent a little time outside this morning before I finally had to say "uncle" and retreat. When I first went out, the bluebirds were sitting some distance from the nest box, calling and calling, while holding food in their beaks. It seemed that they were trying to get the youngsters to fledge which surprised me a bit since they are just 15 days, on the very early side of the fledge-window. After about an hour, they caved and started delivering food to the stubborn kids. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Meanwhile, several days ago, my colony of Great Golden Digger Wasps started emerging from their burrows along our walkway (much to Hubs' and SIL's horror). These wasps are fearsome looking and quite large (females over an inch), but virtually harmless. The males have no stingers and the females are only known to sting if roughly handled or stepped on. Still, when a half dozen of them are buzzing around you, it can feel a bit unnerving. Of course, I got right down on the ground about a foot from one of the burrows to get some shots. Here is one of the girls with a freshly subdued katydid. Now, don't read the next bit if you are squeamish...
The female injects the katydid with a venom that paralyzes it while leaving it alive. She takes it into one of the nest chambers of her burrow and lays a single egg on it before sealing the burrow. The larva, when it hatches, feeds on the katydid until it is ready for it's winter snooze. Next summer, it will emerge as a fully grown wasp. Pretty freaking amazing, right? And is it any wonder that the katydid in this shot looks pretty freaked out?
I love nature.
Hubs and I are planning a quiet evening. Probably grab a pizza from the local place and continue watching Narcos on Netflix. Currently on Season 2 which is all about Pablo Escobar and his rise and fall in the Medellin Cartel in Columbia. Fascinating show.
Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for all the kind words, hearts, stars ... and most of all, for the friendships. Mmmwwwaaaa!