“R” Challenge: Residence (nature), Residents

Haunted House
Haunted House, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

residence for spooks
sporting indelible costumes
haunted house

Does this look spooky to you, even without seeing any of its residents?

This nest is a residence for the Bald Faced Hornet and was in my mother’s yard in her large Asian Pear tree.  It was about 3-feet off the ground and larger than a football in diameter.  When she told me about it last week while I was visiting her, curiosity motivated me to have a quick look and snap a couple of photos.  However, fear of having a painfully potent encounter with lots of small black spooky-looking things drove me away very quickly.  I have been stung before by yellowjackets and bees, and I’ve stepped on a bumble bee nest by accident – big owwwwwie for several days!!  So I decided to use Wikipedia’s photo below so you can see what the little critter looks like up close.

Bald Faced Hornet – Source: Wikipedia

Here is some information about the Bald Faced Hornet:

  • It belongs to a genus of wasps in North America called yellowjackets, but called a hornet because it builds paper nests.  It is not a true hornet.
  • Are large (greater than 15mm) with black and ivory coloring
  • Are common tree-nesting wasps
  • Are more aggressive than yellowjackets and other hornets
  • A nest can contain 400 to 700 workers
  • Will aggressively attack with little provocation, and anyone or anything that invades their space
  • Have smooth stingers, and will sting repeatedly if their nest is disturbed
  • Are known for their football-shaped paper nests
  • Nests are abandoned by winter and are not reused
  • Old nests provide good winter shelter for other insects and spiders since they are insulated from heat and cold
  • It is not considered safe to approach the nest for observation purposes
  • Their scary costumes and face masks are permanent!


This is for the letter “R” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.
Kim Klassen texture used – Providence

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51 responses to ““R” Challenge: Residence (nature), Residents

  1. How odd – I went out onto the front lawn this afternoon and found your haunted house’s mate empty and blown open by Hurricane Sandy! I wonder where the wasps are?

  2. You were brave to approach the nest at all.

    When I went near a bee nest at the back of my apartment block car pack, I got stung on the cheek and that was bad enough.

    By the sound of those hornets, they are really nasty little insects.

  3. You always come up with the most unique things to photograph. To often I forget about the smaller world but with your photos it brings me back down to earth. Thank you for all your nice comments and likes.

  4. Pingback: Story Challenge Letter “R” « danajoward

  5. I have worked around Bald Faced Hornets my entire career. When provoked they will strike like a bullet. Given the chance they’ll sting a person between the eyes. I’ve seen them knock a big, brawny timber faller right off a log. They are mean, nasty little creatures that definitely need to be avoided. Great picture.

  6. What a fascinatingly beautiful haunted house . . . since I nearly lost a dearly beloved to a wasp sting have always had a healthy respect for the species, beautiful homes or not!!

  7. Wise choice! I’m allergic to many insects and I have to carry an epi pen. When I went to Africa, my doctor made me bring 5. And I didn’t use one of them. I haven’t yet and I hope I don’t ever.

  8. This is most definitely spooky! But wow! It looks as though its been crafted from ebony!! Quite a stunner – if you’re into that sort of thing. Now i feel awful for saying that; it has as much right to be here as i do!! Lol great shot too 🙂


  9. And not much of a friend to the honeybee, I suspect. I remember yellow jackets when I was growing up in the States. Here, in southern England, the wasp is a bit more sedate but still a predator of bees…. Great post!


  11. It’s funny as a couple of these guys were getting a drink at one of the bird baths this summer and didn’t bother me at all as I refilled it..now I wouldn’t go anywhere near a nest..but it is amazing what they can make….Michelle

  12. Pingback: Nature Notes (#183)~ A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long. ~e.e. cummings « ~RAMBLING WOODS~

  13. You did a nice job with this photo. Yay! You were brave to get close. After having been stung by wasps or hornets twice, I am quite wary of being around those things. 🙂

  14. Pingback: Nature Notes (#183)~ A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long. ~e.e. cummings « ~RAMBLING WOODS~

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