They’re Out There…

This is the weekend of the winged and many legged creatures. Β And a little gardening. Friday evening I was in the kitchen and heard that pinging noise that means something is flying at a light. It fell, hit the top of my head, bounced off and landed exhaustedly on the desk. It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. I looked at it for a minute, then headed for my Guide to Familiar American Insects. I quickly found the Ichneumon Wasp. Yeah, click on that link, because it’s strange. I trapped it and opened the kitchen window to toss it back outside. It flew back in and headed for the light.

I went to close the window and outside in a spider’s web the size of my lower sash was a commensurately proportioned spider, with an abdomen the size of my thumb. It was just waiting. Maybe for an Ichneumon Wasp. No picture of the spider. It’s a large orb weaver spider of some sort. My mother would have cleaned the web away as soon as she saw it, but I thought it was kind of interesting. Now I’m just hoping that thing stays outside. It ain’t Charlotte, that’s all I can say. The Ichneumon eventually fell back to the floor exhausted and I trapped it and threw it out the front door. Then today, walking down the courtyard, I noticed this.



Haven’t seen one of those for years. Wasps flying in and out. I won’t be pointing it out to my more nervous neighbors, but I imagine its days are numbered.

It's occupants were very busy.

Its occupants were very busy.

I spent some lovely time in the garden today. Each time I go now, I’m cleaning up a bit more in preparation for putting it to bed for winter. I had a lot of weeding to do along the fence line. I dug out some of the Jerusalem artichokes, but none had any roots worth bringing home. This was a great disappointment, as I really enjoyed them last year. Still, I had lots more tomatoes,


Some zucchini coming on as well as some summer squash,


Lots of flowers yet,


Plenty of parsley,


And garlic coming up. This will winter over for a June harvest next year.


I did quite a bit of cultivating and loosened the soil up. I’ll do more later.


For now I’m enjoying another bouquet from the garden.


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30 Responses to They’re Out There…

  1. reocochran says:

    Bugs are fascinating and I try to tell people to refrain from killing them. Each has their place and purpose on the world.
    The wasp nest is so beautiful almost like a potter made it of clay on her wheel. The design was clear on your photo.
    Your lovely vegetable bouquets are as lovely as your floral ones. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oooh I love the wasp nest! Have never seen anything like that before! I leave spider’s webs too, generally. Funny how that kind of thing reminds us of our mothers. πŸ™‚ I always think of mine when the windows need cleaning and I ignore it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree the wasps’ nest is nice to admire—from far away! I once was trimming a hedge with an electric trimmer and didn’t know there was a wasp’s nest buried within it…..they came out in droves and were all over me, such that I dropped the trimmer, fell to the ground and…well, one whole side of my body was stung to a degree that required the hospital emergency room and weeks of treatment. Not a pretty memory.
    On a different note…I notice you refer to zucchini and summer squash separately….around here, zucchini and summer squash are considered the same thing…huh?
    Just love those little tomatoes!


    • arlingwoman says:

      What a terrible wasp story! Yes, the yellow ones I call summer squash. I guess they’re all summer squash, but the zucchini have their own name, whereas the summer squash…I guess sometimes are called yellow crookneck or something, but not zukes. Some of the tomatoes went directly into a salad. They were very tasty.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never seen a wasps nest in a tree before – here they tend to nest in the eaves of buildings or hidden from view and you only know they are there because of the comings and goings….. It is very beautiful! The whorls are mind boggling – now I have to try and find out how they build their nests. I’m not keen on wasps, look at what they did to poor Cynthia! But spiders I am okay with provided they don’t creep up on me and touch my body or try to get into bed with me – the last one who did that ended up flat on the floor!! Such guilt!! πŸ™‚ I shall come back later and follow your links when the day winds down. The garden has done well, though the artichokes are disappointing – I wonder if it is a seasonal thing with them……

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Okay, Lisa, I just have to say “thank you” for NOT showing a close-up of that very large and icky- sounding spider!! Or for that matter, any of the wasps! (I, too, had a bad run-in with a nest of baby wasps. Luckily no hospital stay was required like with poor Cynthia, but I’ve never quite felt pain like that and it lasted for a good two days.) I have a morbid fear of insects – and, yes, I have to admit that any found inside my house immediately become familiar with the bottom of my shoe. Color me guilty, but there you have it. And here you are with a guide to these eight-legged creatures! As for me, I’ll just stick to my deaf and blind, 16-year-old min pin, thankyouverymuch 😜

    On the bright side, glad you got out to your garden, and your tomatoes look delicious! Thanks for ending on such a lovely note πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I don’t want them in the house either. Some I toss back outside, some meet a quick death. Lots of bugs in the garden, but mostly I saw the cuddly kind gathering the harvest from flowers! (Derrick below takes pictures of honey bees that make them look huggable.)


  6. jennypellett says:

    That wasps nest is beautiful…I hope your neighbours don’t destroy it! I’ve never seen the type of wasp you refer to – must look it up later to see if we get them here in the uk. We get a lot of the stinging variety, particularly around August time – just when you want to eat outside the most!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I came back to look at the links – man that wasp is an ugly sucker – I do not like it Sam I Am – I do not like wasps Ichneumon ………. nearly a rhyme – would have worked had the thing been called Ichneumam!! πŸ™‚ [Dr Seuss would turn in his grave!]

    We have them here – apparently they are everywhere – and are particularly nasty to butterfly eggs and such like. Definitely don’t like ’em. I have never seen such a naked looking wasp though I’m pleased to say – and hope I never do!

    We have orb weavers too [I had to look it up as I am not that knowledgeable about spiders either] possibly not as large as yours or I surely would have heard about them!

    But I leave you today better educated than I came and that has to be a good thing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      It was pretty startling, but obviously not aggressive. I thought it was some sort of fly. It didn’t worry me the way the spider did. Yipes that thing is big. Glad you came back for a gander at the links.


  8. KerryCan says:

    Bugs! I like them but . . . not if they hurt me or mine. The wasp nest is truly awe inspiring–to think of the work that went into it. Do they all die in the winter or what?


    • arlingwoman says:

      I know they clean the nest and abandon it after the first freeze, but I don’t know where they go–There are eggs and pollen in the nest, sort of like honey bees. I need to look that up!


  9. Good for you, to not kill those useful bugs right away but examine first! I would not worry about the spider…her food is outside and she has no interest in your home. The wasp nests always fascinates me, they look so like alien space ships;0) We had an enormous one in our street last year…alas too close for the children playing there. garden looks gorgeous still!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      The spider is huge. I’ll probably take the web down after it freezes. The wasp nests do look different, too–I’ve never seen one that looks like this. I assume they all need different space ship camouflage!


  10. Anne Wheaton says:

    Wasps’ nests are beautiful, but I can’t say the same about wasps themselves. We’ve had a terrible year with wasps building nests under the tiles in the roof and then in a chimney not to mention at least two nests in the garden.


    • arlingwoman says:

      They’re very territorial. And having them in the house would be untenable. I’d be the first to head out with the insecticide if they were on the house. I hope you don’t have to deal with them next year!


  11. Eliza Waters says:

    That is the most beautiful paper wasp nest I’ve ever seen. If you wait until after frost, all inhabits will be gone (only fertile females overwinter out of the nest). Then you can cut it down and use it as an unique decoration or if you know an paper artist, they love to use the paper. As long as you aren’t near the nest while active you should have no problem with them. Here’s a link about how they abandon the nest:

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Robin says:

    The wasp nest is beautiful with interesting designs. I was happy to see Eliza’s comment because it means you can retrieve that work of art (if you want to, that is). The Ichneumon is almost as strange as the bug I discovered in my garden yesterday. I would have left the orb spider’s web, too. They go to a lot of trouble to build those beautiful webs. It always seems a shame to destroy them (and if it was IN the house, I would).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mary Tang says:

    I am glad to see your photograph of the wasps’ nest. I’d never seen one like it before and it is breathtaking. I do hope no one destroys it before you can harvest it when it’s abandoned.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m intrigued by insects and bugs and I love the look of that wasp’s nest. We have paper wasps here. They make small, honeycomb webs under the eaves and are fairly non-aggressive. They’re supposed to be good for the garden so I let them be.

    I wish you had a photo of the spider. We get extra large ” wolf” spiders in the garden every August. They’re brownish amber and the size of a quarter. They also like to move their webs so you never know where they’ll turn up.

    Your garden looks great and still producing. What a wonderful collection of cutting flowers and yum, those tomatoes look delicious.

    Are you seeing a strong cooling trend or will it stay warm awhile longer?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. arlingwoman says:

    It’s not a wolf spider, but it is huge. It may have gone. Wind and leaves have damaged the web and it hasn’t been repaired. I may brush it out tomorrow. We are getting quite cold this weekend–upper thirties at night and fifties during the day. I have work in the garden, but also a dinner party, so will do my best to get things done and stay warm. I chuckled at your wool coat for a night in the fifties comment on the other post! But it’s all in what you ‘re used to, isn’t it?


  16. That’s a prolific garden. And one heck of a wasps’ nest. I must admit, it’s a work of art. Just keep them – and others – out of your house and everyone will get along well, I hope.


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