No April Field Visit Report :(

Sorry folks. I didn’t get time to do a proper field trip this month, as I had assorted commitments each weekend. I had been hoping to get some good photos at the Narrandera Koala Count, but it was sadly rained out. I will do my best to remedy this lack during May.

I did post some fungi photos earlier in the month though, so if you haven’t yet seen those they’re here.

Meanwhile – please enjoy this very artistic wasp nest on an old garden gate in my garage.

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I have had people get very upset about the fact that I don’t bother the wasps that like to nest in my garage, but I figure if they stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of theirs. I like to see wasp nests around the place, as they’re a good a sign that I’m maintaining a healthy, biodiverse environment in my garden.

Many wasp species are considered ‘beneficial’ by gardeners and primary producers, and ‘bringers of terrifying doom’ by other invertebrates, particularly lovely squishy things like caterpillars. The reason for this is that wasp larvae eat caterpillars (and depending on the wasp species, assorted other critters, like spiders), and they get the caterpillars or other prey one of two ways; either the parent wasps lay their eggs directly into the host and the larvae develop inside them and eat them alive, or – like the guys who built the lovely nest above – they capture the prey and tuck them away in little cells in their nests along with their eggs, ready to be nommed on once the larvae emerge (possibly also while the prey are still alive, this is why wasps are terrifying if you’re a prey species).

So somewhere in that pretty nest are a bunch of caterpillars (or spiders or something I guess) that are no longer munching on my garden plants. Thanks friend wasps!

 

Edit: Bonus picture of some paper wasps on their nest, taken in Bowning the other week. If you look carefully at the lower right hand side, you can see some of the wasps just starting to emerge from the cells.

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