Thursday, June 30, 2016

Studio risk.

  A single wasp appeared inside the screen door of my little studio a few months ago building a paper nest.  She just had one little bit of a hex for the longest, and just hung there doing nothing for days during the cool weather.  I wondered how this process worked and instead of smashing her, just let it run.  Did she eat?  Did she rest?  Would help show up?  She was there a couple of months, adding slowly to the construction.  Sometimes she would be gone for a whole day and night.  Finally, she laid and egg and sealed off a tube.  It hatched and there were two.  They both went to work.  Three, four, now six.  This started in late April and now here it is on the cusp of July.

  Red wasps.  All related.  I don't know if the original is still in the group, though I assume so.  A nest just outside the door was on the same track and schedule, but a bird or a bat took it before hatching started.

  I've taken care, propping the screen door back and ducking inside.  When it was just her, the cool weather and the repetition of experience,( I think), got her used to a little activity.  With two, the sting risk doubled.  With six, it becomes more likely and bends toward the inevitable.  They seem to excite each other, so that if one flips its wings into a ready-to-launch "V" and turns my direction it seems that others follow.  One of them actually buzzed wings yesterday, though it didn't launch.  I'm just 30 inches away.

  Though I like the risk of this, the thought of it, the danger of going into your studio, what art-making might cost, et...this can't go on.  The stakes are being raised daily.  Long ago I watched wasps attack my uncle RB at his boathouse, dipping and diving in repeatedly to get a quick grip, sting and then let go.  He was whacking them out of the air, but a couple got through.  They don't lose the stinger like a bee- they can repeat.  I sorted through my prop table and found the right glassware to put over the nest, cut it off from the door jam with a thin piece of cardboard and collect them for the Blackfork Bestiary.  Should have done it last night.

No comments: