Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mother Nature's Tree Ornament!

Paper Wasp Nest…these nests consist of a single comb inside an insulated paper shell and are used only once. Only the Queen survives the winter.

Last weekend an arborist friend showed up as promised to trim some trees around the property. The Honey Locust in the back yard still held 6-inch diameter branches that had broken off when the tornado blew through our backyard in 1993. The wind was a straight-line which drove all these branches into a weaving of sorts in the top of this 60 year old tree. They have been coming loose and crashing down around the yard lately, so I hired my friend to clean up the tree.. He worked back and forth and carefully removed all those hangers-on. That tree looks great now.

He also trimmed the Basswood in the front yard; one whose main lateral branch was growing into the top of our Colorado Spruce. I was watching him out the window and suddenly saw him drop the saw and do a lumberjack thing with the bottom of his boots to scoot quickly down the ladder. Under the last vestiges of leaves on the tree, he happened to find this paper wasp nest. Guess who was annoyed that he was messing around their home with his chain saw? Luckily no one was hurt or stung, but he decided that maybe the limb trimming was 'good enough'. I agreed.

Despite his reluctance to see this as a thing of beauty, I love it hanging there outside my bedroom window. I lay in bed in the morning watching as the sun catches this orb bouncing in the wind from the end of the branch. The
lovely, gray-taupe colors highlight its beautiful papery swirls. I find the craftsmanship of this natural work of art to be incredible and am honored that these guys decided to work their magic in our tree.

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