Saturday, April 28, 2007
This paper wasp, polistes exclamans, started building her nest just outside the front door today. It is positioned so that as I exit (or enter) the door, the top of my head is about 12 inches below the nest. I am shorter than average, so most people visiting my house will find their head closer than one foot to the nest as they enter my door; some taller folk will be at eye level. This arrangement would work well for discouraging solicitors, but doesn't seem like the best welcome for friends and relations.
The wasp seems annoyed, bordering on murderous, as I look at her and notice I can see eggs inside her three egg chambers. I grab the camera and start shooting: this heightened level of attention seems to be making her physically uncomfortable, so I stop looking at her for now because she is starting to make me physically uncomfortable as well. But I'm left wondering if she will leave us in peace as long as we don't make eye contact, or if we will have to take drastic measures to reclaim our porch as our own.