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August 17th 2009

    This time it is not a mole hole in the seed bed.  The hole belongs to a wasp which at first glance looks to be about the size of an Apache Helicopter.  She currently cruises in what I believe is a defensive posture above the tilled soil and her burrow interrupts that nice straight line which I hope might become fall beetroot.

    When I saw the hole I felt ancient antipathy return.  My immediate instinct was to beat my chest and crow in that partisan way.  I pictured myself gathering my own huntress into the fold of the vegetable garden and pointing at yet more evidence in support of a return to the concept of permanent solution to the issue of moles.  Extraordinary though it sounds, I felt elated. 

 

    

    Luckily, before leaping back into the political morass that is the mole barrier, a wasp emerged from the hole and proceeded to tidy up a little around the entry way to what was her burrow.  When she slowly took to the air, hovered a while and then merged with the tomato vines I found myself in awe of her.  Which I thought an unusual reaction because when stung by members of her category of creature I become like a barrage balloon.

     In the literature she is called 'Cicada Killer'.  I understand the appearance of warrior in her slow and deliberate movement.  I have grudgingly accepted the choice of cicada as a food source for her young.   But in my view 'Cicada Killer' does not do her justice.  The title misuses something in my imagination and I find my self thinking that were she a bird she would be called a 'Cicada Catcher'.  And, along with others I am sure, I would be happier to think of her as such.

     And yes, I recognize tragic symptoms of having been roundly wooed by yet one more flying creature. 

tim candler

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(Cicada Killer)  (Stag horn sumac)   (Smooth Sumac)