Posted by: atowhee | October 14, 2018


Nature is profligate with life, millions of spider eggs to the point.  But nature is also adept at making everything serve a purpose.  You think yellow jackets are not useful?
Here is recent email from my friend Marieannette McCabe (calls herself ‘Mam’ in her notes) who lives just outside of Ashland, surrounded by nature’s happenings:
“Last week Mam was walking the field trail checking on her local wild neighbors’ activities and getting her daily exercise.
She came upon a clump of dirt that had somehow gotten into the middle of the trail.
She looked around and then remembered that this was the area where she had found the yellow jacket’s ground nest….The one she had intended to call the exterminator to ‘dispatch’.
This is the fourth nest here in nine years. What is amazing about them is that the yellow jackets living in this area trim their holes so it they are absolutely round and about 10″ in diameter. What is also amazing is that Mam has never been stung.
Well it isn’t really amazing……….she has just been lucky to have been several feet away when discovering the nest – so the ‘yellows’ never felt threatened. Josh, the helpful exterminator said that if they perceive you as a threat to their nest they emit pheromones toward you and that is when they chase in a swarm after you and thus defend the nest!
Here is the clod of dirt with the nest hole on the right.
Still the mystery remained; How did the clod of dirt get on the trail? It was not part of the nest.
Here is the inside of the hole showing the remains of the nest cone after it was raided. The exterminator said, “something got here before us”. The nest thief had dug out the dirt around it along with the clod. SOMETHING wanted to dig in and eat all the protein rich larvae……… You can’t see the few yellow jackets trying to rebuild the nest, but they were there..
Wonder who was after the tasty larvae.? Mam thought she knew…….. So she checked the trail cam and she found the likely culprits………
(See mom’s light muzzle above the cub’s eyes? Cub looking up to mom like a good, obedient child learning the ropes of life……….)
And so they go, Mom and babe (BIG babe) off into the night. They would have walked right next to the nest, dug the dirt out and then dug in for a few tasty morsels.
Bears love grubs. Mam has seen nature shows with bears ripping bark off trees and also turning over rocks to find moth and other insect larvae.”


  1. Nice idea to send this, but the pictures did not come through. Just says jpeg image………. Hopefully my lousy provider (Century Link – who replaced Quest) is the only one who didn’t transmit them. m a

    • no photos here on Sprint LTE either.

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