A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Hooptedoodle #301 - Lack of Planning Permission

Suddenly the weather is good - there's evidence of Nature trying to make up for lost time. Everything Springlike is happening at once. The swallows definitely appear to be nesting in our woodshed - no nest yet, but a lot of activity - I don't suppose we could get our money back for the fake owl, but it has not been a success. No matter.

There is much displaying and fighting going on among the garden birds; surprisingly, it is those supposed symbols of peace, the doves, who are the most aggressive of the lot at present - they have been beating up the wood pigeons for some weeks, though they must be outweighed about 2:1 per individual. The deer have scoffed most of the tulips, and the pigeons have eaten most of the blossom and fruit-buds off the plum tree, so everything is as usual.

Paper sculpture - a bad place to build. Delicate though - you can just see the builder's
leg, and the start of the hexagonal cells. I would guess this is manufactured from the
chewed remains of an old railway sleeper we use in the garden as a ramp.
Yesterday we spotted the beginnings of a wasps' nest right in the middle of the window over our front door. We really don't want a nest nearby, and especially not there - it is, let's face it, a dumb place to build one. So we withdrew planning permission and removed it with a broom. It is possible that a little of our irritation over the swallows business found its way into the wasps' nest removal, but no hard feelings.

I don't like wasps. I know the excellent cleaning-up job they do, but their main function still seems to be to spoil picnics and frighten people - me, in particular. Their nests are revolting, yet fascinating in an Alien-like way. How do they do that?

Once removed and brought indoors, it is quite inoffensive - about an inch
diameter, maybe a little more. Seen from the outside...
...and inside
This very small effort was not so intimidating, so the Contesse took some pictures. I am intrigued that this short-lived nest is exactly - to the millimetre - on the site of a previous nest from about 15 years ago - we've never had one anywhere near that spot in the meantime. Why there? There was no trace of the previous one, it's not a great site by any criteria. Why would they build there? Is there some nestbuilders' checklist the wasps go through when picking a site? Does some ley line or something pass through our front door? Does this simply give a quick insight into how few wasps are really this stupid? - most of the successful nests (and we've had some belters) have been in the roof cavity, or in a burrow under the stone dyke. That makes more sense.

Well, sorry wozzers, you can start again. We may live to regret this, but we can't have a wasps' nest over the front door, can we?

11 comments:

  1. Excellent - starter terrain set for a Zulu kraal.. someone's telling you something!

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    1. Maybe - did the Zulus make their houses from chewed railway sleepers?

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  2. Agree about wasps. Don't like the

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    1. Bad beggars - no redeeming virtues at all, apart from persistence. Unpleasant attitude.

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  3. Not a fan of wasps either. Annoying blighters and I once had one go up my trouser leg as a teenager, hated them since. Know what you mean re picnics, lots of people waving their arms about, children screaming, not much fun. I'm currently battling Tiger Mosquitoes, they are not a great deal of fun either Tony as you don't see or hear them, I'm told they spit on you then insert a long stinging implement into you! Disgusting creatures, went into the Farmacia with pics of my legs on the phone and they all had a good laugh. Thankfully I'm returning to normal now with all the potions. I am now less scared of wasps.

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    1. Sounds bad - glad you're recovering. When I was 11, one day I was playing on the garden lawn in my football socks, and there was a hole in the toe of one sock (we were terribly poor, Yer Honour). Yes, that's right - the only wasp in the garden flew into the hole in my sock. Ladbrokes would have offered handsome odds against that one. It wasn't very happy about the experience, and made its feelings felt. Feet of fire - luckily my grandmother knew the old wives' rule for what to put on stings: "Bicarbonate for Bees, Winegar for Wasps!".

      Never forgot.

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  4. At least they had the decency to use a hex based system at Chateau Foy

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    1. Indeed - I guess it would be hard to fly with a ruler under their wing.

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  5. I generally am selective about where I'll allow Wasps to build. Recently, we have a persistent Wasp wanting to build inside our mailbox, she's made at least five attempts so far.

    Your builder was a Hornet I believe, which I won't allow to build anywhere near my house because of their bad attitudes

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    1. Wasps in the mailbox is no good at all - we never had that, but we once had Miner Bees building inside the lock on the front door, which made a bit of a mess.

      Interesting about the hornets - we don't get them in these parts, I'm pleased to say - our bee population is living on borrowed time as it is. I think this little Chinese Lantern is the beginnings of a wasps' nest - we get them in the garage and once in the dustbin, and try to get rid of them if we spot them.

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  6. Tony had a bit of a fat fingers moment just now. I meant to say that whilst the bees might make honey, don't forget it's the wasps that make sugar. I dropped this bit of hard earned knowledge into the ear of my eight year old grandson along with the relevation that the wonderful thing about snowflakes is that every one of them has exactly the same structure.

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