Ted’s essays

Ma Nature to the rescue

With a year-round creek running through our yard we do have a wasp infestation problem. It was overwhelming with nests all over our house, out buildings, just about any structure in our yard, and the barn/shop rafters were full of them. We hired professional big guns to bring some level of balance to the situation.

I put out some wasp traps as soon as the insects began to move this spring (that is supposed to get the queens before they start reproducing), but the intended targets just laughed at me. We scheduled a date for the eradicators next month. As much as I dislike chemicals, I like even less being assaulted as I go about my daily business.

This week among the returning birds were these I thought were swallows. They are flying with great agility and seemed to be harvesting airborne insects. This morning I realized they were working the same area where the wasps have been establishing their spring nests… house eves, corrugated roofing channels, shop and wood storage sheds … Hmmm … that’s interesting.

Then I noticed an absence of the nesting wasps in those very same areas. Now I’m really interested.

There is a community of four working my wasp population down to, or very close to zero. Hot dang!!!

Whereas swallows and western bluebirds are zoomie like these guys, our new residents have hover and helicopter moves the former do not. What do I really have here?

I took a bunch of shots with my magical Canon camera. One came out

Research was a bit tricky as my one clear shot was not pictured in my hardcopy bird books. The Internet helped me find her to be an immature female Cedar Waxwing.

adult male and immature female Cedar Waxwing

Good news / Bad news

As I have witnessed, much to my joy, they do eat insects, including flying insects – like my wasp nemesis.

But the book on them is berries and cherries, and other fruits.
Oh crap. We are in a contest for our summer harvest.

Okay, there are plenty of native choke-cherries they can have without causing offense. They can have all the apples too high for us to harvest. I may have to be on my toes to get the cherries, raspberries and blueberries I have been nurturing.

I suppose I’m okay with that.