Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: empty nest

empty nest


About the size of a strawberry, this looks like an incomplete yet incredibly intricate paper wasp nest. What do you think? Isn't it amazingly beautiful and intricate when enlarged on the scanner?!

I found this on the floor of our solarium while watering some plants. I'd noticed it over the winter attached to the frame of the openable skylight, far out of reach. It probably got knocked down when the skylight was opened during last week's heat wave.

Compare this to the pieces of another kind of wasp nest.

Marja-Leena | 07/06/2009 | 10 comments
themes: Nature, Photoworks


It's like a sculpture.

As a maker it renders one awestruck and humble. One can only learn from such elegant beauty in function.

It's beautiful, and, of course, I want to know what sort of critter made it. A teeny-tiny bee?

Hattie, yes, isn't it?!

Olga, well said!

Anne, about half-way down the linked article, there are photos of a wasp and a similar kind of nest and it says: A young paper wasp queen founding a new colony. What I wonder is, is it a different kind of wasp that created the nest that I scanned two years ago (ie. the last link)? I'm used to seeing these large grey papery globes hanging under eaves or in trees, not with this honeycomb.

What ever it is, it's a thing of beauty. It would be hard to sculpt anything as delicate and touching.

What a marvel. The scanner is certainly the way to represent it, what a find!

That is wonderfully done, isn't it? Safer to appreciate empty!

Joe, yes, especially something that tiny too!

Lucy, I love my scanner - I guess you can tell...

Leslee, yes, safer indeed. I was out weeding today and got buzzed by some annoyed bees, thankfully not stung though.

I used to live in the most beautiful redwood grove you could imagine and the wasps would make huge nests way up in a tree. Sometimes sheets of wasp paper big enough to write a letter on would drop to the forest floor and I would pick them up and marvel at the workmanship and esthetic grace. I was perfectly happy with them way up in a tree, and humbled by their transcendental workmanship, but, man, it was war when they'd come down to be assholes about something.

Aw, dang, now I'm missing my home. Shoot. :'(

99, sounds like a lovely place to have lived, and to miss...