I thought I might as well continue the theme of welcome garden bug buddies I started yesterday with the praying mantis. As happy as we were to find a mantis out in the hibiscus bed, we're also really appreciative of the wasps who do their work in other areas of the garden.
I know, for most people, wasps conjure up scary thoughts of vicious stings, but in my experience with them, I view them much more favorably. Wasps are hunters. When they're visiting your flowers, yes they are doing some probably inadvertent pollinating, but the real reason they're there is to hunt and devour smaller bugs. So, viewed from the right perspective, wasps really should be more popular and accepted in people's gardens. Obviously you want to avoid the nastier, aggressive types like hornets and yellow jackets, but our garden variety wasps (as pictured in these shots taken 7 July, 2007) are generally quite oblivious to human attention. And on a hot sunny day like yesterday, we found them feasting on some sort(s) of smaller, unfortunate bugs that in all likelihood we don't want messing with our Sea Holly anyway.
To describe these Sea Hollies as a hub of activity would be an understatement, given how these late afternoon photos nicely show off some of their labor. Between the dozens of bumblebees and honey bees foraging in the front boulder bed and the wasps in front working the Sea Holly, things were quite literally abuzz yesterday. I should have wished them bon appétit! had I been thinking but oh well ... I'm sure they enjoyed their snack anyway!
The first photo is one of the medium sized brown wasps (sorry, no name) that like to frequent the blooms. Fernymoss informs me that the large black wasp in the second photo is called a "cricket killer," so if that's his real job, I'm happy to have him on board at Casa y jardín IVG. Oh yeah, there's a bonus wasp I didn't even see when I took this shot, because I focusing so intently on capturing the black wasp.
Sunday Night Movie Update: Though we had planned to go see SiCKO today, we were so lethargic from the heat that we gave it up for a later date. We did, however, watch Robert Altman's last film, A Prairie Home Companion which I think I may need to write about soon, so beware ... My first blush take on it is that it's a bittersweet, yet eccentrically light-hearted swan song from the master of the large ensemble cast ... All throughout it is evident, I believe, that Altman was fully aware this would be his last film. For Altman, I found it a fitting end to his career to make a film about ends of other eras, a final performance directed, and then all is done. Altman admirers will most likely enjoy the pace of the banter, the stories, the songs and the quirky turns of petites réalités shared by his large cast ... For those less familiar with his work, it might not immediately click, but should manage to charm anyone who rides it to its dénouement. More later, I fear.