It turns out that paper wasps are pretty chill! If you’re not a threat to them or their nest, and you’re also not something they want to eat, then they just don’t care about you, even if you insist on snapping flash pictures of them from six inches away.
If you are something they want to eat, that’s a different story. P. metricus, like most paper wasps, eats only nectar and soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars; the yellow-and-black P. dominula aside, they don’t have the jaws to deal with a hard carapace. But of such soft-bodied insects they are ferocious hunters, and I caught these shots among others when a few P. metricus individuals found a fall webworm nest near work a month ago.
I ended up being glad I’d gotten these shots while I had the chance. A couple days later, the fall webworm nest was gone.
‘Next time’, I said, and would not disappoint – though ‘next time’ has proven further away than I’d imagined then it would.
This is – this was – the Schenuit Tire Company’s manufacturing plant, whence came many thousand tires, once upon a time. The company has long since ceased to trade, but there is aught of its history here to be seen, even after several fires which have not been kind to the structure.
I hear there are some developers with plans for this great ruin. I wish them all the fortune in the world of it – poor fortune, that is, and poor fortune I think they shall have. That the place still stands is sign enough they do not know what to do with it. I hope it goes on standing for years and decades more.
Something of a trenchantly elegiac mood this time, I fear. Medfield, where I’ve made my home over the past couple of decades, is being changed in ways I do not love – I keep wanting to say not “changed” but “replaced”, and while I’m not sure that is fair, I’m not sure it is not fair, too.
Of course this is the way of the world. Nothing stays the same for long. But I am having some trouble reconciling myself to it this time.