Friday, June 12, 2009

Thirsty Yellow Paper Wasps

In contrast to the aggressive, big, scary Tarantula Hawks in the front yard, in the pool in the back yard, there's 2 Yellow Paper Wasp nests nearby (I suspect in the ubiquitous cinder block border walls of abandoned neighbors' properties to the west). These lovely ladies are almost docile. They love to drink from the pool, relying on Newtonian Fluid surface tension to keep from being submerged. Unlike their thirsty honey bee cousins - who often take a keen interest in swimmers/floaters in our pool as possible landing sites - these these beautiful Polistes actively avoid humans, and tolerate large waves, waiting on a nearby palm tree branch until the seas become placid once again. After drinking, they head off in 2 different westerly directions, back to their nests. At any single moment, from 4pm to dusk, there's 1, 2 3, or 4 yellow paper wasps drinking from the pool.

I'd been trying to take a picture of them from pool's edge.. but they were unspectacular plan views. The photo displayed here was taken last week, after Beer Pool Yoga, while standing in 4 feet of water and being Very Careful not to get the Sony camera wet. I think it came out okay... but for a truly awesome pic of the same specifies, see this amazing close up flickr photo. Come on over, chez nous, and we can sit around (or in) the pool, and watch these thirsty creatures and a glorious Arizona sunset, while enjoying cold adult beverages.

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