Hornets Working in the Summer

Trinity River Audubon Center
Dallas, Texas

Hornets (or Wasp)s at the Trinity River Audubon Center

Wasps at the Trinity River Audubon Center

Are these hornets or wasps? Looking around the internet, they are probably wasps – their narrow heads and bodies might be the clue. I like the word hornet better, though. It sounds that much more dangerous and mean. And these little bastards looked plenty mean.

It was an ungodly hot day – well over the century mark. Everything else was slowed down, resting, waiting on the cool of the evening or for fall – but these guys were buzzing away, working on their home and future family. It was along a trail that ran between a couple of mostly-desiccated ponds. The paper nest was tucked beneath a the low canopy of a feathery row of bushes. I heard them before a saw them.

There is a strange beauty in this cluster of concentrated pain and meanness. The slick thin black bodies, whirring wings, and delicate paper nest with its precise geometry of hexagonal cells.

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