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.