I spotted this gall on
a blackberry stem by the mailbox; it’s a Blackberry Knot Gall. Blackberry Knot
Gall is caused by the Blackberry Knot Gall Wasp (Diastrophus nebulosus) which
lays eggs in the ridges of the stems of blackberries. Read more about this wasp
and the galls at Greg Dodge’s Journal.
cavity was about the size of a basketball
view with remnants of the nest wall
few wasps about
of an Eastern Yellowjacket drinking from the pool.
Yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons) Nest
Several years ago, W dug a pool near the creek to provide a
breeding pool for frogs, particularly Upland Chorus frogs (Pseudacris
feriarum). He’s been
expanding it recently while the weather is dry.
While digging, he sliced horizontally through a subterranean wasp nest,
releasing a swarm of rather angry wasps that proceeded to sting him. He beat a
hasty retreat – as fast as you can on a tractor - but not before receiving at
least 30+ stings, mostly on his arms although he received a couple on his neck
and eyelid. This prompted a visit to the local hardware store to procure
several spray cans of wasp killer and subsequent cautious visits to the nest to
kill off most of the remaining wasps.
Then we were able to take a closer look at the nest. It was
about the size of a basket ball. Remnants of the nest itself remained in the cavity. Bodies of wasps littered the bottom of the cavity and a few confused
wasps wandered about. We identified the nest as belonging to Easter
Yellowjackets (Vespula maculifrons) although we found the body of on Bald-faced
Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) in the cavity as well.
… ‘The Hornets
build nests that hang down from the branch of a tree or shrub, or under the
eaves of your house. Yellow jackets make a similar type of nest, but usually it
is in the ground or other enclosed space. In either case, the color of the nest
is gray or brown with the appearance of an ugly formless papier-mâché.’