April 12, 2010
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I don’t know what it is with me and wasps in stumps lately: I’ve never noticed them in the past, and now I’m finding all kinds of them. This gorgeous, slender female Ichneumonid wasp woke quickly once I disturbed her. Her long, banded antennae quivered non-stop as they were bombarded with chemical and tactile signals from the fresh air.
She climbed to the edge of the piece of log where once she slept and flexed her wings…once…twice…
and then she flew off in a startlingly graceful arc to a moss-covered stump several feet away. The one thing these images do not capture (much to my great dismay) is the gorgeous deep midnight blue colour she sported over her entire body. It gleamed with hints of rainbow hues in the sunlight. I wish I could have shared it with you.
In the same log, her cousin continued to doze. Antennae ramrod-straight, body motionless, her lovely burnt-orange body was accented by a burgundy thorax and pale yellowish spot at the point where her iridescent wings met.
Until this year, I really had no idea that tiny, dark crevices in dead wood were such great places to find beautiful wasps. A wonderful discovery, if you ask me!