Shhh...She's Sleeping

Where does the queen sleep away the winter chill? This particular one was nestled inside a dead pine log on the forest floor. She was perfectly safe and content -- at least until we came along :(
When we rolled the log to check for salamanders, it broke apart and revealed itself as the winter home of this queen bald-faced hornet (Vespula maculata). She mated in the late summer or early fall and now waits patiently for the warmth of spring when she will emerge and begin a new colony.
Luckily, we were able to piece the log back together so perhaps we didn't do any lasting damage to this sleeping beauty -- we'll keep an eye on things throughout the rest of the winter though, just to be sure. Posted by Picasa


Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Few things worse than having your log rolled over when you're trying to saw logs. Sleep on little buddy, sleep on.

Anonymous said...

Why does she look so angry?
I mean, yes I understand the whole disturbing sleep thing, but seriously, our minds are coded to understand human body language, so the question becomes:

do we interpret her insect body language correctly because our brains have ways of interpreting a kindof "universal" code?

or, do we simply graft our emotions onto other creatures?


swamp4me said...

SQ, I believe it must be the latter. She never even twitched when we disturbed her rotting log, so I doubt she was angry as we perceive it.