08.26.2020 Wasp Wednesday

We had a brief downpour yesterday which, although short-lived, gave us a bit of relief from the heat and some much needed moisture. While there was still just a light drizzle coming down I went out looking for insects and found this Bald-faced Hornet-Dolichovespula maculata taking sheltered snooze under a leaf. They can be quite aggressive when threatened or defending a nest.  But this one was cool, calm, and collected and no threat to the camera or the guy holding it.

I got around as much as I could to get a head-on shot with both eyes.

Not quite parallel but close.  They’re cute when sleeping.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, macro photography, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to 08.26.2020 Wasp Wednesday

  1. krikitarts says:

    Good portrait of this potential bad boy in a moment of inactivity. I’m afraid I’ve had a few too many encounters with its relatives to feel comfortable with this kind of proximity, but they are quite beautiful when seen objectively. Just don’t stir them up and piss them off when they’re awake and on the alert.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve had my share too but still try to keep the animosity to a minimum. FIght with one and often you are fighting with them all. I’ve managed to photograph these a few times but this was definitely the closest I have and likely ever will. Thanks, Gary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Mackay says:

    Cute when sleeping – intrigued – suggests that they’re anything but cute when awake! (I have no experience of them, but I wouldn’t blame it for aggressively defending its nest. I’d keep my distance though!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great images Steve!


  4. Kind of an attractive, jazzy-looking customer. You’re braver than me, I’ve never been that close to one, I see those big paper nests in the woods, I immediately vamoose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had a few bad stinging experiences but try not to let that control my interest in photographing things. If I was allergic that would be another thing. So far my curiosity hasn’t got the better of me. We’ll see how long my luck holds out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    I like the black and white color scheme. I’m happy for you to be providing such detailed images, since there’s not a chance I’d ever do so. I lack the equipment, and I’m pretty sure I lack the courage. Bees I can handle, but wasps make me nervous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are handsome critters. Wasps have earned your fear, I am sure. One or two don’t bother me but a whole squadron of angry stingers would tend to make me run…and it has on an occasion or two.The worrisome thing with wasps compared to bees is that one sting and the bee is done but wasps can sting repeatedly. I try to be smart in my approach which has worked so far.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Powell says:

    I have photographed sleeping bees, Steve, but I don’t think that I have ever seen a sleeping wasp. Your shots are excellent and I like that you went for the head-on shot, one of my favorite angles. Unlike several other who responded, I am pretty sure I would go in close for a shot of a wasp like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all in the approach, Mike. Not much different from dragonflies. Do nothing to alarm them and your chances are better than a quick approach. I see lots of sleeping bees after a cool night. They are pretty torpid in the early morning as are many other insects…if you can find them as most spend the night down in the grass and under leaves.


      • Mike Powell says:

        Thanks for the tips, Steve. When visiting a garden in the early morning, I managed a couple of times to find bees asleep inside large flowers, like a hibiscus, but beyond that I don’t tend to find them. I think that I am mostly hanging out in the wrong habitats for bees.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I might have gotten close, not knowing that these are aggressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maria says:

    They’re beautiful, just curious how you shot this one, with the 180mm, the 100mm, or some other set-up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Great close-ups, Steve. I still can’t help shuddering just at the sight of one of these – WORST sting ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eliza.
      I’ve had a sting from one just once but it was memorable. I think I’d prefer a wasp sting over getting a good dose of Stinging Nettle blisters. Those are awful and long lasting.


      • Eliza Waters says:

        At least nettles are good for you, both as tea, cooked, or topically. 😉 They can temporarily relieve the pain of arthritis for a day or so. But I still use gloves when I have to deal with them.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I am glad they were no threat to you, Steve! I wandered a little too close to a wasps nest some years ago and got stung on the ear for my trouble. Painful business. Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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