July 29I recently discovered a bald-faced hornet nest in the blue spruce that overhangs my driveway. The basketball size paper orb hangs ten feet above the ground, tucked a few feet in from the end of its branch. It’s a gorgeous complicated structure, built of layers and folds, scallops and creases that rival a royal gown. It’s one of those things that the more you consider, the more mystifying it becomes.

But I was even more mystified when I when I went to research the hornets online and found that people regularly destroy these nests in ways that go well beyond simple pest removal. With unrestrained glee, men set fire to nests, spray them with water hoses, detonate firecrackers inside them, and use shop vacs to suck the animals out alive. And the crowd goes wild. One commenter states, “Starting fluid and gasoline are my favorite methods because I know they suffer.”

I’ve thought quite a bit about this and have written a guest post over at The Center for Humans and Nature Blog: City Creatures.  Check it out here: Mindful Acts of Pesticide.

And when you come back, so that you aren’t discouraged by all the hate being poured on hornets, wasps, and other creatures, take a look at these videos made by some more enlightened folks.

This nest is on their living room window:


And finally, I think we can all take heart in this woman’s enthusiasm: