Hornet nest
Hornet Nest

The Chipola River is not only home to furry and feathered critters but also the not so cute and nice. High in the canopy of trees, is a unique nest hidden from view until the wind blew the autumn leaves off the trees.   The hornet’s nest was about 30 feet off the ground over a little stream that runs into the Chipola..  It’s probably the same hornets that have been eating my cats’ food.  Hornets are meat eaters. They don’t miss a meal,  when I call my kitties to dinner they join right in uninvited, of course, and I have seen them carry off a cat “crunchy” in the direction of their nest.

If you get close enough to watch them, they bite off a piece of meat and roll it up into a ball then fly off with it. I have found that when you are having a picnic out side just put a small piece of meat on the edge of your plate and they can eat also and not bother you. Other wise you could have a hornet on the end of your fork with your piece of meat.  Not too appetizing!

Their paper-like nests are made of chewed wood fiber mixed with saliva.  I’m glad I don’t have to build my house that way.

Except for the queen that lays the eggs, they all die with the first hard freeze.  The next spring she starts a new nest. A colony can have as many as 700.  Most are workers.

Hornets are not my favorite insect but I never pass up an opportunity for a photo.

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