I just love looking for inspiration for my wildlife garden while walking with my two Plott Hounds in the woods nearby. And recently I came across something really exciting — a Bald-faced Hornet nest. Fortunately, Otis and Morgan are used to me stopping frequently in the woods to photograph flowers, insects, birds, and other natural wonders, and they lay down quietly at my feet while I took photo after photo of this fanstastical nest.
Bald-faced Hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) are not really hornets at all, but members of a genus of wasps called yellow jackets, but since their coloration is black and white, they are not commonly called yellow jackets.
Each spring a fertilized Bald-faced Hornet female who has spent the winter protected in a tree crevice, rock pile, or maybe in the walls of buildings, will emerge and start building her nest. She does this by chewing up strips of wood, which mixes with her sticky saliva and she takes this paste of cellulose to construct her papery nest.