Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LIFE UNDER GLASS

I was reading a post over at Southern Lagniappe, written by my friend, Janie. She is a photographer of such talent! Every post is full of beautiful pictures of the wonderful things she encounters as she travels around her part of the country. Her post today is full of bumblebee pics, and they reminded me of an experience I shared with my boys when they were younger.


Our windows had become permanently closed due to someone painting them closed. Don't know when that happened...it just did. And, it never bothered us much. There were few times I needed the windows opened.


As I was dusting out the windowsills in Alex's room one day, I noticed that the screen at one corner was pulled out. I also noticed that a wasp was flying around between the screen and the window. "Well, this is one time I'm glad the window is stuck," I thought. I am very bug shy. I do not like any kind of creature that flies, or crawl, or inches, or slithers! And, spending the best years of my life raising 3 boys, many are the times I have been waaaaay closer to these things than I ever cared to be. Thanks for the gray hair and heart attacks, boys!

Anyway, as I was looking at the window, I saw that the wasp was working on a nest. It was pretty tiny. "I have got to get someone to move that screen and get that out before it gets too big, " I thought. Yeah, right! I think great thoughts. I do. And, if I carried them out, life would be so much easier for me. But, they tend to go as quickly as they come...and I remember them no more. I don't mean to forget them...it's just that bigger and better things take their place!


Well, the next time I had any thought of any kind about wasps, and nests, or wasp and nests in windows, was when I was putting away some of Alex's clothes in his closet...which is right nest to the window. And, this time I noticed several wasps flying in and out of the window, and the nest had grown quite a bit! And, then I did a strange, strange thing! I pulled a little stool up to the window and sat there and watched them for a while. I can be very brave when safe behind a glass! I quickly became engrossed with these tiny creatures. They would fly out and come back and work on the nest...then fly out and come back again. I think there were about 6 or 7 working there. It was sort of hard to tell since they were not wearing name tags. lowly, I began to see how the nest was expanding.
{I know this looks creepy, but don't worry...you are protected by the computer screen! They can't get to you!}

I was fascinated! And, then I called the boys, and Alex and Ian came and watched with me. Adam was too cool to do such at this point in his life...and Ian was too antsy to sit there for very long...but Alex and I thoroughly enjoyed them!

We watched over the next few weeks and several changes took place. First, they completed the nest. How do they know how to construct these nests? How do they know how many openings to have in each one? How do they know when is or isn't the right time to build them? Look at the constructions of an empty nest...such perfect little cells.



The wasps began to work fast and furious...there were always workers there...and soon, we noticed this...{warning! kinda gross...} We soon realized that they were laying eggs in the cells! Well, the queen was, at least! But, we could never catch her at it!

Then the workers began covering over all the cells. It seemed to us that they were working harder than ever. Soon the entire nest...all the cells...were covered over with what looked like the same papery substance they built the nest out of...just thinner. We continue to watch...and watch...and soon...we could see movement in each cell. Those things were squirming around in there! This was not something that I particularly enjoyed watching. It really creeped me out. But, I wanted to see what was happening. I relied on Alex to keep me up to date when I just could not bring myself to look.

And then, one day...he told me the 'things in the cells'? babies? wasplettes? were coming out of the cells. And they were. It looked as if they were pushing out. And, indeed that is what they were doing. Being born, I suppose. After they opened up the hole they would struggle up a little bit at a time and eventually they began to fly away. The workers were all gone. And, all movement had ceased in the cells that didn't open. Only about 10 out of maybe 150 didn't come out.

And, that was that. Wow! what a unique viewpoint we had on this buggy phenomenon! Alex loved watching it. Ian loved sneaking a glance as he quickly moved on to something more exciting. I loved watching it. But, I don't ever want to watch it again. Because as fascinating as it was...it was also creepy. This look at the unknown was enough to last me a lifetime. And, now that I've blogged about it...I do not even need to talk about it ever again.

******************************

But, I have to add this first. God is as glorious in the way he created the tiny creatures in this life as he is at creating the large ones. As much thought went into the wasp as went into the elephant. And, the miracles of life are not only the big things that are easy to see...but the tiny ones we very seldom see. God is great...in all things!

"How many are your work, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24

"O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:1

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders." Psalm 9:1

******************************

BTW...These are not pics of the exact event...I was not a blogger then and did not realize that every event of my life needed to be documented

7 comments:

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Very fascinating, even though we don't really want them building those right in "our zone"

Just Breathe said...

I did wonder about the pictures.
I know I made some ugly faces as I read this, hope you didn't see them! How true, God is awesome.
That was very interesting, thank you for sharing your story.

Musicaljean said...

So interesting!!! And your last comment was the best of all, hahahahahaha!

Southern Lady said...

What a wonderful post, Tonja! And thank you for your kind words about Southern Lagniappe.

Each and every time I take a picture of a ladybug, or a dragonfly, or a bumblebee, or the inside of a wildflower, I am reminded of and am humbled by God's greatness.

Thank you for sharing your story about the wasps ... yet another testimony to how great He is!

Jewel said...

Very interesting, and very ew ew ew yuck! HA.

nancygrayce said...

They build several nests out on our back deck every summer and we have to kill them over and over again.....you'd think they would get the hint!

I spray them and run like crazy!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Amazing. I think the same thing when I see birds building their nests! They know WHEN, and HOW. How great is our GOD?