As it was raining (again) this morning I went out to take a few photos of the the marks on my shed doors which had always intrigued me before I knew what they were. The rain changes the colour of the wood and makes the pale marks more noticeable. Do you recognise them?
Some years ago I was sitting in the garden and became aware of a munching noise so looked around to see what was causing it. An insect - yellow and black striped like a Rugby shirt - was busy scraping wood from the shed door; an industrious wasp.
According to my AA Book of the Countryside, a queen wasp emerges in the spring, finds a suitable nesting site then starts munching on dry wood, which she chews to a pulp. Later, workers take over enlarging the nest with the wood pulp while the queen concentrates on egg laying. The wasps scrape their way along fence panels, posts and wooden garden benches always leaving this intriguing pattern.
While I don't worry about wasps too much, I didn't want a wasps nest in my house a couple of years ago. 'In', because it was being built in the cavity wall and that was too close to the front door for comfort, so, sadly, it had to go.
I'm pretty easy going with the wildlife round here and would rather let it survive though I must admit the grass snake in the garden several years ago gave me a fright, especially as it was swallowing a live frog at the time and this year Ashley was busy patting - something - to get a reaction - a baby grass snake, coiled round so he couldn't get at it. So they haven't gone away... it hasn't been warm enough this year to encourage the adult to come and bask near the pond.