This is my best insect photo ever, taken about 10 years ago in my own backyard.
What are you seeing there, you ask?
What you are seeing is a cicada killing wasp actually stinging a cicada, paralyzing it so that it can become…
I’ll spare you the gory details about what happens to that cicada.
Just know that what caused me to see this and take the picture was hearing the cicada scream.
Yes, I said scream. I heard it myself so now I know that cicadas do scream when they are attacked by a cicada killing wasp.
But dear reader, you do not need to scream when you see a giant cicada killing wasp as they have no interest in you. None. Wait, almost none. But that’s a story for another time. Like winter, when you aren’t likely to see these wasps out and about. Then you can pick up your copy of Creatures and Critters: Who’s in My Garden, and turn to the chapter on wasps and enjoy reading about them with no fear of actually running into one on your next walk around your neighborhood.
Right now, though, we do see these wasps flying low around the holes they’ve dug in the ground. This is their time, their season. Yes, they are big. Yes, they look mean. But honestly, there is no reason to fear them.
Unless you are a cicada…