The Suitcase Lady


October 8, 2013, 8:53 pm

We’ve been eating breakfast between the bees and wasps lately. The days have been sunny and unseasonably warm allowing us to eat outside on the front deck. Our table is two yards from the paper wasps’ nest next to the door and one yard from the prolifically blooming asters in front of the deck.

All of us have been enjoying our morning meals….granola, raspberries, yogurt and Sheboygan hard rolls for us, nectar from the asters for the bees and insects and nectar for the wasps. Life is good: pura vida.

The wasps have been with us all summer. Their house construction began in late spring. Walking out the door to our front deck, I noticed one perfect hexagonal cell attached to the upper frame of the window beside the door. Since no one was building at the moment, I quickly knocked it down in hopes that the project would resume farther from our outside dining area.

The Queen wasp, however, had chosen her building site with “location, location, location” in mind. The next morning a new cell was in the same spot, plus more were under construction.

“Here’s the deal,” I said to her. “I will leave you alone if you will let our guests and us eat undisturbed this summer.”  The bargain has worked. Fortunately, paper wasps, unlike their cousins the yellow jackets and hornets, are not overly interested in sugary people foods.

The bees are a recent and welcome arrival. Bee populations are crashing all over America and we saw few all summer despite our “bee friendly” yard. But last week, scores of bees were converging from all directions. Aster nectar in the bee world must be like French champagne to us.

By this time next month all of our breakfasts will be indoors. The bees and wasps will no longer be with us, and the jewel like fall colors will have faded. We know that change is the only constant, but, fortunately, each moment remains our only reality.



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