The Downslope of Summer

A Mystery

It's been so hot that I've been walking on the treadmill in the air-conditioned gym. Lately, though, the temperature has moderated a bit, so I returned to my usual path and trail walk. As I was walking along the river, I noticed these weird clumps of dark dirt dotting a small area next to the river. What could they be? Maybe a big mole run?

Maybe ant hills? They did look a bit like the ant hills that I saw in our old neighborhood.

Aug 3, 2016
Ant Hills??

 When I looked closer, I saw that each clod had a large round hole, like the entrance to a burrow. And my mind instantly went horror movie on me -- could it be a NEST OF SNAKES??

Aug 3, 2016

 I told Joe all about it. And he, being Joe, set out to solve the mystery.

And of course he did. He texted me the following picture.

Aug 3, 2016
It's a Wasp!

 The clods are the front doors to wasp nests. But don't panic -- they are a particular type of wasp, as you will see from our text exchange.

Aug 3, 2016
The Lowdown

It makes perfect sense, too. It's late summer and the cicadas have emerged from their shells. Who knew they had a predator? This is one of the reasons I love my guy; give him a biological mystery and he'll figure it out.