Dog Day Cicadas!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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Cicadas! That’s what the buzz is all about. They are enriching the parklands and treed urban streets with shrill buzzing, perhaps best described akin to miniature chain saws that run fast and loud  for a few seconds — and then slowly grind to a stop. The dog-day Cicadas have emerged. They may be mostly out of sight, but they are certainly not out of mind.

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Baldfaced Hornets: Garden Guardians If Not Provoked

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

IMG_3932Baldfaced Hornets ( Dolichovespula maculate) are not bees and are not even true hornets. They along with yellow jackets are members of the wasp (Vespidae) family. Baldfaced hornets are unmistakable with their visible ivory white markings on their faces and are at home in the wildlands, rural towns, and urban cities of Oakland County. They pack a powerful wallop if provoked.

They are master craftsmen when it comes to nest construction. Unlike honeybees that create a nest of wax hidden inside a hollow tree, Baldfaced Hornets build grayish paper-like nests that approach peak size in August. The nest is constructed of chewed wood fibers that are mixed with saliva and may be over two feet from top to bottom, large enough to hide a watermelon!

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