The Potter Is My Neighbor

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Potter Wasp And Goldenrod 92620a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

My big blue truck pulls into my driveway and I step out to check the mailbox. As I tuned to walk back to the truck I noticed the tell tale signs of wildflowers bobbing up and down when the wind is still. I have allowed nature to have it’s way on the banks of the creek in front of my as a form of erosion control and was blessed with a stand of Goldenrod. Goldenrod is a valuable late season resource for pollinators so it makes me happy to see the bright yellow spray of flowers in the fall. Especially when the bees are working on them. I put the mail in the truck and stepped around with my camera to see what kinds of bees and how many were enjoying the pollen and nectar that the flowers provide. There were a few honeybees but mostly I found native bumblebees and wasps. Typically I have a huge number of Paper Wasps. The brown kind that builds umbrella shaped nests on the eaves of my house. But one of wasps was different. It had blue iridescent wings and a black body with white spots. At first I thought it was a European Paper Wasp but when I did the research it turned out to be a Potter Wasp. This was is a native of the Eastern woodlands but it’s not one that I have seen often or if I did I just assumed it was something else. But now that I’m doing a lot of writing about the Appalachian Wildlife I’m more motivated to get the deeper details.

The Potter Wasp like many of the native bees and wasps seems to be solitary and like the name implies buids it’s nest from mud instead of paper. I’m used to seeing the long tunnel like nests of the Pipe Oregon Mud Dauber which are found on the houses and rocky out croppings of my mountain. But the Potter Wasp nest is much different. It’s actually vase shaped with a wide base and a narrow neck that flares out at the opening. The Potter Wasp will then paralyze a caterpillar and place it in the pot with a single egg. But while she feeds her young meat she herself feeds exclusively on pollen and nectar. And something about Goldenrod seems to really attract wasps in general. It’s not uncommon for me to find as many wasps feeding on the Goldenrod as I do true bees.

A paper wasp feeds on the Goldenrod next to the Potter Wasp

I am hoping to spot and photograph the unique nests of the Potter Wasp soon. I suspect that they are tucked away safely on some of rocks that surround my property and I’ll do a follow-up post when I see them but for now I just know that they’re in the area somewhere enjoying the late season bloom and pollinating my wildflowers.

Image Titled “Potter Wasp And Goldenrod 92620b” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

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5 thoughts on “The Potter Is My Neighbor

  1. Hi! I have a question for you:

    We had many wasp looking insects flying over our front lawn. They
    have orange on their lower bodies (for lack of a better way to describe
    it). We don’t know what they are or where they are coming from.

    I’m wondering if you might be able to help us identify them. Thanks.

    Because of Jesus,
    Cindy Fox
    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy I absolutely will answer your question. My first suspicion is a blue-winged wasp. They are also pollinators and predators and I will do a write up on them for you soon. I need a day or so to brush up on them so I can be accurate for you. Ok?

      Like

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