Beautiful little beasts. I am always astonished when I look at them closely.
We call them “minions,” as in “of satan,” because of their relentless dedication to identifying a target; I was stung six times in the head at one sitting a few years ago. Their entire lives are reproduction, although not for their own benefit: spring and summer is spent in pollination so that the blossoms will bear fruit (that they will then eat — goddam them! — in some weird desperate bid to stay alive a little longer), and early fall in impregnating the queen before taking themselves off to some corner to expire, all the while cracking down on anyone intruding on their turf. Like some mafiosi of the insect world, laying down their lives for their egg-fattened capa. I actually saw one of these fellas, uh, paying homage, let’s say, to his queen last summer, and I swear she started chewing on him before the poor guy had even finished. It was all very strange looking.
Although I have no problem killing them when they cross the threshold into my turf (usually the kitchen), still I do admire their very successful no-nonsense way of doing things. If you think about it, us giant humans could squash ‘em with our fingers, but we’d all rather run the other way.
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Trophy 3, Trophy 2, Trophy 5, Trophy 6, c. 2012
Pentax MX, Hoya 70-150mm zoom mounted on Pentax extension tube
Handheld in available indoor light