Hornet - Eastern Cicada Killer wasp, ground spider webs and yellow jacket sting
Wing study 1.
Wing study 2.
I found this hornet on the sidewalk during the morning dogwalk. Here's more information about the hornet from wikipedia: Eastern Cicada Killer wasp, Sphecius speciosus. Even though it's named a wasp, I call it a hornet because it's so large. The measurement from bottom of body to wing tip is 1 1/2". We saw a hornets' nest at a campground in Ohio once and it was impressively large as were the hornets. The stupid caretaker was trying to spray some wasp killer pesticide into the nest and the hornets were not amused. It was ridiculous trying to get rid of the hornets' nest because it was hanging from a tree far from the camping area although within the property of the campgrounds and the hornets were not bothering anyone. I guess the owners would have been liable if anyone got stung when it was brought to their attention that there was a nest on the campgrounds. Look at the size of the stinger! I sure wouldn't want to be stung by one of those. If you enlarge the first photo by clicking it you can see that the abdomen seems to be armor plated with leathery looking segments.
Writing about getting stung - I was stung by a yellow jacket earlier this week. I was cleaning the filter for the fishpond when suddenly I felt something biting my arm. As I brushed it off I saw that it was a yellow jacket wasp. The sting wasn't that painful and I thought nothing of it. The next day my arm was swollen and red where the wasp stung me and started to itch. It got progressively worse and was uncomfortable in the hot and humid weather we've been having. I was lucky I wasn't stung more times as the filter was only 2 feet from the nest a hole in the ground. We have paper wasps nests around the deck usually every year but they don't seem to be aggressive. I wonder if the ground dwelling ones are more aggressive. It could be that I stepped on the entrance hole when I approached the filter so the wasp was only protecting the hive. Well in any case, I know where they are and will try not to disturb them again.
When I looked out into the yard this foggy morning, I could see many ground spider webs made visible by the fine water droplets. I counted at least 50 webs mostly in the lawn. Funny to think there are so many spiders out there unseen.