I suppose that depends on what kind of gardener you are. For one who enjoys macro and all the magnificent creatures that become apparent in all their wonderful colour and architecture it is a delight indeed what can be found, usually just by being there in the garden doing nothing more than enjoying the sense of it all.
One day I saw this giant wasp land on what was supposed to be something of a birdbath, with water plants and stones and things in it for any other creature that might find it attractive. What was unusual was the size of it; about 2.5 inches long and it would fly with all legs hanging down so it looked very relaxed, without a care in the world.
It was collecting water from the bath, either for drinking or to help with making a nest somewhere nearby, probably up in the rotten old paperbark trees. A kind of Potter Wasp I believe that would use the water not just for slaking a thirst but also for making or lining the mud nests it builds.
Then I saw a second one and the first appeared almost immediately after it and they both chased each other around for some time until they landed on the birdbath and started mating by the edge. I still didn’t approach them for any shots as they are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment and I didn’t want to interrupt.
So I let them do what they do and eventually off they flew up into the trees of the garden. They came and went at different times until one day I was surprised to see one just sitting there on one of the stones. It wasn’t a perfect situation for a shot but I took what I was offered and here it is.
What surprised me was the fact I have only ever seen these wasps in the deep bush where they have a distinct ‘don’t mess with me and I won’t mess with you’ sort of attitude. In other words they command respect, and rightly so. There’s an unmistakable intelligence about them.
I gave them their space and they gave me a few pictures. That’s as it is, no problem. Season’s not over yet, though the rain keeps falling …