Being off-world is a real buzz.
Much further south than Moonbase, the Missus and me are for the first time experiencing the company of Hornets.
There is a ragtag bunch of them outside. As yet they have stayed there, unlike their smaller cousins the Wasp, which I am ejecting from the cabin with the trusted glass and paper technique of old. In the past I've been stung by wasps more times than I care to dab savlon on!
Hornets are much bigger than wasps. Like that skinny kid on the back of American comics who had sand kicked in his face, these Hornets are like wasps pumped up on Joe Weider protein shakes. They're massive - but strangely passive.
I had thought that Hornets had pinched waists and teardrop-shaped abdomens with a mean hooked stinger but I was wrong.
Filled with the wasp hordes of Seventies fantasy artist Rodney Matthews my imagination has run amok and wrecked the hive. No wonder though when I had stuff like this on my walls! I still have a poster like this rolled up in the attic! Did you or do like Rodney Matthews?
Maybe Rodney's things are actually wasps but to me they were always Hornets.
The real one's look like this, Hornets that is, at least here in England:
Confusingly, especially for the Hornet novice like us, there is also a Hornet Moth where we are in Norfolk. It looks a heckuvva lot like a Hornet!
Having read Norfolk Moths and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's sites [from whence the two images have been gratefully borrowed] the main difference between the Hornet and the Hornet Moth is the waist. The moth doesn't have one!
Yep, no Victorian pinched-corsetry for this moth. Its one huge black and yellow bockwurst all the way to its head!
Armed with this new information we shall have to inspect our neighbours more closely and check their waistlines!
Thinking back I'm pretty sure I never had any wasp toys. I had a whole jungle full of rubber insects like flies, centipedes, crickets, all harried by frogs, snakes and even crocodiles.
But no wasps.
Why was that?
Are we so scared of wasps that toy makers refused to make them?
Or do you have a different wasp history readers?
Do you have Hornets nearby?