Something to avoid

September and October are months when a special kind of danger could be lurking somewhere along any nature trail. I took this photo the morning of Sept. 10.

The insects you see here are native ground nesting paper wasps called yellow jackets. If you happen to unknowingly come upon a nest of yellow jackets and get close enough to see them flying into and out of a hole in the ground, you are best advised to calmly turn around and walk slowly away as a deer would do. I've avoided being stung by moving very slowly around their nests.

These yellow jackets had their nest raided the night before. They are on a piece of the nest. The most likely raider would be a raccoon. Raccoons look for yellow jacket nests to dig up. They eat the wasps' larvae.