When I let the hornet out for the third time, I’d begun to think she may have been part of a slightly worrying in-gîte colony. I love hornets, but my family are slightly less enthusiastic about them, and because we don’t see them very often they always look huge. Hence also threatening. They are much more common here in France, than in southern England.
So I am mightily relieved, later, when It transpired that the well-worn wooden threshold to the upstairs doorway is perfect hornet nest material and she (or maybe several different shes) has simply taken a wrong turning into the bedroom after a chewing session, and become disoriented by the skylight. We’ll probably be seeing her again, but this time we’ll know what she’s after.
CURIOUS? WHY CURIOUS?When 17th century apothecary and naturalist James Petiver published a picture of what, for 200 years, would be Britain's most enigmatic butterfly, Albin's Hampstead Eye, he reported: "Where it was caught by this curious person". His implication was that Eleazar Albin was not just strange, not just odd, but was fuelled by curiosity.
Ongoing projects:These are some of the books and other projects going on at the moment......
Beetles — in the Collins New Naturalist series
Call of nature: the secret life of dung
House guests, house pests
How to be a curious entomologist
BBC Wildlife Magazine