A total eclipse of the hive ...
I was told that a few days earlier, hornets could be seen buzzing about the hive. But on October 10 all was quiet. In the past, I've thought the season ended later than this, or with the first frost if earlier. This year there has been no frost, nor any particularly cold weather.
The huge nest is situated in a crab apple, perhaps fifteen feet off the ground. It is directly beside the pond.
And so I left on the 10th with this final shot through the branches of the tree.
I went back today (10/13) with my camera (the other pictures were taken with my cell phone) and zoomed in a bit to show the beautiful texture of the "paper" from which the nest is constructed. Gorgeous work, careful craftsmanship.
A hornet's nest is made for one season. Though the queen may overwinter in the nest, the rest of the hornets are gone. And so the winter wind, snow and ice, will tear this apart before spring. Frankly, in this public spot, I am surprised that it has survived this long. A number of people (Mom and I included) would love this nest for decorative purposes. But it will stay where it is, as nature intended it. She alone should decide when it comes down.