Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Paper Wasp Nest

When all the leaves fell from the tall sugar maple trees in our front yard a few days ago we looked waaaaaayyy up to see a nice paper wasp's nest hanging from a very thin branch in one of them.  Knowing these nests are very fragile and the wasps don't use them again, nor are they holed up inside for the winter as many  believe... Dave decided to see if he could retrieve it from the tree.
When he decides to do these things I always get a little nervous picturing the big extension ladder and a 60 year old guy ( who is in great shape mind you) losing his balance and.... you get the picture don't you?

He appeared a few moments later proudly showing me his prize and calling his buddy who evidently knows how to put some type of preservative on these things so they don't fall apart. His buddy was pretty excited too and said to Dave..."Cathy will really like that to hang in her studio.... it will look real nice with the decor out there!"  
Yep, it doesn't take much to excite these lumberjack fellows here in the north woods!  LOL!  But to tell the truth as much as I'm fascinated by these jewels of nature I'm a little creeped out by them too.  I'm not particularly fond of wasps.  I think there's been a few too many bee stings in my recent past to appreciate it's beauty hanging in my studio.

Here is a close-up of the layer upon layer of very thin delicate paper the wasps have made. They use bark from trees and leaves and chew it to create their masterpiece in beautiful grays, silvers, browns and taupe. There are little bits of green perhaps grass.  How can one not be fascinated by the finished product these wasps call home for the summer.  And to think it held up through a few storms and an early gusty fall snowstorm a couple of weeks ago.

So yes we shall admire it and marvel at nature and her mysterious ways.  It will be preserved and handled gently.  For now it hangs in the garage from the handle bars of a bike that has been stored hanging from the rafters for the winter.  Where it will end up is anybody's guess.  But I'm fairly certain it will not be gracing a corner of my wool studio.

November Blessings!!
Cathy G


  1. We have a wives-tale that the higher the wasp nest the deeper the snow or harsher the winter. But the nests are too beautiful to not admire.

  2. They really are beautiful if you get a close up look at the colors and textures. But if my memory serves me right, you have a not-so-pleasant memory of those little stinging devils

  3. I have never seen one of those and that is just incredible. It is so huge. Here we just get wasps nests and you wouldn't be holding it as it would be full of brood and wasps.
    It really is work of art.
    It must be cold there with your mittens and your ear muffs.
    I like your snowy background. Have a lovely week.

  4. Evening, it really is a work of art, wonderful texture......Blessings Francine.

  5. It is a wonderful work! You could try to match those colors and waves in a rug hooking.

  6. My first thought when I looked at this wasp's nest was that it would make a beautiful background for a hooked rug. After all, we can always count on Mother Nature to teach us how to do things.
    It looks cold in your part of the country. We got a few flakes but it turned to rain today.


  7. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs :)

  8. Oh Cathy I have two large ones hanging in my house, in Georgia we call them hornets nest. I am always on the look out for more. In the winter when we go to the Smoky Mts we see how many we can spot on our drives! Hornets love to make nest hanging high over the water. Congraduations on your win from rugs and pugs such a beautiful pumpkin.

  9. we have one of those also It is amazing just how those little bugs make that.

  10. My husband had his eye on a couple of those a few weeks ago. He noticed last week, they were gone. We call them hornets here too. They use to say if you hung them out on the porch it would keep the birds from building nests on the porch eves. I'm with the birds, I steer clear of them too.

  11. Never say never Cathy. It is rather pretty.

  12. An amazing find !
    Would love to know a method for preserving this treasure.
    Loving all of that gorgeous color and texture.

  13. Cathy....we have one in our Maple tree too and were just discussing it this morning. I guess I thought the Wasps stayed dormant for the Winter and then aroused in Spring...lol So I guess we can take it down.
    I never realized how pretty they are.

  14. My first thought--eeeewwww! Second one--pretty cool how they made it! Busy little critters!

  15. Beautiful, Cathy. Thanks for sharing this!

    Hugs, Linda

  16. thanks for sharing! we have honeybees on our little farm. it is amazing how they work.my friends mom lives out east and they were selling big ones for about 45 dollors.thanks from cindy on her little farm with 3 dogs 1old horse a husband 3 cats.

  17. My husband has three of those -~ so I get it!!! They really are a work of art! Love your close-up pix!!

  18. Gorgeous! We had one the size of a basketball a few years ago - sadly it fell apart. It's so surprising to find them, huh? Didn't notice it all summer long until the tree was naked.....

  19. That 2nd close up picture shows the beautiful neutral colors. Very inspiring, and would make a lovely pattern to hook or paint!


  20. Beautiful artwork by those little creatures. How sweet of your husband; he seemed pretty excited to bring it down.

  21. I have one of these hanging in my living room that my husband took down for me from a tree. It is so beautiful, he sprayed the outside and the leaves with some kind of spray to preserve it and its been hanging in my living room for the past two years. Rethink where you want to put it as it makes a great conversation piece. Love your blog and all you do as I am the only traditional rug hooker that I know, lol.

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