Meet Horatio – the rare and stately hornet owl. Rare because he is actually made from hornet nest material. I am sorry to report to you nature lovers that hornets were harmed in the making of Horatio – a whole hive taken out. But if you’ve ever encountered a hornet you may not be shedding too many tears. Gee, Jen, how did you come across a hornets nest? Well that is an interesting story…..grab a cup of joe and let me share.
It all started last summer with some rather odd happenings at our sliding glass door to the back yard. One morning I went to let our hound dog out and I noticed there were about 5 or 6 (what I then thought) wasps. Some alive, some dead. Hmm, I thought – that’s odd and creepy. Next morning, go to let out hound, same darn thing! O.k., we’ve got an issue. There is a vent right by our back door and I was convinced the wasps must be coming up from there. And the odd thing was, these wasps were white and black. So I did some googling and was convinced what we had were hornets, not wasps. But I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. Dead hornets by my back door became common place for a while. And then, the clever girl – and evidently very observant girl – that I am, finally looked out the back door to see this:
And from a different angle…..
Can you see the lawn chairs below the nest in this photo? Yes, we had just had a BBQ days ago with some friends – evidently inches away from disaster! How this nest went unnoticed I can not say. It was so beautiful and magnificent, but I really was not fond of the hornets that were dive bombing our back door. So in comes the terminator – this is the part where the hornets all die. I did ask the guy if he might be able to keep the nest intact. He looked at me like I was delusional (which I can be at times, but this was not one of them). “No, ma’am. I can not keep it in take. In fact I will be doing a bit of damage to the tree as well.” he said to me prior to spraying, whacking, and stomping on the nest.
I now know where the expression “mad as a hornet” comes from. I did feel a teeny bit sad for them, but I was more sad about the beautiful nest. So once the mayhem died down – or just died – I ventured out to scavenge as much of the nest as possible. Because, you know, I was going to make something wonderful from it. And so the nest pieces sat on my art room floor for nine months. The typical gestation time for human birth – or a hornet owl. Basically, I finally got tired of stepping over and around the pieces and decided to get busy creating. And lovely Horatio came into being.
I love my Horatio and I do have a bit more material to perhaps make a Horatio, Jr. And I do mean Jr. – and perhaps a 2D Jr. rather than a 3D. But Horatio is here and he will be flying to Alisa’s store, Most Everything, for First Friday on June 7th. He’ll be living there for the month of June unless some owl lover decides to adopt him and take him home. I do believe I may need to personally interview the person that would like to do that – much love went into this fella and I may find it too hard to part with him. I’ll be at Most Everything on June 7th so be sure to drop by and say hello to me and Horatio!