Yellowjackets in a Frog

In mid-August, we visited a friend’s house in Sag Harbor.  A lovely bronze frog held court on the deck railing.

Open and say, “Ah.”

But wait. What’s inside the frog? What the …?

Yellowjackets had colonized the interior of the frog, moving in and out of its mouth.

The poor creatures were waterlogged from recent downpours. Rather than trying to fly, they just crawled out and sat on the railing. I’m guessing they were trying to dry themselves out in the still-moist air.

The next day, the life-and-death insect drama continued.

Esau didn’t notice.

Nor did the dog of the house.

And I never did find out what happened to the yellowjackets. Life-and-death insect dramas go on all around us, all the time.  This one just happened to be more picturesque than most.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2012, dogs, Domestic animals, In the Country, insects, Seasons, Summer, Wildlife/Natural History

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8 Comments on “Yellowjackets in a Frog”

  1. Wild_Bill Says:

    A bad nesting site. Too bad for the poor yellow jackets. Hopefully next time they’ll choose something that has an opening that does not point up!

    • Not being open to the elements would seem like a pretty basic requirement. I wonder if wasps show signs of learning from year to year. Only the queen survives from year to year, I believe. The workers all live and die annually. So the queen would be the one that needs to learn from her mistake. Anyone know if wasps learn from experience to build better nests?

  2. Are you ready with the groan machine?
    “Any old port in a storm”

  3. Amazing story! It looks like the frog is coughing up yellowjackets. Lots of news lately about humans getting flooded out of their homes and neighborhoods from hurricanes and the like. This is a good reminder that it happens to wildlife too. Thanks Melissa; I love this story.

    • Hi Kelly. Glad you liked the story. Your comment makes me think of the last scene in Chekhov’s The Seagull between Nina and Kostantin, when she has come in drenched out of the storm and quotes Turgenev:

      “Happy is he who can sit at night under the roof of his home, who has a warm corner in which to take refuge.” I am a sea-gull–and yet–no. [She passes her hand across her forehead] What was I saying? Oh, yes, Turgenev. He says, “and God help all homeless wanderers.”

  4. Mark Wilkinson Says:


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