Paper Nest | Notes From a Walk

At the top of the steps in the wet grass lie brown and white clumps. I look closer. Chunks of wasp nest fallen out of a tree. I pick up a chunk and the back side is brown wasp paper and the front side is white cubicles. I sniff it and it smells like honey. That surprises me.

And then I can't stop sniffing it, a sort of nectary papery smell. Over and over I hold it to my nose and sniff. I run my fingertips over the tops of the cubicles. One of them is filled and sealed with something like cotton, a wasp never hatched.

And then a few feet away I spy the brownish swirl. It's the shell of the nest. I pick it up and it's all in layers like pastry only papery. It's outer layer feels damp but the inside is dry. One side sags toward the other but it does not collapse, its structure springy though it's only paper and spittle.