There was a lot of excitement this evening when Bug Mad Girl found a wasp crawling over her bed. It was a Common Wasp and must have been a queen looking for somewhere to overwinter. The male wasps all die off when the weather turns cold and the new queens hide away somewhere frost free, ready to emerge in the spring and build their own nests.
She was quite dopey and quiet, so we had the chance to take a good look at her. There are a few things I've never really noticed about wasps before (because I'm usually avoiding them as they raid our picnics!): they fold their wings tightly together so they seem very thin; they have really big black antennae that seem too heavy for their heads; their legs are orange instead of yellow; they're quite hairy and they have scary looking faces with big black eyes.
After watching her for a while, BMG put her outside in our bug hotel. Hopefully she'll be safe and can hole up there until it warms up in the spring.