My Little Hitchhiker

Yesterday I got a massage (after the events of the past week, I needed it). When I was driving home, I was at a stoplight on North Druid Hills Road in Atlanta, about to turn onto Interstate 85 north, when a wood wasp landed on my driver’s side mirror. It proceeded to climb behind the mirror into its encasement, with only its little wasp-butt visible to me. At that point the light turned green and off I went, onto the interstate.

I imagine the car going in excess of 60 MPH was a bit more than my six-legged friend had bargained for. It turned around so I could see its head and two front legs, holding on to the mirror, the rest of its body safely tucked behind the mirror in the encasement. It sat there like that for the eleven mile ride as I drove up I-85 to the I-285 interchange, where I headed east to Lawrenceville Highway.

When I got off the Lawrenceville Highway exit ramp, the light was red and I came to a stop. With my car stationery, the wasp promptly flew from the mirror to the window where it alighted for just a second, almost as if to wave goodbye to me. Then it flew away. I thought about it as I drove to the post office off Lawrenceville Highway, before heading home. The wasp was quite a few miles away from home now. Would it survive long in its new and unfamiliar surroundings? Could it somehow manage to get back home — perhaps by hitching a ride in a car going the other way? Is holding on to car mirrors a normal trick that wasps use to get around? Or perhaps it was just attending an Earth Day Celebration for the wood wasps out in the suburbs, and so hitched a ride just this one time.

And now, for proof positive that I am crazy behind the wheel of a car, here is a photo I snapped of my little hitchhiker with my Blackberry as I was driving on I-85.

My Little Hitchhiker

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Beth

    Maybe s/he (probably a drone-he) is a commuter? Looking for mud in all the right places or something like that.

  • Mattie Decker

    Thank you, from another person who actually has been accused of hosting a ‘hospice for waspes”.
    I have found an attunement with these creatures when they make their way into my home. They always (without exception) respond willingly when I urge them onto a paper or paper towel, to be taken by me, outside. I say, don’t worry about his ‘finding’ home. I think they are already there all the time, but that’s just me…

    By the way, I am delighted to find your site today (sent from a friend who must have known we are kindred). I too, am a Druid, who actually graduated from Druid Hills High School, now teaching in Kentucky.