A hornet has taken up residence in a crack in our outside wall, just above the back door to our yard.
Hornets are rare in Germany, so they're protected by law. If we kill it, we're subject to a fairly whopping fine.
The good news is that the only hornet in Germany is the European Hornet, Vespa crabro. While not exactly a cuddly pet, V. crabro is much less aggressive than its American cousin the Bald-faced Hornet.
The less good news is that, starting with a single queen, a V. crabro nest can have a couple of hundred individuals by the end of summer. This seems like a lot. And while the websites agree that this species is not necessarily agressive, they're also full of admonitions like "don't get too close to the nest" (it's 30 cm from the top of the door) and "don't get between a hornet and its nest" (um).
There are things to like about life in the countryside! It's a beautiful day outside, all blue and green and sunny. Yesterday we had a thunderstorm -- it lasted just twenty minutes, but we all stood by the back window watching hail come down. (Hail is always cool, even when it destroys stuff.) Flowers are everywhere; the poppies are finished, but the roses are in full blast. The cherry tree is ripening; we pick a few cherries every day and they're very sweet. Later there will be plums and quinces, and then apples -- all growing in our yard. And then of course there are the birds.
On Saturday we had our housewarming party, and everyone had a good time... neighbors and family sitting around tables in the back yard; coffee and cake in the afternoon, brats and beer and Indian food in the evening; little boys splashing in the little blue swimming pool, shrieking with delight when swung high, high in the hammock; candles in the twilight and finally a few survivors trekking indoors to watch the Russians surprise the Dutch on TV. It's really nice sometimes.
It would be petty of me to mention the hay fever. I took an Allegra this morning and I'm fine.
So on the whole, I like it. It's just...