Hornet’s Nest & The last of the fall color at Wild Ozark

A hornet’s nest to decorate with has long been on my wish-list. Around here, they don’t survive very long in the wild because cliff or chimney swifts tear up their nests to make the plaster for their own nests.

There was a big one in the plum tree on the other end of the horse’s field I had my eye on. When I went to check on it the other day, it was completely devastated.

Gloria looking glorious

Then one day while I was on the balcony upstairs I noticed a cluster of what looked like dried leaves right there in Gloria’s branches. You probably can’t see it in this pic, but this is Gloria. And it’s a beautiful picture, so that’s why I’m posting it.

Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree "Gloria".
Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree “Gloria”.

Another Hornet’s Nest

The bundle of dried leaves was hiding another hornet’s nest. I had never noticed until the leaves began to fall. We watched it several days and never saw any hornets going in and out. It must be abandoned?

Rob with the hornet's nest
It was abandoned, thank goodness. Rob tried shooting the limb to make it fall but that didn’t work. So he had to use the pole saw to cut the branch. It was way up in the tree, just barely low enough to reach with the pole.

What now?

We put it in a contractor bag, tied it shut tight, and will leave it out there until we’re sure all the larvae (if any are there) have hatched. All this time I thought the hardest part of getting a nest was not getting stung. But it seems the hardest part is getting the nest before other critters get it.

The last of the fall color

This year hasn’t been a spectacular one for color, but it’s still very pretty.

Fall color on the eastern hill.
Fall color on the eastern hill.

What else has been happening on the Wild Ozark front?

I’ve been really really busy revising and polishing the first book of my Bounty Hunter rural fantasy series. And working on a new fiction website. I claimed the domain name ruralfantasy.com, which I was super-excited about. Also took up a different pen name for my fiction, and it’s a silly one but catchy, and I like it. Anyway, the new site is a long ways from being finished and the revisions of the story are higher on the priority list.

That’s why you haven’t seen a post lately, or this month’s newsletters yet.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming

Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

2 thoughts on “Hornet’s Nest & The last of the fall color at Wild Ozark

  1. Madison, I imagine very few people have ever uttered that first sentence. 🙂 I’ll be interested to see how you decorate the nest when you get around to it. Love the photo of Gloria and, of course, the one of Rob. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. I know the wishes are early, but I may not talk to you before then and the way time is flying by…


    1. Haha, maybe not. I just want to hang it either in the house or in the Nature Boutique. The nest itself is decoration, not planning to do anything more with it, though. They sell them on ebay for around $50 but I never wanted to buy one, just wanted one from here. It’s pretty fitting with my decor… a bunch of rocks, bones, fossils, and dried herbs hanging around 😉

      Thank you and you have a wonderful, abundant Thanksgiving too. Time is certainly flying these days.

Info or feedback to share?