Gardening has a funny way of changing the way you think about certain things in life. For me it has made me more appreciative of all forms of life, whether they be big or small, human or animal, mammal or sinsect. I should add that ORGANIC gardening does this, not conventional, kill everything that crawls, flies, digs or walks onto my land type of gardening.
For example, 2 years ago I was severly afraid of bees. This is because I tend to swell up really badly when I'm stung, so if there was ever a bee around I would run and squirm and generally act like an idiot to get away from it. Now I can be found most mornings watering and digging through my cucumber plants checking for new fruit and clearing out dead leaves while hundreds of bees buzz around me stopping at every little flower collecting the pollen while I work along side them. Realizing the connection that bees have to the health and production of my food has completely changed the way I look at bees. I've learned from observation that their first priority is always to find a flower, not to attack people. Now I view them as my garden help mates, working with me to produce beautiful and delicious food. We both benefit from my garden and each other, I benefit from their pollination and they benefit from all the flowers produced by my plants.
The same is now true for wasps as well. In days past I was just as fearful of a wasp nest developing under a roof on my house as the next person. However last year's garden changed all that when a small paper wasp colony took up residence on an awning close to my tomatos garden. I was intrigued after seeing them flying around my tomato plants seemingly inspecting each leaf, so I did some research on them only to learn that wasps are voracious predators of caterpillars and are beneficial insects in a garden. I also found them to be quite docile, I could get right up next to their hive and check out what they were doing with out ever getting stung or swarmed. Their main priorities were finding caterpillars and feeding their babies, not tormenting me :) Now I welcome wasps to take up residence around my home, so far this year only one group of 3 or 4 wasps has moved in just under the roof over the garden. Mind you these guys aren't actually IN the roof, I might have issues with a hive of insects moving INSIDE the house :)
I guess the reason I was thinking about all this is because this morning I was making a trip to Home Depot and as soon as I walked inside a lady working there asked me if I wanted to buy any wasp spray. I was surprisingly offended by this question and I'm sure I accidentally gave her stink eye to which she was probably very confused! It was like she was asking if she could come over and kill my friends as nonchalantly as she might ask if I wanted to buy some duct tape. I thought about turning around and informing her that wasps are beneficial insects and we shouldn't be needlessly killing them like that. I decided to keep it to myself though, after all, there aren't many people out there who would understand unless they were also organic gardeners developing a deeper understanding and love for all life on this planet and the connection we all have to each other.