The Trafalgar Square Hawks

I spend a lot of time searching for stuff on Flickr, and I often run across amazing things just by accident.  The very meaning of serendipity!  Today I went looking for pictures of Trafalgar Square, and encountered the picture you see to the left, of a Harris hawk on a warning sign.

"Say what?" was my first thought.  I imagined the citizens of London coming to a halt, breathless as a majestic wild raptor swooped down from the skies, only to perch atop a sign which seems to be warning of a cable stretching across the pavement.

Frankly this seemed pretty implausible, even to me.  I looked a little more closely, and thought I spotted jesses dangling from the hawk's feet.  In another picture from the same Flickr user, I confirmed the presence of jesses.

Ichneumon And Horntail Wasps: Clash of the Titans

Oh my, it must be Giant Wasp Season.  Hadn't you heard?  I started noticing giant wasps over the weekend.  Not just regular wasps, I'm accustomed to (for example) mud dauber wasps.  I'm talking GIANT wasps, about the size of my pinkie finger, no lie.

The first thing I did was Google these monsters.  I mean, after the part where I ran inside squealing in terror, obviously.  The bad news: there are several kinds of giant wasps you might encounter.  The good news: most of them don't sting.
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