Being a photo of a wasps’ nest.
The wasps are dead.
I have a visceral horror of bugs, extending to a dislike of most arthropods; I don’t really like crab or lobster I suspect partly because of the mental effort in not being revolted by their appearance on the table-top.
We have an old (1919) wooden house with lots of big botanicals; most summers we’ve had to take out a nest or two, because the wasps are a major irritant when you’re trying to eat on the porch. These days extermination is easy and hands-off; you wait till dusk when they go to bed, squirt the poison in the entrance, and the wasps never wake up.
A few years ago we were renovating a bathroom. I remember like yesterday when Jack, the towering burly gentle Polish plumber/carpenter, came shooting out, face pale with shock, and slammed the door. He’d been ripping out the ceiling and just about stuck his whole arm into a huge nest above, they must have been building it for years. Wouldn’t have been pretty in an enclosed space.
The nest we killed yesterday was different because it was hanging free in the small branches of the big evergreen clematis by our front steps. So Lauren and I both climbed up the stepladder; she sliced at the branches with secateurs and loppers while I held a big garbage bag open, working it up around the nest. A simple enough operation, except for I was dealing with moderate waves of nausea at the proximity to thousands of dead arthropods.
Anyhow, they’re gone.