When we first moved into our current house, I was horrified to find a wasp nest stuck to the wall above the back door. We sprayed it with poison and knocked it down. Later I was dismayed to learn what makes this type of nest.
You see, this is the nest of the most magical and wonderful member of the order Hymenoptera, the mud dauber.
This noble beast is truly the greatest of all wasps. What makes the mud dauber so beautiful and special? It eats spiders. Especially black widows. Mud daubers are also solitary, so one wasp doesn't mean there are dozens more somewhere plotting your demise., and they aren't territorial either. Our mud dauber can be spotted hanging around the pond in the turtle pen, her nest is once again above our back door, but we've never actually seen her up there. It has at least six cells now, each filled with an assortment of horrible arachnids that will never bother anyone ever again. Thank you mud dauber!