Looking up from the depths of the seaside caponier in the outer defenses of Fort McClary at Kittery Point, Maine, to the blockhouse perched above on a small hill. Fort McClary’s site has been an important defensive position for Portsmouth harbor since 1689 and was expanded and reconstructed many times for the next two hundred years. The strategically important Portsmouth Naval Shipyard lies just inside its sentinel position on the tidal Piscataqua River, which creates the seacoast border between the states of New Hampshire and Maine.
The carefully constructed tubes of an organ-pipe mud dauber wasp align under the eaves of a Guilford barn. The brilliant metallic blue wasps build up their ridged nests layer upon layer using tiny mudballs flown in from nearby puddles, the varying colors reflecting different sources. As the male stands guard, the female wasp fills each tube’s stacked compartments with a single egg and a stash of paralyzed spiders for the hatchlings to dine upon in their private chambers