WHAT in the WORLD is this MONSTER??
While pulling weeds from the garden, I noticed this... this THING buzzing around. I had never seen anything like it! Curiosity got the best of me. I took a little break from working and followed it around for a bit. At first, it reminded me of a mud dauber wasp, with its thread-like waste; but closer examination revealed a couple of big differences. First, there was an orange stripe on its abdomen that I've never seen on any of our mud daubers. Then, I noticed those GIANT mandibles! Its behavior was also much different than a mud dauber. While a mud dauber generally picks up mud and flies it back to its nesting spot, this thing was going in and out of a hole in the ground and then refilling it. This was definitely not a mud dauber wasp. But, what was it?