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Stump Stabber

Richard Bartz

"Giant Ichneumon Wasp," by Christine Wren.

"On a hot summer day a strange new insect appeared in my backyard, poking around on a Douglas-fir stump. She resembled a wasp, a big one, but not the ordinary kind that hovers over picnic baskets. She was tantalizingly exotic...her behavior even more so. For half an hour I sat and watched. Methodically, she probed the stump's top and sides with her antennae. The she stopped to perform an amazing feat. Looking like a gymnast, she raised her body up into a headstand, and then gracefully formed a backwards arch with her abdomen and the long trailing whip, which promptly anchored itself to the wood like a flagpole. She balanced motionless in that position, and then moved on to repeat the elaborate maneuver in many new places."

(Broadcast: Fieldnotes, July 20th & 21st, 2014)

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.
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