Today, in a mixed evergreen/maple urban forest in Vancouver, BC, we found a wasps nest we could not identify. It was about 12 feet up in a maple tree, hanging from the trunk where a branch joined. The nest was a brownish color, and looked more like a growth on the tree than the usual greyish nests we see around here. It was about the size of a medium cabbage. Cabbage comes to mind, because instead of a spiral or concentric layers of paper, this one seemed to be formed of overlapping rounded leaves, like a cabbage. It was quite smooth, and completely closed in. We could not find the hole, but it seemed that the wasps were coming out of the junction between the trunk and the nest. The wasps themselves were blackish, and looked almost like ants at that distance. They were mostly crawling on the nest, occasionally flying a foot or two away and returning.
What have we found?
Sounds like a Hornet’s Nest, Bald Faced Hornet, Vespula maculata, probably.