Well, I found the wasps. Yesterday was a lovely day for gardening–a bit overcast, not too hot–so I went out to rearrange a few plants. Some of the pinks I planted in the spring were being swallowed up by the volunteer cleome. I decide to move them over next to one of the azaleas, where a few other pinks weren’t filling in as much as I wanted. As I was patting the second plant into place in its new home I felt a sting, through my glove, at the base of my right thumb. As I stood up to check it I saw perhaps a dozen wasps hovering between the pink and the azalea, a few inches off the ground. I had seen no wasps in the area when I started, but apparently I had disturbed the entrance to an underground nest.
I managed to retrieve the watering can, tossing a little water in the general direction of the pink, and retreated to the house with a new enthusiasm for cleaning the kitchen.