Now this is something interesting to find doing what looks like figure skating school figures in your garage. The circular movement pattern was obviously the result of this poor wasp having lost a leg somehow. I’d never seen any insect that looked quite like this before so I ran to my California Insects book and discovered it is a Tarantula Hawk. What a lifestyle this wasp leads! I hope you followed the link and read the whole gruesome story and that you make a note in the picture of the intact stinger. Yikes! Give these ladies a wide berth! (The males can’t really sting but apparently they pretend they can. Look for the curled antennae…those are the stinging girls!)
My only remaining question is why this lady wasp was frequenting our neck of the woods. The tarantulas are all at higher (foothill) elevations in this area, AREN’T THEY??? Please say yes.