Sunday, October 18, 2009

The tragedy of the ants

When I was cleaning up the yard after the recent storms, Miro helped by eating all the yellow grape tomatoes left on the vines. He cleverly left the green ones, taking only those that were ripe.

All summer I had watched hundreds of black ants moving little twigs at the foot of some steps made of railroad ties. It took weeks to figure out that they were building up a berm, for reasons unknown. From the number of them, I guessed that their tunnels extended a long way into the slope; but I resisted the temptation to dig in and find out. It didn't seem fair to disturb the tremendous amount of work they had done.

When I checked on them today, I saw holes instead of their little mound.
The entire mound was flattened.

The neighborhood flickers had discovered the ants and bored down like the anteaters they are. A few ants wandered above ground--too tiny for my camera to capture--like the dazed survivors you see in the movies after an apocalyptic event. Months, whole ant lifetimes of work, gone in a few days of rain and birds. Really, it reminded me of the time my computer crashed and I foolishly hadn't backed up weeks of files.

1 comment:

  1. I guess that kind of goes with the circle of life. The ants probably ate whatever life was in their tunnels and then the birds ate the ants! We're glad nodoggies got bitten by the ants!

    Poppy, Penny & Patches