exposing ants

I have been throwing myself into research as of late.  One of the more fluid decisions I made when it comes to researching is not to be consumed with how it directly relates to my work.  I know eventually the topics I am studying will feed into(whether indirectly or blatantly) my pieces and so I keep moving forward taking rabbit trails, hiding under rocks, opening doors, climbing trees so that my marvel will never die and my mind never seizes to a halt. 

Which brings me to ants.  On a summer camping trip we found a huge patch of untouched wild blueberries. YUM!  So we picked and picked and ate and ate until we had 3-4 gallons of berries.  But it all ended rather abruptly when Emma and I sauntered over the hill like something out of Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCluskey and picked in the sun for a bit.  Something didn’t feel right like the wind had shifted or the tide had turned. . .then I looked down.  My feet were blanketed in big wood ants, swarming in fact.  They were marching at a break neck paced, blurring black and brown ants.  Screams erupted, arms flailed, blueberries dropped.  Poor Emma started running not knowing what was wrong with her hysterical maternal figure.   But an interest was born out of that hysteria and here are the results be them ever so much calmer and fascinating.

 The man(Dr. Walter R. Tschinkle) above is standing by a plaster cast he made of an ant colony.  Here he is on CBS Sunday Morning giving a demonstration:


In a similar vein but on a much grander scale is this speechless construct captured on Ants! Nature’s Secret Power(to view the full show in 6 parts visit here):

Now tell me you aren’t awed!

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