I’ve always liked ants. We had a whole civilization of little black ants with tiny anthills in Flagstaff. We used to draw subdivisions and roads around the heaps. The red ants weren’t quite so fun, considering how bad they hurt when they stung, but they were still fascinating to watch. The only ones we ran from were the army ants. That was a whole other level of hurt.
Ants up here in the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades, seem like a very mellow bunch. They’re also fairly large in comparison to the Arizona ones. This fat fellow was lounging around Juanita Bay a few Junes ago, and was kind enough to pause for a photo op.
I wonder what their colonies look like in our damp soils, or if they just live in dead trees. I know nothing about them.
They’re not as dramatic as some other insects, but they’re still quite lovely. I mean, look at the shiny bands and little hairs on this one’s rear. Look at the amber-hued legs, and the coal black head and thorax or whatever that middle bit is. It’s understated, but lovely.
And against the silver-gray wood of the boardwalk rail, with the wetlands in the background, it’s a perfect bit of nature.
This is very Zen, this moment, with the ant looking like it’s meditating on the wetland. It also gives me an XKCD feel. I’m not sure why. Just something in the way it’s standing there.
Remarkable little critters. I hope one of you knows which species this is, so we can discover its story.