Look closely at the picture to the left. Can you see what it is? (Please, click to enlarge.)
Yes, these are ants and I need a better camera lens and zoom.
Nevertheless, I can not help but be completely fascinated by these incredible little insects. Or not so little, depending on where in the world we are.
Thankfully, in my part of the world, ants are miniature and pose no harm to us humans. They are more a source of admiration and at time a slight nuisance to us gardeners.
I love to watch these little creatures, ALWAYS hard at work. They seem to be a spring of endless energy. Constantly on a move, busy performing or undertaking something, they appear to be almost a part of a collective consciousness, as they are so synchronized and organized in their work flow.
Already as a child I loved when walking through the Slovakian forests with my parents, we would encounter an ant hill. I always stopped gazing at it with fascination, as it appeared that a bustling metropolis was hiding within its core. A slight disturbance and the hill seemed to come alive in instant, as the inhabitants mobilized their troops.
Here are some cool facts about these amazing creatures (click here for source):
•If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse.
•Ants can lift 20 times their own body weight.
•The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.
•Adult ants cannot chew and swallow solid food. They rely on juice which they squeeze from pieces of food.
•The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants.
•There are over 10000 known species of ants.
•Some worker ants are given the job of taking the rubbish from the nest and putting it outside in a special rubbish dump.
•Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites.
•The Slave-Maker Ant (Polyergus Rufescens) raids the nests of other ants and steals their pupae. When these new ants hatch,they work as slaves within the colony.
•If a worker ant has found a good source for food, it leaves a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can find the food.
•The queen ant lives up to ten or twenty years.
•The wood ant can threaten the enemy with open jaws.
•There are thirty-five thousand kinds of ants in the world.
•Some ants sleep seven hours a day.
•Ants are normally from 2 to 7 mm long, although carpenter ants can stretch to 2 cm, or almost an inch.
•Some ants care for and "farm" other insects.
Today I am as in awe of these busy little insects as I was in my childhood. However at times they do rise my frustration level; such as when they move into my house or start undermining my patios, just like on the clip below, which I took a couple of weeks ago.