ANTS ON STEPS

There are few conditions like drought and heat to bring the activity of ants to the fore. We have both in abundance. I happened to sit on the steps outside our kitchen for a few minutes the other day and captured these images with my cell phone. My attention was first drawn to this gap in the wall:

The fine grains of sand spilling out of it is detritus from the mining activities of the ants as they have burrowed deeper into the ground behind the stones that make up the edge of the steps leading up to the top of the terrace. A spider has taken advantage of this gap to catch unsuspecting passersby. Where there is ant activity, there must be ants. I didn’t have far to look:

Here some of them are, walking up and down the leaves of this succulent plant growing right next to the steps. All of them were busy – too busy to stop and look around; to chat to their fellow workers; or simply to take a rest. All were focused on whatever job they had to do. Now among these ants are some construction workers, some of which must have tunnelled holes between the stone risers and built these towers:

I cannot help wondering if these are ‘cooling towers’ such as we see at some of our (dysfunctional) power stations on the Highveld.

18 thoughts on “ANTS ON STEPS

  1. I think ants, like many other social insects, are fascinating – their ability to delegate different tasks among the workers, the way in which they control the climate inside their nests, their war strategies, some of them even farm with fungus or aphids or caterpillars. We’re so vain to think we are the most intelligent species. “Go to the ant…” reads Proverbs 6.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is true. Unfortunately, they are all over the house too looking for sustenance and moisture in the drought. Not that this helps them much as we have not had a drop of water in our taps for over a day now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The ant army | Shail's Nest

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