Monday, 27 August 2012

Field Study's Man in E17 says don't underestimate the ants

The Archipelago of Truth offered some advice about the value of red ants recently - suggesting curry their eggs. I thought the next time I have scale shifting size of ant egg moment that advice will be very useful. Earlier this evening a particularly daring red ant found its way into one of my ears. I didn't care about what the ant was trying to tell me and quickly dug it out. Of course what I really needed was a green woodpecker to perch on my shoulder and pick off any ants intent on getting to the most precious of my woody materials.

A particularly fine specimen of a green woodpecker can be found over in the Archipelago. My advice to any woodpecker with a predilection for ants is, don't underestimate them. Bernard Werber's, 'Empire of the Ants' has an account of how a foolhardy woodpecker met a very grisly end via a multitude of very snappy mandibles.

'Soldiers then entered the head, looking for the opening to the brain. A worker found a passage, the carotid artery, which led from the heart to the brain .........' - and so they continued.

I retreated from poly-tunnel tomato picking and headed for a potato harvest. 



I thought these were potatoes however as the ground began to rumble and the birdsong was drowned out by a cacophony of gnashing mandibles I realised I had disturbed a giant red ants nest. Remembering Technomist's advice about red ant curry, I opportunistically grabbed a few of the eggs and legged it, hoping I would escape their vicious clutches and make a giant red ant egg-aloo. Giant red ants do not take kindly to their eggs being stolen for curries and one ant pursued me with terrifying determination. Even when I jettisoned one of the eggs the ant did not let up the pursuit. I thought all was lost as the air just above my head was vibrated by the frantic myrmedon gnashings. Then another sound or vibration filled the air and with a terrific whoosh an exquisite dragonfly swooped down and crunched the petulant giant red ant away.

Dragonfly at the allotment, Sunday 26th August 2012

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