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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Doting on Ants

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On the evening of 4 August, last week, Oxted experienced a sudden mass of flying ants.  I haven’t seen such a thing before on this continent, but am always amazed at how mother nature manages to synchronise these things on such a large scale. I assume that all Oxted/Limpsfield ants aren’t part of the same mega-colony. In 2002 we heard about the mega ant-colony that stretched 6000 miles from Portugal to Italy.  Earlier this year we read about a mega ant colony that occupies 3 continents.  Or perhaps the ants are playing Risk?

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The photographs I took don’t correctly reflect the frenetic and energetic behaviour of the ants.  I seem to show them pausing for thought. There is no sense of the swarming and flying, the crawling up my leg and into my pants, the rush of energy, followed by the strange calm when it was all over.

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I assume that the ants perform this spectacular feat in unison because of the “safety in numbers” principle, and that the timing is achieved by following cues of weather: e.g. moisture, temperature and time of day.  Another factor could be the growing period of ants eggs, and the time since the ants started laying eggs after the winter..

Posted by bigblue on 13/08/2009 at 04:39 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (3) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

“the crawling up my leg and into my pants, the rush of energy, followed by the strange calm”

Now now. Restrain yourself.

Posted by Janet  on  13/08/2009  at  07:27 PM

‘There is no sense of the swarming and flying, the crawling up my leg and into my pants, the rush of energy, followed by the strange calm when it was all over.’

Maybe the meaning was lost in reading - to me (being silly) it was just toooo much information wink

Posted by David  on  14/08/2009  at  11:03 PM

Moving swiftly on…

Posted by bigblue  on  18/08/2009  at  03:29 PM

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