Monday, 4 July 2011

Excitement in our garden

After all the excitement of France we are now home in our garden and enjoying the warm weather and sunshine we should have had in France.
Where am I? I was quite happy in the nest
Yesterday (3/7/11) there was much excitement in the little world of the black ant. There are several colonies of these industrious little critters in our garden walls and under some of our patio slabs. They are completely harmless apart from removing mortar from between our brickwork and grouting from our slabbing. What caused yesterdays excitement and frenetic activity was the release and launching of their flying queens, (The British know all about colonisation). I noticed that a lot of these new queens were confused and reluctant to fly and were chivvied by the worker ants until they took flight and were rapidly carried away in air currents to land goodness knows where. Photo by Curious Fish.
I spent quite a lot of time peering at the crevice in the brickwork which is the entrance to the nest (sad I know) and noticed that some of the 'less keen to leave' queens were towed out of the nest by their noses (do ants have noses?). To my amusement several of these laggards shook off their towing worker ant and shot back inside the nest never to be seen again (by me). They were probably back at the ant drinks machine having a sip of ambrosia.
In amongst all this ant activity the Curious Fish and I were indulging in a spot of pruning, trimming and letting light in (to such an extent that we now have two huge monster bags of greenery to take to the tip for recycling.
I also donned the 'Marigolds' and hauled a whole load of weed out of our overgrown garden pond as the three geriatric fish we now possess, thanks to the thinning out of the original 14 by various cats over the last decade, were lost in a dense forest of Water Soldiers, March Marigolds and Water Mint and sending me 'can we have some daylight' messages. This pond disturbance revealed a good crop of little froglets (hooray) from this years swarms of tadpoles (the tadpoles being one of the main reasons for the portly state of our geriatric fish no doubt).
Pond pals
The water had cleared by this morning and to my delight a full grown Frog was flaunting itself next to our Golden Orfe.

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