Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Things that wander across my desk...

So I was sitting at my desk the other day, and this ant wanders across the edge, carrying something that looked like a peppercorn. All of a sudden, the and and its prize fell off my desk to the floor...

And I said to myself, "What the hell IS THAT?"

I was afraid to look at it under my microscope  (eeeeyuw!), but it looked suspiciously like the head of a larger insect. Which begged the question: what was the ant doing with it?

Are hordes of executioner ants living in my office, yielding tiny swords???


  1. Mortifying ... especially for the head's previous owner!

  2. Anonymous8:36 pm

    Oh my! The Scourge of the Decapitating Ants ...! Sleep with one eye open, Natalie!

  3. Lock that office door at night.

  4. Ants certainly seem to manage to carry loads much bigger and heavier than they are - perhaps the big insect was dead and the ant just siezed the opportunity!

  5. Hate to say it, honey, but that looks like a cockroach egg . . .

  6. Oh yack! That is scary.

  7. Anonymous4:30 pm

    Ants are amazing. There's a red ant colony down the road from us that we like to stop and watch on our walks. A month ago the guys from the county road repair crew covered over the opening to their nest. We thought they were goners. But, nope, several weeks later they'd drilled a hole through it and are back in business. It's fun to watch them walk around with a pebble as they decide just where it's supposed to go. (That does look like an insect head in your photo, btw.)

  8. Anonymous10:37 pm

    ok this is completely unrelated to the mystery head ... or egg or whatever it is... but just wanted to CONGRATULATE you on the 1000th blog entry. that is really quite amazing! I've really enjoyed reading .. ok well not all ... but many and i think from 2005. where does the time go??? I'm reading a book titled Why life seems to speed up as you get older: how memory shapes our past and haven't gotten to the reason yet but i think it must have something to do with some kind of telescoping effect ...like ... ergh ..i can't remember what that's called in drawing ... i need to access memories back to high school art classes .. waaayyyy back... something having to do with perspective. foreshortening ... ok i did come up with that term independently but did look it up just not to look like a complete retard (oh i think it's not polite to use that term anymore...well ok i don't care) anyway ....
    What i really REALLY enjoy in your blog are the old pictures. i can't quite put my finger on why but when i have just a bit of time for this blog-reading luxury those are the ones i tend to read and look at. they're just so interesting and intriguing. i think someone expressed it as a kind of thought provoking vehicle for wondering what was going on in their lives...what made them happy, sad, what were their dreams. anyway it's just really fascinating... and i love to see the physical similarities between you and your mother. Amazing!
    I really LOVED the series on maple syrup ... sorry i couldn't comment, but that was fascinating. I absolutley adore maple s. my dad had a colleague who had a MS place in northern mich. we went there once but i was really too young to remember much, but i do remember those five gallon metal containers of MS all through my childhood/adolescence. AND Maple sugar candy... ooooooo to DIE for! in fact i just have a general fondness for Maple trees. they're about the only tree i can identify (!!!) having grown up with some wonderful old lovely things in our yard. (thanks to google earth i can still have a look at them ... from space, but they're still there!)
    so again Congrats! you're making a lot of people very happy and feeling good Knat. :)

  9. Ahab, I should say so!! :) It would be like a miniature poodle making off with MY head.

    Paula, normal people have that reaction. Me, I grab a camera...

    CogDis, I shall definitely take your advice.

    Deb, no kidding!!

    Catherine, I suspect you're right. I have no evidence that any murder was carried out by an ant. ;)

    Nick, it was NOT a cockroach egg. It appeared to have ... mandibles. And eyes. :P

    David, don't let it give you nightmares.

    TTPT, wow, they are amazingly resilient. I want to read more about ants now. I think they share many of the habits of honeybees.

  10. Dr. SLoth, thanks for leaving me such a long great comment!!! I want to read that book you mentioned.

    I didn't know you had so many great memories maple syrup season either. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. I know Eugene is happy for the free labour.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!