Just a few updates today.

The October Circus of the Spineless is up at Wanderin’ Weeta. Fun to read, as always.

Also wanted to report two items that turned up almost exactly a year ago. Last week I saw the same kind of silverfish that I found in the opening of harvester ant nests again. I looked it up and I saw them last year in the first part of September. No better photographs than last year, but it was also in a harvester ant mound.

Two weeks ago I saw another “meet and greet” by rover ants. The first time I saw that October 10 last year. I’d really like to find out more about that behavior.

Anyone out there have any ideas?

Desert Botanical Garden Gets Buggy

Just wanted to give my local readers a heads up:

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona is hosting David Roger’s Big Bugs sculpture exhibit again, starting in September. They have some ant-related events associated with the exhibit:

There will be a showing of the documentary Ants — Nature’s Secret Power on November 3, 2011 at  7-8:30 p.m., with a question and answer session by Dr. Bert Hoelldobler afterwards.

Kevin Haight from Arizona State University will present Ants in the Sonoran Desert on Saturday, October 8, 2011.

There is a fee for both programs above, the amount depending on whether you are a member of the garden or not.

Look for classes for children and a kid’s movie at the website as well.

Ant Oddity

Last month while I was in Denver, I noticed some ants in my in-laws front yard.

As usual, I had about two minutes to watch them.

I noticed a couple of workers struggling with something.

It looked like a queen ant with deformed wings.

The workers let it go and it ran off.

At which point my brother-in-law asked me what I was doing. “You look a little weird, you know,” he said. Needless to say, I gave up my chase.

I started taking photographs of the flowers instead <grin>.

How do you disguise yourself while taking photographs?

Does anyone recognize what the ants were dragging?

Blogging In July

Where have I been? I am afraid this blog has been set aside for almost a month now, for various reasons. But I have great plans for the month of July. I have even signed up to participate in National Blog Posting Month or Nablopomo, a lighthearted challenge to publish a new blog post every day for the month of July. The theme for this month’s challenge is swim, so let’s dive right in.

Highlights of things to come:

  • New Ants of the Week
  • Book reviews
  • Wordless Wednesdays (photographs)
  • Current research clips
  • Tributes to Entomologists
  • Answers to reader questions
  • And much more!

July is a perfect month to be excited about ants here in the Southwest, because we have summer rains called monsoons that trigger a lot of swarms. (Hopefully we won’t be doing any real swimming because of the rains.) With things are heating up in the ant world, I plan to capture some of the events on film. I will also be asking for help identifying ants from the mountains of Colorado, where we recently visited. We’re brimming with “ant”icipation for the next 31 days!

As always, if you have any ideas, suggestions or questions about ants, I would love to hear about them.

Don’t wait for your ship to come in – swim out to it.  ~Author Unknown