Weeds and Ants in a Hole


The recent muggy weather has sprouted those bothersome weeds that squeeze themselves into the cracks of my driveway. And since I have bunnies and cats, crows and raccoon mamas with raccoon babies that use the yard as if it was their very own, I don’t use pesticides. This leaves me with the tedious chore of yanking those stubborn and yes-unsightly-weeds by hand. Did I mention it has been intolerably muggy?


I admit that I was less then enamored with Mother Earth as I sweltered in my gloves as the sun tried to fry me like an egg in a skillet with the humidity turned up to, oh, maybe one hundred and fifty percent. Tiny dribbles of sweat yodeled down my neck and by the time I put my water bottle down, grabbed a basket to ‘relocate’ the weeds into, the dribbles turn to rivers. I admit there was a momentary lapse in appreciating the blessings of the day as I pondered the job ahead of me. But then…there were those ants.


The itsy-bitsy legionnaires of a huge army that lies beneath to work as one very efficient, very enthusiastic entity to the betterment of all in the colony is a wonder in unity. Each has a job. I watched a bit of cement crack and some ants were intense in their mission to place pieces of sand along the border of the central entrance. When I looked beyond the immediate couple of inches to other real estate, a conga line of ants were carrying bits of green things towards the embankment of the sandy border. Somewhere beneath was a nursery, where members spent their day turning and tending the eggs and still others were assigned to attend the queen.  


I wondered how it was that they all got along down there. Such a confluence of beings in one dark, cramped space. Is there ever an uprising? Do the nursemaids on one day decided there would be no more babysitting? Do the food gatherers wake up one dawn and think there is enough sand on that hilly border and those ants should invest time and energy on helping others gather food? And what about ideological differences? Do border builders think it unfair that they don’t get to simply sit around and fan the queen? Why do they have to do all the work? Everyone in the colony should have equal job security- is that what those little minds think up down there in the home hole?


Now I know I was supposed to be plucking weeds out of cracks, but the nature of nature once again showed me that those so-called insignificant minds are pretty darn smart. At least smart enough to know they all have to get along together - or the hole becomes empty.