17 April 2012

Wildlife, Part Two: Ants in our Pants

Mr. Beeb is our resident bug boy.  Last summer, when we would go pick up our CSA veggies, Beeb would be on his belly on the slab of concrete in front of the barn.  There were some anthills in the cracks and Beeb would put his hands in front of the ants so they could climb up on his arms.  By the time I was done collecting veggies, he would be covered in ants and transfixed watching them crawl around.  I would brush him off and off we would go until next week.  As as result of this fascination, we went a but buggy for his fourth birthday last September.  He got a bug box for collecting bugs and a big (orange) magnifying glass for studying bugs, as well as a gel-filled ant farm.  Being the johnny-on-the-spot that I am (Blogging about a September birthday in April?  Shush.), I didn’t get around to ordering his ants for a couple of months.  Immediately, I got an email saying that our ants wouldn’t be shipped until the weather was reliably warm enough to keep them from turning into antcicles.  Rats.  But patience is a virtue.  We finally got the ants toward the end of March and put them in their house:


I don’t think he likes them, do you?


That week when we went to the park to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather, the first thing he did is make his own anthill in the sand.  It’s in the foreground on the right.  The light was too flat to get a decent picture, but he’s pretty proud of it, so I tried anyway.


At home he watched them dig, providing a running commentary for the rest of us: "Look how good they doin' mama!"

So inspired, they dug…


…and dug…


…and dug…


Until they had dug all the passages they wanted:


All of the stuff they dug up ended up at one end because we took them to the park to show our homeschool friends and they got blown off the picnic table.

He still doesn’t seem to like them much!



Molly Bee said...

OMG! I hate ants, but that's finorkin adorable!

Namma said...

What a neat formicarium (yes, I look that up). I thought that the ants would need soil or sand to burrow through. Who knew that they would dig through gel??...but that certainly makes them easy to watch. Has Beeb watched "Antz"?