Nature's Place

Watering The Ants







P1100724_filtered Mark Berkery

This nocturnal ant handicapped by the dented head.

Here in Oz the ant is in charge of turning the earth, as in other places it is the worm. That’s how it looks to me. Everywhere I look there are ants, always on the move, busy, busy, busy. They are better built for working the dry soil, with a little help from the occasional rain.

There are so many kinds of ant I have lost track, as if I was ever so inclined. Here are a few I invited to stop for a picture, by placing a drop of sugar-water along their path.

Every thing works its patch, you and me included. And everything needs the right kind of nourishment.

A little nectar is a passing heaven, to an ant.

Sensational …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look


26 Responses

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  1. Tracy Dee Whitt said, on 25/10/2015 at 11:15 am

    I had no idea ants look like this. Absolutely amazing!

    • Mark said, on 25/10/2015 at 12:06 pm

      They are indeed. Thanks Tracy. The more recent stuff is here –

      • Tracy Dee Whitt said, on 25/10/2015 at 1:15 pm

        Thanks! I’ve been showing them to my daughter.

        • Mark said, on 25/10/2015 at 3:55 pm

          It’s good for children to get a perspective other than the normal ‘pest’ one. Insects are amazing creatures and are vital to the healthy life of the whole planet. It’s a shame we people dominate the narrative otherwise.

  2. Cate said, on 19/09/2015 at 12:34 am

    Lovely images, Mark. I am struck by the little horns on the backs of the top two — defensive features, I assume. And — as always with your photos — the exquisite, detailed beauty of these tiny wonders. .

  3. standingoutinmyfield said, on 19/09/2015 at 12:18 am

    Gorgeous creatures

  4. macmsue said, on 18/09/2015 at 11:00 pm

    I wonder if that last guy had a headache.

    • Mark said, on 18/09/2015 at 11:49 pm

      Those ants mostly come out to feed on those flowers at night and amongst the number this one was definitely slow of mind.

      • macmsue said, on 19/09/2015 at 11:19 am

        I guess he probably had a bit of concussion then. :-)

      • Lissa said, on 19/09/2015 at 11:27 am

        Poor things head is caved in. Checked the Anatomy of an Ant and it’s brain is in it’s head. No wonder it was a bit slow. It has an ABI.
        Lovely pics Mark. The majority of these ants have the same double spines on their thorax apart from the last one.

        • Mark said, on 19/09/2015 at 12:30 pm

          Thanks Lissa. There are three kinds here with the spines and they are about during the day, often alone, and are fighters – – while the last I usually only find at night, in ‘packs’, when most other creatures are at rest. Or I find them on the passion-fruit vine where they often make a nest, a defensible location. The last one is a forager and is one of a party that are usually attended by a much bigger version of themselves – They are nomadic, I often find them in the most unlikely places sheltering their grubs.

          • Lissa said, on 19/09/2015 at 12:47 pm

            Yes, when you look closely the spines have a slightly different shape on each ant. I didn’t know ants could be nomadic. Could explain the two types of ants – one wee and one twice the size – hiding their larvae under the cover of my SNB hive.

            • Mark said, on 19/09/2015 at 1:23 pm

              I think there is nothing we can be that isn’t already in nature, at every lever – probably. It is our nature after all, our inner psychic instinctual nature as well as what we see ‘out there’.

              Nomadic, yes – I occasionally find them making a nest under the wheely-bin lid. That only lasts a few days at most and off they go to another location.

  5. Lyle Krahn said, on 18/09/2015 at 10:31 pm

    Beautiful. That’s quite the a lot of nourishment given the relative size of the ant.

    • Mark said, on 18/09/2015 at 11:47 pm

      Nothing was wasted, the ant would eat its fill and there were more to come after. Where one ant walks another follows.

  6. Mohammad Mahloujian, Stockholm Sweden said, on 18/09/2015 at 4:27 pm

    Beautiful photos, excellent job and thanks for sharing. I am a beginner and looking forward to follow you and learn. Do you use ring flashes? special lenses?

    • Mark said, on 18/09/2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Mohammad. I don’t use ring flash, finding the circular catch-light unattractive, especially in reflective eyes. I use a snoot/diffuser and zoom and macro lenses with achromats, see here – There are also some useful links in (recent) comments. Small sensor cameras are best for very small creatures, having the deepest dof.

      • Mohammad Mahloujian, Stockholm Sweden said, on 18/09/2015 at 4:57 pm

        Thanks a lot for your quick response and the link.

  7. Jane said, on 18/09/2015 at 2:16 pm

    Sensational shots, Mark, but then when are they ever not? How beautiful are these creatures! Incredible detail. Happy days. :)

    • Mark said, on 18/09/2015 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Jane. An image will never be more than that but am always looking to improve the rendering. :-)

  8. David said, on 18/09/2015 at 1:01 pm

    A very remarkable series of photographs. We all need a little refreshment nectar every now and then whether it’s sugar water, fruit juice, a cold beer, or whatever is one’s favorite.

    • Mark said, on 18/09/2015 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks David. Indeed we do, a little ‘nectar’ – the simple pleasure of being in sense – is what keeps me going … or from going mad. :-)

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