Nature's Place

A Winters Feast

They prefer red meat but a little honey on a cold winters day is manna to a green head ant.

Still moving fast despite the cold, built to survive Australia’s relative extremes of weather.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Once they came they came en mass, each a job to do lapping up the bounty.

No infighting amongst their kind, just a gathering of like minds for a single purpose.

If you wait long enough at a strategic position some will align so everything’s in focus.

Focus is everything, if you don’t have it you don’t have the object of it. Inside or out.

Come to drink at the rivers of light golden honey. If only for a short while, before the sun goes down.

Getting expressive, but nothing like they do when on a piece of red meat. Each to their own.

And when the feast is over the nocturnal ant comes along for the remains of the day. … Every little place on this earth has an occupant to fit.

To wake a green head ant tap the roof of his nest, he’ll come running. And no matter what he finds he will only seek out the transgressor of the peace. Not unlike us people, whether the source is inside or out, we seek peace, even through war – I know, I know.

So when these ants came pouring out of the nest they didn’t take much notice of the honey trap I had left for them, but they could be seen registering it. Left to slow them down enough for a few shots. When all the flowers are gone and it’s too cold for most small creatures to come out it’s time to innovate.

At first the tactic seemed to fail, they darted about looking for any foe and then retreated to the nest when they didn’t find one. And god help any they would find, that sting … But the message had gone into the nest, ‘there’s free honey out there guys’.

And so, after the aggressive defence had died down they came back out to feast.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.

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21 Responses

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  1. Nil said, on 09/06/2020 at 3:23 am

    What strange forms nature can create ;-)

  2. Zezee said, on 08/06/2020 at 12:36 am

    I love the coloring on the green head ant.
    Really appreciate your photos. They show that insects are the unknown jewels of the world, at least for me.

    • Mark said, on 12/06/2020 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Z … Me too, amazing little things.

  3. pflanzwas said, on 07/06/2020 at 7:01 am

    Wonderful pictures of these little fellows. The colour is incredible. And how different the other ant looks! You are right, there is a place for every occupant. I like that.

  4. Dee said, on 07/06/2020 at 6:03 am

    Incredibly detailed photos Mark, and your words, particularly these, so poetic…”Come to drink at the rivers of light golden honey. If only for a short while, before the sun goes down.” So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. David said, on 07/06/2020 at 12:19 am

    I really enjoyed both the photos and the story with them.

  6. Ed - Nature Photography said, on 06/06/2020 at 8:29 pm

    Love these, such under rated little critters

    • Mark said, on 12/06/2020 at 12:38 pm

      Underrated until they bite or sting.

      But they can’t really be appreciated without some magnification, except as a being with a place.

  7. Jacques Willems said, on 06/06/2020 at 7:58 pm

    They are so beautiful and colorful!

  8. kopfundgestalt said, on 06/06/2020 at 5:43 pm

    Great pics.

    The iridescent colors of the ants are caused by the layer structure of the exoskeleton. It is a pleasure to watch this every time.
    I also like the microstructure of the exoskeleton.
    The most impressive is the photo in which the ant holds a full drop between its scissors.

    Many thanks!

  9. puzzleblume said, on 06/06/2020 at 5:09 pm

    Fascinating to see these animals, their beauty and behaviour so near.

  10. Khürt Williams said, on 06/06/2020 at 3:18 pm

    Beautiful.

    • Mark said, on 12/06/2020 at 12:35 pm

      Indeed Khurt, such is our nature when the subconscious reflex ‘to judge’ is passed.


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