The Ants Go Marching

IMG_20160421_094943I was going for my walk this morning, and found myself having to cross a couple of highways: ant highways, to be exact. There they were, hundreds, if not thousands, of little black ants, marching on a path not more than a centimetre or two wide all the way across the road (I measured – six metres, or 25 feet).

I saw the first Ameisenbahn on my way up the hill. A little further, there was a lone ant walking about the road, looking a little lost. Ten minutes later, when I came back down, there was a second ant highway, somewhere where that single ant had been earlier – she hadn’t been lost, she was a scout! And now there they were, all her sisters, utterly determined, scurrying back and forth, never straying from their narrow little path.

They keep to their track, but they don’t seem to have figured out that a highway runs better if you stick to one side for each direction. So the coming ones are always meeting up with the going. “Sorry, excuse me, coming through! Oops, pardon me, sorry, excuse me!” and so forth (these being Canadian ants, they’re polite). They look like nothing so much as the stream of business people and shoppers rushing along the streets of Downtown Vancouver. I think if you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear a faint chorus of “Everything is Awesome” coming from them.

Life, the Universe, and Ant Highways. Who’d have thought?

Author: quillandqwerty

writer, editor, maker of things

4 thoughts on “The Ants Go Marching”

  1. When we lived in Australia, we lived on the edge of what was supposed to be one of the largest ant colonies in the world, a hundred kilometres of ants stretching from the coast to Melbourne.
    Away one weekend, we came home to find two Amiesenbahn, each about 5 cm wide, one coming under the front door and the other from under the dining room skirting board, all meeting in the kitchen where we had inadvertently left a bread roll (wrapped up) on the counter.
    So, while I appreciate their work ethic and orderly ways, I do prefer them at a distance, rather than in my house. Interestingly, we have a large colony of flying ants living under our patio – they are protected here, and one day every summer they all take off, and the air is filled with thousands of the little things. Needless to say, we stay indoors and watch through the windows. After an hour or two they are all gone, not to be seen again until next summer’s mass exodus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaagh! That would definitely give me the heebiejeebies, ants in the kitchen like that. Yes, I can appreciate them on the road, away from my house, but if they come in, appreciation takes a sudden nosedive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they were everywhere, despite our best efforts, and everyone’s house was the same. My in-laws built a fab new house near us, and there were ants in the kitchen on almost their first day in. They’re very tiny, so they can get in anywhere, plus they loved the sandy soil. We learnt very quickly never to leave any bread or sweet things out, even for a half hour or so.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yikes! I can’t leave any bread (or cake, or pizza) out on the counter, either – but that’s on account of one of my cats. 🙂 Actually, we had some ants in the house the last few summers, too, and I wage an incessant war against them. Can’t imagine having them on the scale you’re talking about, though.


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