I started this year with the strong consideration that I was going to increase the number of posts I’d been making, which is always a bad idea – I am, of course, far behind where I was last year at this time. It doesn’t help that the site upgrades that I’d tackled became the resizing of nearly every image, cleaning up the stray code that html editors leave behind, altering the menus on every page, and adding a few more items virtually everywhere. Then came moving to a new host, which means that within a few weeks the site may go funky for a little bit as the DNS change takes effect. All of this takes far more time than it really should (or at least it does for me,) and internet service stalls have skewed that even worse. So there’s been less time to do posting, and with the frustrations, less inclination as well. Nevertheless, there’s still two significant ones in the chute waiting on final edits.
It also means that I haven’t been outdoors much, which the broiling heat has been kind enough to discourage anyway, but I’ve still gotten a few images here and there. A freshly uncovered ant nursery presented some opportunities for creepy detail shots as the workers scrambled to re-conceal the pupae. I can only guess that these are a variety of harvester ants, somewhere in the vicinity of 6mm long. Curiously, there seems to be two distinctly different broods, if the radically different stages of development is any indication. I’m not referring to the different colors, since the brown ones with legs are likely only slightly older than the white ones with legs. Instead, notice that there are either very distinct features, or none at all – just little blobs.
By the way, if you decide you want to capture a specific detail or action in such circumstances, you’d better be fast. Ants move so quickly that there practically isn’t time to even register what they’re doing before they vanish from your frame, and I chased one for half a meter trying to get a photo of just it and the pupa it was carrying, but never could even lock focus. For this shot, I just waited, aimed at a certain point, for workers to enter the frame, and was lucky enough to catch three of them looking busy, including one nice head-on perspective.