Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quail in a moment, but first ants and snakes. The leaf-cutting ants are driving me insane. First they nearly stripped my pomegranate tree. I poisoned that nest, then noticed a few days later that they had completely stripped a climbing rose that I have been trying to grow for three years in the backyard. It's been attacked by rabbits, other bugs, and now the damned ants. I'm about ready to give up on the poor thing.

I couldn't find the ant nest, then noticed that they were also attacking the cape honeysuckle growing against the porch wall, and had spilled over into the carport. My husband found the nest the next morning, in the middle of a big patch of prickly pear, covered with old cactus pads. I poisoned it, but then this morning when I went out to check I almost tripped on another line of ants, marching toward a different cape honeysuckle in a different part of the yard, almost completely stripped. These guys joined the main column of ants from yesterday. So I went back and poured more poison on the nest. We'll see tomorrow if it did any good. It's too late for the rose now, and probably for the second cape honeysuckle.

Anyway, I can't help admire the ants. They remind me of the Borg, from Star Trek, and I do believe RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

My pictures today include one of the ant trails. I tried to get close enough to show the ants, but all you can see is the bits of leaf each one is carryig. I also posted a butterfly, because the ant trail is ugly.

Snakes: I saw another, this time medium-sized king snake when I was out looking for the ant nest.

Quail: the family is no longer together! But they may be okay, or they may not be. Night before last all the quail showed up together and went up in the tree almost simultaneously. But then a mature male and female repeatedly hopped out of the tree, squawking, ran around a bit, then went back into the tree, then out. I thought it might be the parents, looking for a missing child.

Last night, the quails showed up in groups. I counted five males and four females into the tree. At least one of the females was a juvenile (she showed up with an adult male, the last two to get into the tree). I'm pretty sure she is part of the family. I think I saw another juvenile female. All the males looked pretty big, but maybe one of them was the young male? I'm thinking that these guys have probably formed a flock and I may never again see the family as a unit again. But I'll check them out again tonight.

1 comment:

  1. ugly or not, I still wanted to see the ant trail. the bastards. I had ants once up here on the third floor. I couldn't understand how they could get up here, they are pretty amazing, ants. All I had to do is break the trail though. I didn't poison any. Did have to kill cockroaches, but don't have them any more. Maybe you should leave them some sugar and they will leave your roses alone. And get that quail costume, please, I want to see those little guys.