When Ants Fall In Love

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Today is American Independence Day. We get US holidays off at the office, so I’m home today, cleaning up my bachelor’s mess in anticipation of Eunie’s arrival this afternoon. Not a moment too soon for me!

In my garden this morning I found a few tantalizing images.

On the side of a fishtail palm, muli ants were scurrying up and down. For all the running around that they do, you’d think that it would be more common to see them carrying food. Isn’t that the point? One might occasionally observe them dragging a huge bug off to their colony, but usually, they seem only to be hurrying somewhere for purposes unknown.

Here a couple share a tender moment:

 Muli Ants in Love

An acute observer might note that the image has been rotated on its side. It looked too strange vertically.

For the foreigners out there – why are they called muli ants?

Well, it’s complicated. Citrus fruits, in Neo-Melanesian (Melanesian Pidgin) are called muli. This especially applies to lemons and limes. I have heard it said that one can make a lemonade-like drink my getting a mob of muli ants, putting them in a glass, and mixing them up with water and sugar. I suppose that the formic acid would act like the citric acid in the lemons. Have you ever smelled formic acid? Man, it stinks!

Now, if drinking that stuff doesn’t seem like a horrifying experience, then I’m not sure you’re really paying attention. Maybe I’ll try it someday and report the results. Anyway, that’s my version of why they are called muli ants.

By the way, they are fearless beyond reason and, given the chance, will bite like tiny lions.

Orange seems to be my colour this week. Just in front of the house there are some lilies that remind me of the tiger lilies common in North America. I don’t know what they are called:

 Lilies in my garden

Just for fun, I tried the Photoshop watercolour filter on the lilies. You can see the effect more clearly if you click on the image to see a larger version: 

Lilies as a watercolour

For the last one, I’ll skip the photo completely and just show you the pattern that the poster edges filter gave me.

This would be great on a black t-shirt: 

Somebody put this on a black t-shirt for me.

Enough for today.

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2 Responses to “When Ants Fall In Love”

  1. Mystery Object of the Month | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    [...] they always have time for romance. I’ve written about ants falling in love [...]

  2. Esmeralda - The Canoe Girl | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    [...] I haven’t said much about our Fishtail Palms lately, but they are growing splendidly. They have fruited several times. Here’s a shot of a half-mature and a brand-new . . . thinking of the word . . . inflorescence:I think that the species is Caryota gigas,  but I’m not positive. There is another possibility. I’ve written before about our Fishtail Palms here, here, here, and here. [...]