30 Wild Days: day 19 – ants

Yesterday I was watching lovely bats, today… Ants

I hate ants,  I mean in the proper irrational fear type hate. Anything that can carry anything between 10 and 100 times its own body weight, has slaves, and demonstrates funerary practice is going to take over the world.

But in the spirit of 30 Days Wild, I made myself ‘appreciate’ their brilliance.

I was also secretly hopefully that the folklore would back me up in telling the world of the evils of ants,  but whether you look through English, Chinese, or Native American motifs they’re seen as hardworking and resourceful creatures.

In Cornwall it is bad luck to destroy an ants nest, and in some African traditions it’s said if you kill part of a colony the rest will dig your grave.

It seems being nice pays off, and a proliferation of them in your garden or near the door signifies good fortune.

They also have weather lore and swarming or busy ants are supposed to signify storms are coming.

They’re considered generally a good thing.
Ugh… *shudder*

(**NB I apparently can’t add videos to WP – so hopefully the anty video embedded below will work….**)



One thought on “30 Wild Days: day 19 – ants

  1. calmgrove says:

    I liked the detail in Michael Dames’ otherwise fanciful T&H book about Silbury where he mentions the time of year part of the mound was begun by reference to the remains of flying ants found, that is the end of July and the beginning of August. He attributes this to a conscious celebration of Lughnasa (the Christian Lammas) and the recognition of Lugh (or whoever the pre-Celtic deity would have been). Fanciful, as I say, but rather neat if there’s any basis in fact!

    I have no compunction about destroying ant nests near, say, a kitchen door, though I wonder if they served a food waste disposal service outside huts in centuries past, resulting in that taboo against disturbing them.

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