This post has been languishing in the Draft folder for a long time — yesterday as I was evicting grass and weeds from an old flower bed that’d gotten over-grown, it occurred to me to finish it.
What follows is mostly from May of 2011:
When I pick up a shovel in the morning, intent on carving out more flower and herb beds from the too-much-with-us lawn, I know there will be casualties. Spiders disturbed, the occassional earthworm sliced in twain… When I can, I move the live things out of the way — unless they’re grubs: those go onto the sidewalk for the sparrows, wrens, and catbirds.
But this morning there was the ant colony. Little brown ones, perhaps not much different from the ones I merrily dispatch with soapy water if they dare enter the house, but this was a large colony in the middle of the yard, pretty much carrying on au naturale.
I’d encouraged them to move on several times, lifting the old slab of concrete under which they’d built their nursery caverns, but unlike other nests I’ve treated similarly, they did not move their home in response to the repeated invasions of light and fresh air. Apparently this nest was filled with unperturbable or incredibly automated ants who had a job description that wasn’t budging just because a spade was thunking nearby.
It’s my job — I take care of the children. It’s my job — I take care of the children. It’s my job…
Well, in that case…. I levered up the whole nest and carried it in the spade over to a corner of the garden we never use. Carry on, ladies; I don’t think the rabbits will mind you as neighbors.