Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On September 11, 2012, I remembered arriving late to work on September 11, 2001 . On the day of the Ant Lion, ten days of summer are awaiting you.

September 11th cannot really be the day of the antlion. The antlion fascinated me in the spring time, when I found a number of their traps in sand of a woodlot I crossed on my way home from the bus stop. I discovered the antlions when I was discovering the prickly pear cactus that caught my eye with their yellow flowers. I haven't checked back on pears on those cactus, and I am sure I'll be too late if I visited tomorrow. Nature keeps a perfect march with summer, fruiting upon the cactus on time, even though I have attempted to drop out of summer several times. Part of my mind thinks bring on the cold so I can earn another summer, one that I won't muck up or waste again. I caught a few ants and tossed them into the antlion pits, and only one made it up the steep slope of loose grains. I can see how an antlion can quickly dig a pit in the sand, its snapping motion disturbing the pit and the sand around it. It could rapidly snap ten times pursuing the ant that it needed to nourish its progress on the way to the cocoon stage. I am sure that those antlions have awoke from their cocoon metamorphosis and flown surely into the company of a mate. I am sure the antlions of next year await in the sand, awaiting the signal of spring inside the eggs lain by this generation's flying antlions, which look similar to a lacewing.
Pondering about the antlion led me to wonder about nature, and I am glad I have looked closer at several scores of species. My study has redeemed part of my summer.
Photography Credit
Distoleon tetragrammicus

Attribution: ©entomart
Antlion larva

8 August 2006
Jonathan Numer

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