The ants’ dance

Today is a beautiful day here and as I strolled along our backyard sidewalk, I spotted something curious.
It looked like a packet of seeds had spilled out, but as I kneeled down and inspected the mass, I saw it was a swarm of little brown ants.
I showed it to my daughter, who said “They look like dirt.”
And they sure did. What puzzled me was their activity. There were so many of them that I couldn’t make any pattern out. To me, 6-feet-tall, they, less than a 1/16th of an inch long, were just wiggling and walking about randomly.
I’m not sure what the ants were doing. Maybe it was the equivalent of a
four-alarm fire in their little colony or there was the ant-equivalent
of World War II going on or maybe they were bidding a new queen goodbye. Maybe they were just dancing.
But what struck me was that there I was, in the heart of suburbia,
watching nature unroll whatever fate it had in store for those little
Nature, no matter how hard we try, is just pushing on, no matter how hard we try to fight back.
In a sense, it makes me a little sad. The best show nature can offer
here in the wilds of McMansion USA is a bunch of ants fighting over
Where I grew up, things were different. I would see deer, turkey,
rabbits, woodchucks, frogs, salamanders, newts, toads, bats, birds and
what seemed like dozens of other animals in a given season. 
Now, I just get ants. Surely there’s something wrong with this.


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