Day15 of the March SOLSC #SOL21

We lived in a small town called Manipal for twenty three years. In 2005 we constructed a house, two kms from Manipal centre and shifted to it from the campus. Our postal address is of Udupi.  Long back the two towns were far from each other but now we do not know where one ends and the the other begins. We like to think that we live in Manipal and in Udupi.

The Syndicate Bank was founded in 1925 in Manipal.  Recently it was merged with Canara Bank. Syndicate Bank has its Institute of Management in Manipal. We called it SIBM and now it has become CIBM.
In the grounds of this Institute there is a walking track and general public are allowed inside, morning and evening for a few hours. We have been going there at least once a week for many years. There are many mango trees by the side of the track. We were there on Saturday evening.  Many of the trees have weaver ants in them. They weave beautiful and compact nests with the mango leaves.

a nest being made

There are many Weaver ants in our garden too, on the star-apple trees and mango trees. There is a sting and an acidic smell when they bite us. Our star apple tree had been their domain 😊 and it was difficult for us to pluck the,  fruits but we managed.  Fortunately,  this year the ants have gone elsewhere. One interesting fact is that they die the moment they bite. One of our relatives had told us a story about this from our mythology  but I cannot recollect it. One evening I was about to open the gate when we saw weaver ants on the gate. There is a gap between the two gates. We watched with fascination when two ants formed a bridge and all the other ants went on them. My mobile was in hand, immediately I took  a video and sent it to our grandchildren 😊. They too were fascinated.

There are different types of ants, some bite and some do not. The ones that do not bite are black in colour and move at a very fast pace. I think the ones that bite are called army ants. They are here in plenty. I think they never sleep. We see them moving all the time. They make life difficult sometimes. After lunch , in the kitchen,  on the ledge, I keep the dishes in a plate of water. Once, I had to throw away a bowl of rice as it was filled  with ants. They move to and fro on the clothesline and many a time we have been stung. The after-effect of the sting remains for some time. We always look closely at the clothes before folding and keeping them inside.

I get quite fed up with them. Once in a while we get an insecticide chalk called Laxmanrekha. I draw a line with it on the wall where the ants move. I think when they cross the line, some ants die and immediately other ants do not come there. 
Ants are amazing creatures. I read that they are found almost everywhere in the world.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syndicate_Bank

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weaver_ant

https://www.antdiversityindia.com

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. The Covid has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

19 comments

  1. The bridge is fascinating! Our family is currently watching old episodes of Survivor together. It reminds me of a challenge you might find on the show. I also think about the blind people feeling an elephant, only understanding their small part. It seems so simple, if the ants went to the ground they could all scurry across the path they are choosing. For an ant, the height of the gat may make the ground impossible to imagine.

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  2. Fascinating stories about the ants. I notice it is “when” not “if” they bite you. The bridge and the avoidance of the deterrent are indicative of their intelligence. I think the biters are what we call soldier ants.

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  3. Yes, ants are fascinating and also a terrible nuisance if they invade your house or eat your plants. Someone told me to sprinkle turmeric around the edge of a flower bed and it does seem to keep ants away, where we live. They are very smart!

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  4. Weaver ants are edible.. I know of people who savour the chutney made from these creatures.
    The weaver ant is the world’s most natural pesticide. I’m always happy to see their nest on fruit trees!!

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  5. What a cool, edifying post, thank you for the info! I’ve been bit a few times by ants but feel like it’s created an enduring respect, those critters are not to mess with! 🙂

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  6. We have carnivorous ants here. They can strip a dead bird or mouse completely clean, all the way to the skeleton, which I often find. Last summer they ate all the snails in our front yard, and right now I think they are working on some hibernating roaches in the backyard. I cheer them on until they send a scout into the house to find the cat food, then I kill the scout and lay down a mixture of essential oils that keep the marauding herd away.

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  7. Each slice of yours features top-notch noticing, and this one is no exception. Ants can be easily overlooked, but not on your watch! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Ants are really interesting! We had a huge ant nest on our front lawn. Two summers ago we had some landscaping done and the nest was dug up. I thought they would be gone for good. However, after only a year we had so much evidence that they were back. That nest must be very deep! I guess ants are one of the things that unite all humans. 🙂

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  9. We have a couple of kinds of ants here. One we call sugar ants since they love sugar. They are tiny and really a pain in the kitchen. We have larger ones called carpenter ants. They burrow into wood and cause real damage to houses. We have had to pay people to come and set traps for them since they are a real problem here.

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