Tuesday, September 22, 2009


One very good thing about having a macro lens - even using the macro lens, as here, on a point and shoot - is that one can tell that these are ants, not termites. That's because (and here's the one rule I know to distinguish them) ants go in in the middle, as though they've been cinched tight for London Fashion Week, whereas termites are straight and solid all the way down, presumably needing all the space that they can get for the wood that they've just chewed up from your house.

To be honest, I thought that they were ants, because when we first looked at this house, about four years ago, these things - the big ones, anyway - the savage little red ones look new, to me - were swarming in exactly the same place at the side of the driveway, and we went into fast orbit, termites being a little too familiar from Los Angeles. Close up and personal like this, they look decidedly unattractive - maybe with the macro that I have in Santa Fe, I would be able to rhapsodize on about their iridescent wings, their delicate antennae? - for the closer that one gets to insects, the more strange and beautiful they are (witness Alex Wild's photographs, especially the extraordinary emerald green, black, and orange stripes on the front of a horse fly).

1 comment:

  1. No closer, please! This is already the scariest. thing. ever.