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Feb. 27th, 2010


Dead Ants

All my ants have mysteriously died. I don't understand. I didn't look at them for a week and they just... died.

Unfortunately, my short attention span got the better of me and now, coupled with my predilection to procrastination, is preventing me from cleaning out the Mine and beginning anew - with a little more discipline and resolve. I'll eventually compel myself to wrangle some more ants, but at the moment I'm having temporal troubles and all days have merged into one. 

Feb. 12th, 2010


Ant Wrangling

Two days ago, upon noticing a new ant hole had appeared in the garden, and that a shovel had been left nearby, as is for my purpose alone, I gleefully excavated a small hole in the lawn and captured a bounty of boof head ants. Unfortunately I found neither egg nor royalty, so I can only assume that the colonies go far deeper than I'm willing to dig, which is a shame. I maintain the hope that I shall find a colony moving nest and then I'll be able to kidnap a few drones and queens.

During my raid, I was finally stung. I've been stung by a boof head ant before I set up the Mine, when one somehow got in my bed and made sweet stinger love to the top of my dainty foot. The sting isn't particularly painful when it occurs, but becomes quite itchy after an hour and lasts for about three to four days. To be stung only once when digging up a colony is fortuitous, as any skilled ant wrangler should know. The boof head ants' poor swarming abilities are the reason for this.

As for the Mine, with its renewed population, the ants have moved some of the old eggs into a separate chamber, which I hope means those ones are still alive. And they've been going crazy with the cotton wool in their drinking well (that prevents them from drowning), pulling it out and dragging it all over the nest.

Oh, and one finally climbed into the tube that runs from one part of the Mine to the other, which the boof heads have hitherto neglected.

The future beckons.


Feb. 6th, 2010


Doing the ant-dance.

The Mine has been much neglected of late, due to the tiresome weather and my own inability to remain focused on one project for more than a day or two. I did introduce some of the larger ants (that shall be known henceforth as "Boof heads", as this most aptly reflects their behavioural patterns), and they promptly killed the queens that had been abandoned by their army in the last post.

Now that the water supply has been correctly set (it has a cotton ball in it), the Boof heads have been dutifully pulling the cotton ball to pieces, as opposed to serenly sucking the water from it.

I did, however, manage to keep the eggs I plundered. However, they seem to be being ignored, and I suspect the contents are dead.

I shall endeavour to attend to the Mine more often... at some stage.

Jan. 31st, 2010


And then there were...

As is Nature's way, each creature lives on the Earth, shapes the Earth a little, and then dies to make place for a new creature. However, those who own ant farms spit in Nature's face and write rude sentiments on her fence, so it has come to pass that the Swarm which features in my first (and hitherto only) post has been ejected from the Mine before it had a chance to really make a mark (save the poo stains everywhere).

It came about when my partner in formicide observed the occupants being very boring (also noting that I'd inadverntently set up their water supply in such a fashion that many of them were drowning), coupled with our observing a smaller, more social type of ant moving nest (with queens and drones also being moved - a temptation I could not resist).

Thus, our subjects were ejected onto the lawn, and I spent far too long in the dreadful heat catching (and being attacked by) the small ants...

Which, as it turned out, were small enough to somehow escape the mine.

So, with the exception of two young queens and a drone that won't leave them alone, the Mine is currently vacant.

I suppose I'll have to stick to the larger, less entertaining ants.

Jan. 26th, 2010



Upon receiving a Ant Mine Underworld for Christmas, I was overjoyed at the prospect of being able to imprison and voyeuristically observe many lives worth less than my own (a feeling I expect is akin to what the producers of Big Brother felt). Much fantasy was had concerning how my ants would eventually develop Stockholm syndrome and become the friends I could never be bothered making amongst the less interesting humanity. 

Unfortunately, the setting up process of the Ant Mine Underworld is a little more complicated than snapping bits of plastic together. It requires pouring some sort of magic flour that doesn't turn into bread into a mold and letting it set - a task well beyond my microsecond attention span, and one which would have gone quite badly had I not had assistance.

In other words, I mostly just observed the setting up.

Once the mine was set up and dandy, I abducted a great many ants. I originally planned to get the small black ants that smell like wee, because they're very social and never dull at parties, but I instead ended up abducting the slightly larger ants with nasty stings because of their numerous nature and the fact that they were the first ant-hole I found after stepping outside. The larger ants are less social, as they tend just to wander about on their own, rather than marching along trails and ganking all the food and caterpillars.

After digging an unsightly hole in the lawn and spending hours abducting the subjects with my abduction device (tweezers), I had a fully functional Ant Mine Underworld!

With only a few deaths, one unfortunate decapitation, and, due to my artful tucking of my trousers into my socks, no stings, a new world has been created:

Ants seen discussing the moving of dirt.


However, I now suffer an Ant inspired Tetris effect at night, whereby all I can see when I close my eyes is the waving antennae of ants, ants going into their holes, and ants carrying around dirt.

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