Under the present Covid-19 quarantine conditions, the pace of life has slowed for a while, and I know I’m not alone in having more mental space for small things I might otherwise gloss over, though I believe I’m fairly observant, anyway.
Glancing down this morning as I walked along it struck me how these busy little creatures were on an entirely different plane from the world I was walking along in. These leafcutter ants were moving bits of leaf somewhere, but I couldn’t work out which from which direction they were coming or where they were going, actually. And when you realise they were about 2-3mm long, it’s clear some of them were managing huge loads, often without much help, it seemed.
I didn’t spend too long watching and taking this photo, because Dulce the Dog had been unclipped from the lead and was wondering along ahead. She’s very obedient, and being a typical dog, walks at least twice as far as I do in any one excursion, zig-zagging back and forth across the path and nature strip. She’s getting pretty old, doesn’t hear well, and her eyesight is clouding over with cataracts especially on one side, so although we were on a familiar path, I needed to catch up with her to cross the road at our corner. I think I’ll keep her on the lead tomorrow and spend a bit more time watching the ants when we get to that point on the walk.
All across the land the little creatures we often hardly take notice of continue on with their normal life routines. In our world we humans are adapting, to a highly dangerous infectious disease that has brought a sudden change in all our lives and which will change us for ever. The death toll is rising and no one really knows how high it really is, or what the eventual tally will be. It is said that the Black Plague of the 1660s killed about 1/3 of the population of the known world at that time (from China across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe) a number thought to be around 25million people. The current world population is struggling to come to terms with the new coronavirus, about which we know very little yet, really, and not enough to be sure of finding a cure or a vaccine for it. In the meantime it rages on, present in every country now, and killing many more than seemed imaginable just a few months ago. Well, epidemiologists, virologists and public health and disaster experts have been able to imagine such an event, and warning governments of the possibility of this kind of event for years now, but it seems few countries in the world were adequately prepared to deal with such a reality. But under the present circumstances, I’m sure the ants and other little creatures in this area, wretched spiders included, will be just fine.