This just in, from the annals of why I travel.
Sometimes the most amazing wildlife sightings appear right in my own backyard.
I have gazed at grizzly bears in Denali National Park in Alaska; I have dove with reef sharks in the Sulu Sea of the Philippines; I have watched the wildly colored Roseate Spoonbill at the Sian Ka’an biosphere in the Yucatán.
But, the other day I reveled in the resilience of nature while only a few feet from my back door.
Behind our 1916 farmhouse, we have a barn that we put at about 70 years old, which serves as home to our resident feral feline mouse hunter. We occasionally supplement her rodent diet with some cat food.
(We know she is a she since our nice wildlife-loving neighbors once captured her and had her “fixed.”)
When I walked back there the other day with a handful of cat kibbles, I was astonished with a scene that immediately brought to mind an image of a completely different setting.
A few months ago, I took you on a high country rock climbing adventure, which included the following picture of an intrepid covey of climbers who, from my vantage point, looked like a bunch of ants crawling up a sheer, vertical rock wall.
So, what in the hell could I have found in a weathered old wooden structure that would have any visual association to that scene?
Be forewarned, not having been there yourself to bear witness to—what I found to be—an amazing act within the animal kingdom, albeit at a diminutive scale, chances are you will probably yawn and click back to something entirely more interesting.
Leading from the bowl, which we leave out there to feed our feline friend, I could not help but notice a long trail of ants which snaked up the wall, went under the overhang of the supporting 2×4’s, and continued up and out of sight.
“So what?” you might ask. Who hasn’t seen such a scene right in their own kitchen?
But, if you look closely at the following photos you will notice that these guys are packing pieces of cat food many times their size and weight—what I would guess for them would be—an arduous act of team work.
(Hell, the wife-person and I can’t even team up to put up wallpaper with just two of us working.)
Before you accuse me of sometimes becoming too easily impressed, did I mention that I am pretty sure that I imagined that I also heard a tiny voice chime out from that sheer, vertical plywood wall,
Now if I could just find my pith helmet…