Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

Talking with Fire Ants

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I would like to share my story about fire ants: We moved from Cincinnati to Charleston, SC 18 some years ago…to the beach, actually. My first morning here I go into the kitchen and the counter is covered with these tiny little ants, who don’t listen to me when I ask them to leave. (In Cincinnati the ants cooperated and stayed out of my kitchen). So I took a paper towel and began to gently wipe them away. POOF…all of a sudden my hand was covered and on command they bit me all at the same time. OUCHHHHHH!!!! (that was my intro to fire ants, as I didn’t know what they looked like – they’re so tiny), I contacted the Queen, who informed me she WAS the nest. A little taken aback by her rage, I managed to get into a long and educational conversation with her. Her main complaint was about humans who have killed her time and time again. She did not understand why this had to be so. I showed her how horribly painful her sting was, and that we could not live with that. We negotiated a truce. I agreed to dump a bag of outdated Power Paws under the steps of our house, and she agreed to move her nest to pinestraw. She built many tunnels under the Power Paws and ate from it for about 9 months. I don’t know where the nest has been moved, but she has kept her end of the bargain by staying out of the kitchen and the house. She has put a tunnel under the flowerpots because we’re having a drought and that’s where there’s water. That’s OK with me. I haven’t been bitten since we declared a truce. I honor her her fierceness and her warrior energy. I feel protected by her. There’s another energy here at the beach that I’d like to share with ya’ll. It’s the golden orb spider. Down here they’re called banana spiders because there bodies are long and yellow, like a banana. They can grow to the size of an outstretched human hand and they build wonderful webs. By July they form a necklace around our cottage….we’re up on 12 foot stilts because of the flood plain….and they suspend there webs in a circle around our stilts and below our eves. Most people are afraid of them out of ignorance, but I find them to be an exquisite soul. One grew under the eves right by our front door and the UPS lady almost refused to deliver to us because of her. Over on Dewees we love our banana spiders and have an unofficial spider growing contest….to see which house gets the biggest spider. I look forward to a world that can live in harmony with alligators and big spiders and snakes, like we do on Dewees.