This ant is tending his flock of aphids. I did not realize that ants did this, until I took a picture of this weird bunch of bugs on a milkweed leaf, looked at it more closely, and read about it. Like a beekeeper or a shepherd, the ant and his friends tend to the aphids, keeping predators away while the aphids and their milkweed plant mature. The aphids then suck sap from the plant and secrete a sweet fluid called honeydew, which the ants happily feast on.
This is a paper wasp. What was the first clue? I watched him pull up little strips of wood from the plank he is standing on, which he would then mix with his saliva, and ultimately when he returned home, regurgitate as paper for the nest that he was helping to construct.
NO FROG PERISHED IN THE CREATION OF THIS PHOTOGRAPH! He just hid there for a few moments and then hopped on. But staring into the eyes of this frog, I am reminded how delicate and dangerous his relationship with humans is. We live down the street from a pond, and sometimes at night it is hard to sleep because of all the frog-courtship activities around us. And hard to drive down the road or cut the grass without inadvertently reducing their population. I am so so sorry.
Photographs and captions by Martha Nance
Martha Nance is a physician in Minnesota whose iPhone, and ultimately, husband’s fancier camera, prefer outside to inside in the summer. They both like to look at things that are smaller than they are…