Friday, March 5, 2010

Mangled Ant Mound

A few ant mounds suffer damage each winter. Most of the time, it’s no more than some pecking by the Crows or a minor excavation by a skunk. This particular mound was half way demolished.

The only tracks are those of a deer. What was this deer after that made it work so hard to tear down the mound?

The deer scattered some of the dirt a long way out into the grass. Maybe it was after some type of mineral that was concentrated in this particular soil. I’ve not seen any of the other mounds attacked in this manner.

This wasn’t a case of gradual deterioration as a result of deer traffic passing close to the mound. There’s no evidence around the mound that a deer trail had ever passed near the area. This was a determined effort by the deer to accomplish something. The damage all occurred in a single night.

The ants are still in the ground and have not yet moved back up into the mound. I imagine that extensive damage done in late winter would have less of a negative impact on the ants than early winter damage. The mound has already done its job of protecting the wintering colony from the extreme winter cold. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes the colony to get the mound back into shape.

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