Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Ant Hypothesis

The astute reader will remember that last year I wrote about the number of ants on a Tennessee anthill (an oblique reference to The Loving Spoonful's big hit Nashville Cats). Well, I found such an anthill yesterday on my hike and I present it on the above video.

The question though, is: "How many ants?" Let's do the math.

 Lots of little individuals make up a the collective

The picture above is 1680x920 giving a total area of 1,545,600 (pixels). I took a random square from the main photo of 295x239 (area: 70505), counted the number of ants (40 see below) and multiplied this by the size ratio of the two photos (1:21.93) to come up with 877 ants in the photo.

 You should count 40 ants here (I looked for heads and assumed bodies would follow)

You can't tell from the photo but I would estimate that I was only seeing 1/10th of the colony at any one time - both because I think that would be accurate and because I know how to multiple by ten. So, this anthill I am guessing has 8,770 ants in it (plus or minus 7,500 ants).

The contest is still open to some bright young, or old, naturalist who can give me a more exacting estimate or way of counting the number of ants in one of these anthills.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cowboy Coffeee?

Was up early today, and wasted most of my morning on homework and workwork but did manage to get some productive time in on the net listening to some vintage Chuck Berry while searching through my vast library of photos.

Whenever I need to go to my "happy place" I quite enjoy randomly flipping through the 50K plus images I have and remembering the trips associated with the pics. Here I had a big pot of cowboy coffee going while camped out along the Graham River. We were building a spike camp and spent an enjoyable ten days swinging hammers, swatting mosquitoes and generally enjoying the life of a layabout woodsman.

While living in the northern Rockies is great for short stretches, I could see where it could substantially shorten one's life and not just from the many pitfalls associated with living with large carnivores outside your tent, but more likely from drinking the vile brew contained within the pot pictured above.

Must dash off to work now. Two more TESL classes and I'm through. My first act of freedom will be to get back to treating this blog with the respect it deserves. Til then, my friends, shalom.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Help - I'm being held against my will in reality!!

"It has been many moons since I lasted posted," sighed Running Diatribe, as he leaned against the wall of his tee-pee and stared into the now dying embers of the fire.

And so it is with me. I do apologize to my follower(s) but I have been felled by a horrible disease called life. Lately "life" has required me to attend school and put in my hours at work. Don't get me wrong, both activities are immensely rewarding on their own, but together they are making for a tough slog for this old cowboy.

I did get out for a quick hike today with my sister-in-law, my daughter and her beau. We took a hike out to see the owls of Kenna Cartwright Park - in fact were hoping to see the young of the year. But none have appeared yet.

Of greater note was the story my brother passed on - and that was that he had seen the alligator lizards already this year. Now the inner-me says to treat any such announcement from any of my siblings with a great deal of skepticism. But the wishful hoping-its-really-spring me says "Ya-hoo!" Consequently I will be heading off to the secret Alligator Lizard bluffs tomorrow in hopes of getting some really good shots.

If nothing else it will give me reason - if not time - to post again.

Peace out.

PS - try changing my address to\view\flipcard