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>> Monday, September 15, 2008

I discovered that using the manual mode on my lens is hellotta way cooler than using the autofocus mode. I don't need to wait for my camera to focus, or get annoyed because the autofocus is stubborn. :P I can manually place the settings and focus on the stuff I want to photograph.

So with the new information I have (thanks to the Nikon book I bought at the Book Fair), I went to our garden forest to practice. :P I chanced upon a colony of ants who were out celebrating. Three of them brought home a black ant for dinner. Boy, they were hungry. They didn't even wait for the casualty to reach their home. They devoured the poor thing right there.

In front of my eyes.
Perfect venue for photographs.

I squatted on the concrete and went close. I wasn't comfortable enough so I went down on my knees.

Never mind if the concrete scraped my knees.
Never mind if my elbows were getting dirty.
All I wanted was to get close shots of the ants.

The ants were oblivious of the lens watching them. They were too busy squabbling over the black ant's juices and they left me in peace.

victory
A victorious battle. A prize to take home: dinner.

rush


There was a welcoming party for the heroes of the ant war. Yesterday was a celebration. A feast laid out for the ant colony.

I followed the trail and saw an ant home. It was the most amazing thing that I have seen. I know that ants make their homes underground, with an ant hill visible to mark their territory. But it was the first time I've seen an ant home in a tree. Made from leaves.

ant cocoon


The ants were able to produce some white stuff that they used to glue together the leaves. It formed a large cocoon. I'm sure that's sturdy enough to withstand storms and strong winds. Move over butterflies, ants can make cocoons too!

I got reasonably close to get good shots. I wanted to go nearer to see what was inside, but if I did, I might disturb me. I don't want to die just because of ant bites. Harharhar. I guess I should've used our ladder for top shots.

peep through


Even if I was surrounded by leaves and ants were scrambling everywhere, they didn't bother me. The secret to being at peace with them is that don't ever provoke them. They act on instinct. Bother them, they bite you. Don't bother them, they won't see you as a threat.

It was a wonderful experience to be with insects. It was amazing to see them upclose. Isn't God great to create such creatures? Ants are the perfect example for teamwork.

They work hard, day and night, not complaining on the monotonous cycle of their lives.
They show dedication to their roles.
They follow rules of their community.
They protect their own kind.
They share.

And the best part of it all,

They're small, but when they bite, it leaves a lasting mark on you. A memorable one.




The rest of the photos are in my flickr.

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