I Prefer The Alligators

Charming spot on Spring Island this morning. Set up and went at it with pastels. I love the palmettos and palms along the marshlands here in the Low Country, as they call it. Tried to capture the scene. The sun came out and warmed the light and the sand underfoot. Suddenly, I began feeling hot stings all up and down my lower legs...Pastel on sanded paper,
A view of palms at Callawassie Creek, Spring Island, South Carolina- with the marsh at high tide. Pastel on sanded paper, 12″ x 15″.
There's a bushel-basket-sized fire ant mound in the foreground, and I was inattentive enough to stand next to it for a few hours, until the sun got the colony activated and scouts run up the sides of my boots, over the battlements and down into the inner soles, where they scooted up under my tucked-in pants legs and got my shins well- populated. before striking en masse. There was much hopping and slapping and cursing and boot knocking, then quick breaking down of art setup and packing away and leaving. I sent Antman a message, which he turned into a poem: "They crawled up my boots and down inside. Then started their evil siege."
This fire ant mound was a few feet from my easel and nearly the size of a bushel-basket. Didn’t notice it, and painted happily until the warm sun woke the colony and sent scouts afield for breakfast. They reached my feet, ran up the sides of my rubber boots and  invaded my socks, where they found bare flesh and struck. Later, I sent Antman a message, which he turned into a poem: “They crawled up my boots
and down inside.
Then started their evil siege.”


12 thoughts on “I Prefer The Alligators

  1. dinahmow says:

    Argghhh! At least you can (usually) see ‘gators and crocs. My ants are mainly of the green variety.Hurt a bit, but not a pest.Next door has horrid little black one which do hurt.A lot.

  2. Marci says:

    You always know how to have a hopping good time! There is also a running theme of ants invading your person over the years. I think that they are trying to capture you. I imagine that one day we will find you like Gulliver, tethered to the ground beneath your easel…

  3. Sherrie York says:

    Sudden flashback to an adventure at a bird banding station in a public park. Sat down on the ground for a few minutes, and upon rising was attacked by biting ants in my bra! Trying to grab and squish them through my clothes didn’t work, so I had no choice but to strip off my shirt and hope no one came along the trail until I had evicted all unwanted chompers. Wow. I had forgotten. (Shudder.) Not sure I want to remember.

    1. zeladoniac says:

      Hilarious story, Sherrie- but what else could you do? Ants in the bra! I’ve had ants in the pants once or twice. Army ants once. Stood stupidly in the middle of a raiding column while watching a white-whiskered puffbird at close range with a birding group in Mexico, wondering why the heck it was sitting so still. Then, suddenly, I knew.

  4. juliezickefoose says:

    Ah here you are! I haven’t visited in so long. And I find beautifully rendered palm trees and shadows, and an ant almost haiku. Eureka!

  5. zeladoniac says:

    Where have you been so long? Welcome back! Glad you like the poem- read it aloud to the tune of “Mr. Ed” (“a horse is a horse, of course, of course”) and it sounds even better…

  6. Erin Libby says:

    I have not had an email from you in a while. I have enjoyed following your travels, gone to your Blog, and held onto some art to look at several times. It has been heavy work getting through the numerous solicitations for political donations, but I don’t think I have accidentally scrubbed your very interesting correspondence.

    Erin Libby

    Sent from my iPad


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