Last week, Sunday 24 August, we had a gang of bairns round to test out the new trampoline. About mid-day on a hot day the shout went up: flying ants. I was delighted. After three years of woeful absence, I had seen a few ants wandering around the front garden—so we must have a nest somewhere nearby—and this means that the queen has perhaps bred and flown. I will be watching very closely in the next few days in the hope that we have’t lost our nest to the neighbours.
I honestly don’t know why there are so few ants here in Aberdeen, though my guess is that there simply isn’t enough solar radiation to sustain an underground nest. I’ve been trying to create a constructively messy garden, with trees and usefully lost bits of rubble for sheltering larger animals, but had no idea we might get ants in. These look like ordinary little brown ants, though I’m no specialist. Upcountry in the old Scottish woods we do have wood ants as well as slavers.
Yesterday, to add to the bounty, I found several new mushrooms. The Inkcaps that come up every year in the old Gordon Barracks have come up again, but I think I may also have found a Boletus sp. around as well as small rather spikey, globular mushroom that I haven’t yet identified. The small size of the N95 meant that I could actually get some great photos from ground level, “gnome’s eye view” so to speak. I’ll put them up over at Flickr later this week.