Dramatic rescue Chez Paul

Ants struggle to save next generation

Antediluvian colony struggles

Valiant efforts are underway at this hour to save the next generation of a colony of the Formicidae family Chez Paul. For the second time in as many weeks, a flood has wreaked havoc in the desert.

Flooding an irrigation manhole

For no apparent reason, the gardeners this morning began a controlled flood of an access point to the irrigation system, with disastrous side effects. The Formicidae family colony was situated below ground near this access point, which provided the family with a convenient source of water. This morning, however, the water quickly turned from life-giving to life-threatening as it coursed into the chambers of the colony.

Ants streaming from below irrigation pipe.

Residents of the colony immediately activated their disaster recovery plan and formed a rescue brigade to begin transporting egg cases from the nursery across the sidewalk to higher ground.

Several convoy lines were set up across the sidewalk where colony members raced with their precious cargo, the porters guided by legions of outriders (or just shirkers, too lazy to carry a case, we'll never know).

Family members can be seen single-handedly carrying egg cases as large or larger than themselves. The operation is truly amazing for the extraordinary degree of organization and quick execution.

Another view of rescue operations along crack in sidewalk

In truth, this would be more amusing if higher ground didn't happen to be my patio!

I remain unsentimental. Little do the blighters know that I have an ample supply of toxic chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer as well as an instant and painless death to ants.