Hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of ants, 


Ants. Hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of ants, loosely arranged in clusters. All laid over on their sides, six legs splayed. Clearly dead. We’d been walking over them for who knows how long before conscious recognition of the carnage registered with my brain. Why had these ants been laid to rest in a long column in the center of a path? What killed them? Humans? Not likely, not in the middle of the woods on a state park walking trail. Weather? I’ve seen floating mats of fire ants escaping floods, but this has been a very dry few weeks. Disease? Ants are notorious for tending their sick and wounded or isolating themselves to prevent epidemics. But sudden, devastating disease sweeping through a very widespread colony is the best theory I have for an ant graveyard strung along one hundred feet or more of trail. ~K

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