Ladies and gentlemen, we have a working farm on our property!!
It’s a shame we can’t get a tax write-off for agricultural property, as the ants can’t sign the paperwork.
I’ve got a few common evening primrose plants getting ready to bloom for the season. This is what they should look like:
But our aphid farm has transformed one of my plants to look like this:
Not so pretty. It hasn’t given up and is still trying to send out new shoots, but I’m not sure how many flowers this part will produce!
Here’s a close up of the ants tending their aphid herd:
You may wonder how I feel about all this insect activity.
Actually, I’m full of wonder!!
I’m happy to have native flora spreading in my flower patch, because they support native fauna (including insects).
For example, the evening primrose is the only plant that feeds growing primrose moth caterpillars. If I got upset that my plant was getting eaten, that would negate the whole reason I’ve let them grow there!
But to have a working farm . . . how cool is that??
Here’s a bit more about how this farm works:
Aphids feed primarily on the sap from plants and secrete a liquid called honeydew. This secretion is very sugar-rich, and quite favoured by ants as a food source. As a result, a system has been hashed out by these insects wherein the ants herd the aphids around to the juiciest parts of plants, protect them from predators, and carry them into their nests at night and for winter. In return they are allowed to ‘milk’ the aphids- stroking the aphids with their antennae, coaxing them to secrete their honeydew which is then lapped up by the ant.Farmer Ants and their Aphid Herds
It really blows my mind.
God’s creation is beyond complex. After years and years of study, we’re still not finished discovering all of it, nor have we completely figured out how it all works together!
Now I have to share a question with you.
I wonder, when was the last time you allowed yourself to be in wonder?
When was the last time you gave yourself time to stop and really take in the diversity of nature, awed by God’s artistry?
When was the last time you considered God’s astounding handiwork?
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.Romans 1:20 NLT
Maybe this is your reminder to look up, look out, and find something wonderful. What will you discover? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!