Alex Collects Ants

Today we have a guest post by myself, from 25 years ago:


It was my very first ant publication, printed on the back page of a biweekly family newsletter.  The ants I later determined to be Lasius flavus, and I am happy to report that the species still abounds at my old haunts in upstate NY despite all my collecting and squishing of queens.


That's me on the right, collecting ants with co-conspirator Steve

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Ha...good story. Interesting that you continued on your love bugs and ants. Was there someone in your family that got you interested?

Thanks Dawn. I think it's fair to say that I got myself interested, but was strongly encouraged by my parents. And it helped to have friends like Steve who were also into natural history.

That is wonderful! A real treasure. Is poiring french ;p How old were you when this was written and/or when the photo was taken?

What a great picture... thanks, Alex! Those weekends spent at the Stone House are some of my favorite childhood memories.

i like the emo haircut.

By ihateaphids (not verified) on 08 Dec 2008 #permalink

For the record, neither of Alex's two siblings became ant mavens even though all three were exposed to the same tract of recreational property (the Stone House -- which we still enjoy). I also will add that Alex had an early interest in writing and in pictures which evolved from the entry above into the writing and photographs of his blog. Although Alex got himself interested in ants, writing and photography, his mother deserves a ton of credit for aiding and abetting. His father.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next blog. "Alex and Betsy play Deer". I'm glad the stone house weekly report is finally getting some of the glory it deserves...Anyway, my earliest memories involve feeding ants sugar water on the patio. Alex found his inner ant very early in life indeed....

-The non-ant guru sister

If we are being truthful about ant collecting and childhood memories, it should be noted that there was also an indoor component to the collection, the ant farm, which was a fixture in Alex's childhood room.

Although I would be supportive of seeing some of the old "Alex and Betsy play deer" stories, I'm ok if the "Robbie builds a mountain bike trail" stays in the private Stone House library.

- The non-ant guru brother

Kevin- Gosh. I'd have been 11 or thereabouts.

Steve- We'll need to do a Stone House reunion next time I'm back in the summer. If your kids want to play Deer in the Woods you should probably discourage them from writing about it.

Betsy- If the Deer story goes public I think we're both finished.

Rob- how about we trade "Mountain Bike Trail" for a "Series of Disasters"? I think that's my favorite.

Somehow, I remember ant collecting in Ecuador except I was the one climbing up the side of the cliff (and getting bitten).

No wonder they're called odonto... look at those mandibles (?). No wonder it hurt like heck.

I remember that old photograph, but I can't find it on my own forum. :( I think someone said something about using bowl for haircut. ;)

This is a very educational website. "Emo"???

(from the Web) "Emo hair becoming Very Popular with Emo Kids

emo hair has sharp edges and shapes. It does not always have bangs, but it usually does have some chunky sections twisted or pulled in a direction that conflicts with the rest of the hair. Girls and guys have emo styles of hair, and they are pretty much the same. Girls might have longer hair than guys, but they usually do not have hair past their shoulders."


I hate it when I accidentally "smush" insects.

Why isn't that a real word yet? I used smush as a kid all of the time.