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birdcharm
Community Member
Posts: 1,485
Registered: ‎10-12-2004

Ant Hill Art

This is an amazing form of art created from

ant hill tunnels. Some of us have invasive Fire Ants

where we live ... this is the most creative way I've

ever seen of doing something good with them! 

I'm fairly certain this is a Fire Ant mound that

is used as a form of art.

 

I wouldn't advise doing this at home unless you

really know what you're doing (i.e., protective gear,

stay away from vapors, etc., etc.) ... but, most of

us don't have a way to make molten aluminum

anyway.

 

Some may not know that Fire Ants are a devastating

invasive species that threatens crops, birds, animals,
insects, and if you've ever been bitten, you know the

pain when several of them crawl into your shoe and

all bite at the same time as I have seen happen ...

hence the name "Fire Ant."

This is a very creative way of putting an invasive

Fire Ant colony to good use ... it kind of reminds me

of aluminum Christmas trees of yesteryear!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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steppefjordwyfe10
Community Member
Posts: 8,026
Registered: ‎02-04-2013

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to birdcharm

 

I've heard of making a mountain out of a mole hill but this is a new twist.  :womanvery-happy:



“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies . . . Ayn Rand
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tcmsecretuserid
Community Member
Posts: 15,943
Registered: ‎08-30-2006

Re: Ant Hill Art

[ Edited ]
in reply to steppefjordwyfe10

Reply to op:

Add fire ants to the kill list? 

 

If the the nest is not in a back yard where children or the elderly live, I'd have a hard time justifying doing this. 

 

We have rattlesnakes in the mountain park, and I don't seek them out so that I can skin them and make a neat hatband. 

_____________________________________________________________________________
Bon mot boogie
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sheba*
Community Member
Posts: 3,579
Registered: ‎05-28-2003

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to tcmsecretuserid

I agree TCM,

 

Gut you gotta admit that the resulting "sculpture" is intriguing.

 


scene photo xmas_27.gif

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dwilke33
Community Member
Posts: 1,668
Registered: ‎01-17-2003

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to birdcharm

Awesome!  Who would have known that those pesky fire ants built multiple story condos down there.

 

Thanks for sharing birdcharm.




“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have,” President Gerald Ford

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nc-daydreamer
Community Member
Posts: 4,243
Registered: ‎10-06-2008

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to birdcharm

Where does one get this hot liquid aluminum to make these molds?

 

Seems like a horrific way to die, but the end result is neat.  Isn't much different than the Orkin man pouring chemicals into the mound I reckon though.  

 

=====================================
If you don't stand up for something, then you'll likely fall for anything.
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tcmsecretuserid
Community Member
Posts: 15,943
Registered: ‎08-30-2006

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to dwilke33

Yes, it is cool to look at, sheba. 

I'm not going to get all bent out of shape over this, as I did have a boss whose mother was killed by fire ants. 

 

Maybe the nest had been abandoned? 

 

Coincidentally, I was telling my husband a few weeks ago that I always wanted one of those kiddy ant farm kits. 

I remember seeing them when I was a kid, and the tunnels intrigued me. 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________
Bon mot boogie
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dwilke33
Community Member
Posts: 1,668
Registered: ‎01-17-2003

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to tcmsecretuserid

tcmsecretuserid wrote:

Reply to op:

Add fire ants to the kill list? 

 

If the the nest is not in a back yard where children or the elderly live, I'd have a hard time justifying doing this. 

 

We have rattlesnakes in the mountain park, and I don't seek them out so that I can skin them and make a neat hatband. 


tcm, do you have fire ants where you live?  They build mounds in the yards here in Texas and if you don't kill them right away they cause havoc and pain if stepped on.....for both humans and dogs.  In fact, I've heard if a puppy gets multiple bits (which they would) the puppy could die.  They're not your friendly carpenter ant.




“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have,” President Gerald Ford

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valleyspirit*dvn
Community Member
Posts: 1,792
Registered: ‎10-19-2008

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to dwilke33

That is amazing. I fight fire ants all year. And I'm talking 6 acres of them plus my neighbiors yard. Kill em. knock them down, pour on cornmeal then realized it takes posion. Then realized the posion doesn't kill em. They don't just bite, they make spots that stay on the skin for months. I have one now from May.

 

That is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this.

**************************************************************
Bad actions can not be justified by pointing out the bad actions of others.
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tcmsecretuserid
Community Member
Posts: 15,943
Registered: ‎08-30-2006

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to dwilke33

dwilke33 wrote:

tcmsecretuserid wrote:

Reply to op:

Add fire ants to the kill list? 

 

If the the nest is not in a back yard where children or the elderly live, I'd have a hard time justifying doing this. 

 

We have rattlesnakes in the mountain park, and I don't seek them out so that I can skin them and make a neat hatband. 


tcm, do you have fire ants where you live?  They build mounds in the yards here in Texas and if you don't kill them right away they cause havoc and pain if stepped on.....for both humans and dogs.  In fact, I've heard if a puppy gets multiple bits (which they would) the puppy could die.  They're not your friendly carpenter ant.


My ex-boss lived in Texas. That is where his mom was killed by them. 

 

We have red ants(not fire ants) where I live. They don't kill people. 

I do understand the need to get rid of these ants if they live near humans, and dogs. 

That is why I said that I wasn't going to get all bent out of shape over this. 

 

There was a boxer who had a problem with rattlesnakes on her property. Her husband had to kill them to protect their animals. I understood that too. He made some very nice bracelets, barrettes, and other items from the skin. 

 

 

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Bon mot boogie
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dwilke33
Community Member
Posts: 1,668
Registered: ‎01-17-2003

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to tcmsecretuserid

Thanks, tcm.  We were posting at the same time.  I've never heard of them killing a human, but I certainly believe it.  The bite is so very painful and you very seldom get just one bite, but many.  They're like piranha!




“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have,” President Gerald Ford

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birdcharm
Community Member
Posts: 1,485
Registered: ‎10-12-2004

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to tcmsecretuserid

quote:  If the the nest is not in a back yard where children or the elderly live, I'd have a hard time justifying doing this.

 

I would love to be able to do this!!

If you don't live around them, you don't know

the damage they can do ... but, it's tremendous ...

and, they are introduced and have taken over!

I think this is very cool ... I'm glad it's been enjoyed!

Someone shared with me, so I'm sharing it too!

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tcmsecretuserid
Community Member
Posts: 15,943
Registered: ‎08-30-2006

Re: Ant Hill Art

[ Edited ]
in reply to birdcharm

Humans take over and destroy the earth, often over-hunting animals, and causing them to become extinct. 

We don't pour molten lava over the hunters. :smileywink:

 

As I said bird, if the fire ants are on your property, I understand the need to eradicate them from the area. 

I wouldn't go hiking 5 miles away from civilization to destroy a fire ant nest. That's me. 

I even catch spiders in my home, and put them outside. I have to kill the black widows though. I've been known to kill a fly or two in my house too. 

 

I'll be the first to admit that my husband fishes, and we eat that fish. He does not hunt fish that are endangered. 

Slipery slopes are all over the place. 

 

The result is art. I do agree with that also. 

 

 

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Bon mot boogie
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birdcharm
Community Member
Posts: 1,485
Registered: ‎10-12-2004

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to tcmsecretuserid

quote:  As I said bird, if the fire ants are on your property, I understand the need to eradicate them from the area. 

I wouldn't go hiking 5 miles away from civilization to destroy a fire ant nest. That's me.

 

Hi again!

 

This is a type of artwork that might make you think about 

the ants and their lifestyle, that's for sure.  You have not only

brought up some interesting points of view, but you have also

made me realize that there are things about these ants that

many may not know ... and, you got me motivated to learn

more about them myself.  Ants are fascinating creatures,

... and, their chambers and tunnels make for interesting sculptures ...

something I would have never thought of (even though I've been

known to make sand candles, based on a similar principle.)

 

Although I began this thread to share the art concept,

I can't ignore the facts about the ants and your post made

me realize that perhaps a little background on the ants

might be appreciated, so I'm going to take a moment to

indulge in a few Fire Ant facts ... I knew some of what

I'm going to share, but I learned more in being curious!

 

Also, regarding spiders ... if it isn't a recluse or black widow,

I also take them outside if I can ... esp. jumping spiders.

And, the fish we catch here are mostly introduced species

that are out-numbering some of our natives, so I don't feel

badly about the catch either.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I found a couple of nice websites during my brief

learning excursion ... here are some excerpts:

 

 

The black imported fire ant, accidentally imported from South America into Mobile, Alabama, was first reported in 1918.

Its distribution is still restricted to parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The red imported fire ant was imported around the 1930′s and has spread to infest more than 260 million acres of land in nine southeastern states, including all or portions of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

 

This species has become very abundant, displacing many native ant species when abundant.

It has the potential of spreading west and surviving in southern Arizona and along the Pacific coast north to Washington.

 

~~~~~~


Fire ants’ ‘aphid-ranching’ skills may be key to their successful U.S. invasion

( Excerpt - kind of interesting fire ant facts ... very nice, information web site!)
http://fireant.tamu.edu/fire-ants-aphid-ranching-skills-may-be-key-to-their-successful-u-s-invasion/

Dr. Micky Eubanks, a Texas AgriLife Research entomologist at College Station, said the ants are using a practice known as “mutualism” to help them thrive despite the estimated $1 billion Americans pour into controlling them annually.

“Mutualisms play key roles in the functioning of ecosystems,” Eubanks said. “In this case, fire ants protect aphids in exchange for the honeydew that aphids produce and the ants eat. Native ants also do this, however a study by our team recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science determined that mutualisms involving introduced species such as the red imported fire ant can actually enhance invasion success and ultimately disrupt entire native ecosystems.”

Eubanks said the phenomenon has received relatively little attention in scientific circles prior to this study.
He said intense competition with other ants and insects in the pest’s native Argentina checks their explosive success there, but in the U.S. the invaders dominate the range, running rough-shod over the native ants while making full use of the aphid “cows’” nourishing honeydew.

The research team found that the carbohydrate-rich substance known as “honeydew”- that sticky fecal substance that drips on your car from aphids feeding on tree leaves – is a magic elixir to the ants. It gives them the energetic edge needed to out-forage native species and conquer new territory.

“Laboratory and field experiments demonstrated that honeydew with its high carbohydrate content dramatically increases fire ant colony growth, a crucial factor of competitive performance,” he said. “We examined colony growth by rearing fire ants with and without honeydew-producing aphids. After seven weeks, laboratory ant colonies with access to honeydew-producing aphids were 20 percent larger than those grown with cotton plants, but no aphids, even though both colonies had all the insect prey they could eat.

“Our findings support the hypothesis that although mutualisms help generate and maintain biodiversity in our native flora and fauna, introduced species such as the red imported fire ant can infiltrate these networks and divert resources for their own success with potentially devastating consequences to their native neighbors.”

~~~~~~

 

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) and Their Impacts on Wildlife


RIFA can be easily identified by the mounds
they build and stings they inflict. They have an
extremely aggressive nature compared to native fire
ants, and when disturbed, workers swarm out of the
mound and run up grasses and other vertical surfaces
to sting intruders. The native fire ant does not behave
in this manner. A RIFA sting causes a painful
burning sensation. A few hours to a day after a sting,
the RIFA's unique venom forms a white fluid-filled
blister on the skin surface. This distinctive blister is
very characteristic of RIFA stings. If blisters rupture,

they can become infected and cause more serious problems.

The introduction of RIFA has resulted in the
exclusion of many native ant species through
competition and predation. They have also eliminated
food supplies used by some wildlife species. RIFA
are attracted to wildlife species nesting under or on
the ground and in low trees. Species that breed and
live in open habitats are more vulnerable than species
living in closed-canopied habitats, which tend to have
much lower fire ant densities. Certain animals are
very susceptible to predation by RIFA, and multiple
stings can result in the death of small bodied animals,
dramatically reducing populations of some wildlife
species. In addition, fire ants can cause
disfigurement and disablement of larger animals.
Certain types of wildlife, such as deer, ground-nesting
birds, and reptiles are especially vulnerable to RIFA
during and soon after birth or hatching. And, adult
animals may be displaced by irritation resulting from
stings and can be affected by reductions in food
availability.


Many turtle species are impacted by fire ants,
and irritation from RIFA stings can cause adults to
abandon nesting attempts. RIFA will also prey on
turtle hatchlings just below the surface of the ground
and as they emerge. Box turtles (Terrapene carolina)
appear to be particularly susceptible to RIFA
predation due to their defensive reactions. When
disturbed, box turtles close off their shells and
become immobile. Even a tightly closed box turtle
shell has gaps large enough for RIFA to penetrate, and
the turtle's immobility allows more fire ants to swarm
over it. RIFA predation of hatchling and juvenile
gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemu), a species of
special concern in Florida, has also been observed.

RIFA can completely eliminate ground-nesting
birds in a given area. The northern bobwhite quail
(Colinus virginianus), an important game species,

has been the focus of much research on the
impacts of RIFA. RIFA may be one of the reasons
for the observed decline in quail numbers in Florida
and across much of the southeastern U.S. over the
past 10 years. RIFA impact bobwhite quail by
stinging and consuming piping young. Even after
they hatch, individuals stung by fire ants have
reduced survival. In one study, 38% of bobwhite
chick deaths were attributed to RIFA stings.

Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
numbers are also often lower in habitats invaded by
fire ants. These declines may be a result of
competition with RIFA for food, primarily insects.
RIFA have also been reported causing mortality and
declines in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), crested
caracaras (Caracara plancus), common ground doves
(Columbina passerine), blue-grey gnatcatchers
(Polioptila caerulea), eastern towhees (Pipilo
erythrophthalamus), indigo buntings (Passerine
cyanea), northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis
), and yellow-billed cuckoos (Coccyzus americanus
) in certain areas. The causes of mortality and reasons for
decline vary between species but are usually a result
of stinging, predation of young, or competition for
food resources.


Waterbirds such as the least tern (Sterna antillarum),

great egret (Casmerodius albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula),

roseate spoonbill (Ajara ajara), laughing gull (Larus atricilla),

black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis), great blue heron

(Ardea herodis), and tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor),

all of which can be found in Florida, can also be severely

impacted by  RIFA. One Texas study showed that, during the
warm summer months of June and July when RIFA
are most active, ant infestation was responsible for up
to a 92% reduction in offspring survival of many of
these waterbirds.

 

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW24200.pdf

 

 

 

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nc-daydreamer
Community Member
Posts: 4,243
Registered: ‎10-06-2008

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to birdcharm

Awesome information!  Thank you for the details.

 

I still wonder how to turn the Aluminum into liquid?  While it is questionable to many, I find it uniquely fascinating.  Guess I need to go find a science expert...

=====================================
If you don't stand up for something, then you'll likely fall for anything.
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daltvila_420
Community Member
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎11-14-2013

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to birdcharm

Looks like a decent way to destroy an invasive creature- while also displaying the diversity of nature.

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stewart4431
Community Member
Posts: 883
Registered: ‎01-11-2007

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to daltvila_420

Daydreamer wrote- - - Where does one get this hot liquid aluminum to make these molds?- - -daydreamer you cant buy liquid aluninum.  It's only liquid when heated to over 1200. degrees in a crucible.

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4c4sale
Community Member
Posts: 2,543
Registered: ‎02-18-2011

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to steppefjordwyfe10

steppefjordwyfe10 wrote:

 

I've heard of making a mountain out of a mole hill but this is a new twist.  :womanvery-happy:


Are you saying moles are invasive and should be eradicated?

 

Maybe they should be baited.  Is that the best way to deal with them?

 

The fire ants, moles, etc.

 

Excellent topic, and we definitely need more topics about creatures who just won't stay where they belong.  :cathappy:

^--------^

"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
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steppefjordwyfe10
Community Member
Posts: 8,026
Registered: ‎02-04-2013

Re: Ant Hill Art

[ Edited ]
in reply to 4c4sale

 


Are you saying moles are invasive and should be eradicated?  

 

Now if that isn't a trick question, I don't know what is.  See it all depends, if I liked moles well then no, they aren't invasive, but I don't, so they are.

 

You know I found out that adorable grandchildren are considered invasive by some today.  :womanwink:  Fascinating.  And lo and behold there's another one on the cute duck thread.  So maybe there is something to all that.

 

I wonder what temperature that aluminum or whatever has to reach to liquidize for liquidating?



“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies . . . Ayn Rand
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lealta
Community Member
Posts: 2,286
Registered: ‎10-31-2004

Re: Ant Hill Art

in reply to steppefjordwyfe10

I wonder what temperature that aluminum or whatever has to reach to liquidize for liquidating?

 

ROFL

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