Ants in the dark, and other things

I haven’t been writing as much the last few days.  Sometimes I feel like I have things to say, and sometimes I don’t. Or, sometimes I’m just occupied with other things.  What has been going on the last few days? A glance through my recent photos will tell.

Volcan Baru

Volcan Baru

We have a new car, well not new but new to us. Getting it and doing the paperwork involved a fair amount of running around, taking us to Dolega and parts north where I snapped this picture of Volcán Barú in the clouds. One of these days we are going to go UP there!

Hyundai Atos

Hyundai Atos

It’s a cute little thing, drives well, appears to be in good shape, the price was right, and the seller was a musician and great contact for Joel. Doing the paperwork included lunch out with him and his wife and we had a great time!

Speaking of cars, I also got my Mazda back from the mechanic. At first I was upset to learn it was going to cost $235. I thought it was just a matter of new radiator hoses. When we picked it up he explained that there was a leak in the head gasket. He changed the gasket, milled the head, replaced all the hoses, the belt, fluids, and this was the price for his labor and all the necessary parts and materials. Not bad! We’ve done this in the past on other vehicles and it is a fair amount of work, for sure.

So, now, knock on wood, we have two vehicles that run well and won’t give us any problems in the near future.

Then, there was the exciting visit from the motmots mentioned in the previous post Thankful

Ants? Oh right, we can’t forget the ants. I can’t remember why I was outside last night, but I noticed the leaf cutter ants were busy and there was a whole army of them crossing the sidewalk with pieces of leaves.  I got a flashlight and went to investigate further. There are trails in the yard but I haven’t seen much activity lately, so I was curious to see what was going on.

start here

start here

It turns out they were next to the patio in back, eating what is supposed to be lawn but it’s actually much more weeds than grass. They were very interested in the plant with the little round green leaves. They weren’t after anything I cared much about, so if they want to clean up my lawn, sure, no problem.

carry the leaves around the house

carry the leaves around the house

So, there is this army of ants cutting leaves in the back, and then carrying them all the way around the side of the house. All the round leaves in this photo are being carried by ants.

across the driveway

across the driveway

From there, they are taking them across the driveway, apparently adding a few leaves from the shrubbery along the way.

across the sidewalk

across the sidewalk

Then, they were proceeding through the shrubbery on the other side of the driveway to the sidewalk.

across the yard

across the yard

Then, across the sidewalk, and through the front yard.

into the hole!

into the hole!

until finally, they arrived at their hole in the very far front corner of the front yard!

I need to learn more about these little creatures. My neighbors tell me they are very bad and can strip the leaves off a tree overnight. They don’t seem to have destroyed anything in my yard though, yet, so we shall see. Last month when I first got here, they were very busy in the daytime eating my shrubs. But, since then, things have been very quiet. Or, I thought they were until I discovered the nighttime activity.

Last but not least (to change the subject entirely),  I found the tennis court, and I spoke with the head of the tennis club! It sounds like they have a fun club of people who meet regularly and, as members of the club, we can play with them or just use the court ourselves any day but Friday. I’m excited. I really miss the activity and exercise, and I love playing tennis. Even better, the group leader speaks perfect English, though I won’t mind also learning what I need to know for a game in Spanish.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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