Planned Obsolescence


Video link.

It’s been a while since I made a video postcard. Both halves of this video were shot from the same location, right outside my door. The flying ants emerge from my weed garden every year about this time, around 4:00 p.m. on a warm afternoon in early October — in fact, I spliced in a little bit of footage from last year’s emergence.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

3 Comments


  1. Nice video! I’m surprised how late your flying ants emerged. Ours come out in mid-summer. Maybe a varietal difference?

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  2. Yeah, that was my first response too: ours happen in high summer. Maybe our Octobers are too cool for them?

    I used to have a bit of a phobia about flying ants. Odd, because most insects don’t bother me at all. But I learned about the violent death of someone close to me on a day when they were everywhere, absolutely everywhere, and I was sick with the flu at the time, and after that, for many years, they gave me the horrors. I had to steel myself a bit to watch the video.

    I’m afraid the poem went right over my head, though. Too queasy about the ants, maybe :-)

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  3. marja-leena – There are thousands of species of ants, so it’s a good bet we’re talking about different species – and in any case, the seasons are very different, as you know.

    dale, sorry to have touched on a phobia. I’m glad the video wasn’t any clearer, then. Less heebeejeebeeish this way, I imagine. As for the poem, it started with the sounds of the words, for once, which accounts for the greater degree of randomness than in most of my stuff.

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