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Old 03-19-2014, 06:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
You guessed that one correct! It was taken in March of 2012

Attachment 40268
Two years ago, I was in the woods peeking at salamanders.
Beautiful salamander and salamander pic.

2012, was that the year we had such a warm winter that the water never froze over? Or was that the year before?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:26 PM   #12
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It does look like an alien mouth turttle, cool! Look out Sigourney Weaver!

You got way more ice than we did, we had our biggest ice storms awhile ago. March has come in like a lion and is still, well a lion. No lamb yet in sight.

For fun and edification, the origin of the phrase.

It's About Time: Origin of Saying "March Comes in Like a Lion..."

Because dap encouraged me I am submitting my blue jay photo and the "tree of birds" photo from early this month in a snowstorm for the POM contest.
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~March 2014 Photo of the Month Contest~-blue-jay2.jpg   ~March 2014 Photo of the Month Contest~-tree-birds2.jpg  
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:18 PM   #13
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Ooooo I like that one "very" much. The tree of life!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:05 PM   #14
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It does look like an alien mouth turttle, cool! Look out Sigourney Weaver!
I had to look back in the thread to see what you all were talking about. Once I got to the thumbnail I saw it--thanks to the power of suggestion!
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Originally Posted by linrose;144866
For fun and edification, the origin of the phrase.

[URL="http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbjws.blogspot.com% 2F2011%2F03%2Forigin-of-saying-march-comes-in-like.html"
It's About Time: Origin of Saying "March Comes in Like a Lion..."[/URL]
Thanks for edificatin' me, linrose.
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Because dap encouraged me I am submitting my blue jay photo and the "tree of birds" photo from early this month in a snowstorm for the POM contest.
Yay!

Two great additions, but I must say the bluejay in the snow and ice is my favorite.
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:19 AM   #15
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In the beginning
~March 2014 Photo of the Month Contest~-march-dscf4933.jpg
Dawns beauty

Enter, humankind
~March 2014 Photo of the Month Contest~-p1050375.jpg
Dusk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #16
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Very dramatic hava! It almost makes man's scourge on the planet look amazing!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:21 PM   #17
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In the beginning
Attachment 40285
Dawns beauty

Enter, humankind
Attachment 40286
Dusk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The juxtaposition is almost jarring.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:05 PM   #18
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Eye candy
Attachment 40255
for MrILoveTheAnts
Oww that is a beautiful Formica species, one of the slave making ones I believe. You only find those in good habitats where there are plenty of other Formica species to enslave, or lots of trees around loaded with aphids. They're a fascinating ant, though the ones that build 1' to 6' tall mounds in your lawn can be annoying.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:20 PM   #19
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How does an ant enslave another and what do they exactly enslave them to do? Harvest food?
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:18 PM   #20
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How does an ant enslave another and what do they exactly enslave them to do? Harvest food?
First off, Formica is the largest genus of ant in North America and just about every method of colony founding can be found within it.

What would be the host species in this case have traditional colony founding where one or more queens dig a hole, lay some eggs, workers are born and you have an ant colony.

Now multiple queens starting a colony sounds like a good thing, but some species have workers that realize the colony will eventually reach a maximum size regardless of how many queens they have, (limitations of foraging), so some species, after the workers are born, will kill all but one of the queens, or heavily favor the offspring of one queen, or some combination. The colony may even divide until there's only one queen per group. Sometimes established colonies are even happy to accept new queens of their own species right into the nest.

So there's a lot of different strategies at work here and eventually different species mutated within the genus to take advantage of all of them!

Social Parasites, have queens that either show up late to the game or out right invade established colonies. Once inside, they employ methods to make sure when the workers start killing off queens, that they're mysteriously favored, assuming the parasitic queen hasn't murdered them herself. With established colonies, the parasitic queen rushes right into the nest, slices the queen open (assuming she can find her as many parasites fail here) and roll in the host queen's juices to gain the colony odor, thus the host workers don't kill her. From here social parasites typically lay their own eggs and the host workers raise the parasite Formica brood and eventually the parasite species takes over the nest completely.

Slave Making, (there's actually another word for this that escapes me at the moment,) it isn't an accurate title. Typically the queens are still Social Parasites, but even her workers are incapable of caring for themselves, or doing any kind of nurse work. They are completely dependent on the host species. The problem is their Social Parasite Queen killed off the host queen(s) when she established the colony. So the parasite workers will actually conduct raids on neighboring colonies of the host species. There isn't a whole lot of fighting, basically 500 or so of the parasite workers rush right into the host colony and rush right out hauling all the brood to the host colony. Once in the parasitic nest, the new host brood hatch and behave as they would had they been born in their parent colony. So you can find colonies of these ants with 5 different host species in them sometimes, though usually 2 or 3 is common.

Now some of the slave making species have actually abandoned most of their parasitic lineage. These are the species that make huge mounds of soil typically. They reproduce mostly by accepting an unlimited number of queens into the nest, and the colony divides and buds to form it's own super colony. They occasionally raid lesser Formica colonies for their brood but it's not necessary to maintain the colony. On some occasions, though rare, a new queen will fly well away from the super colony and resort to social parasite tactics to establish a new colony.
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