Feeding The Ants

Walking along the water’s edge we hooked around to the left, leaving an annoyed San Francisco city employee behind. Autumn and I were searching for a stretch of sand that didn’t have too many obstacles or clutter lying about like large rocks or fallen trees. Both of those items were in abundance. As we scouted the area for a shady spot I began to notice no matter where we were, the entire lake shore was overrun by big ass ants. Those damn bugs were everywhere. On the sand, crawling over dead trees, exploring the tops of boulders. They seemed to own the earth around us. I couldn’t locate anyplace where fast moving oversized ants weren’t already. Eventually we gave up, claiming territory that had some decent shade and which also offered a nice view of two little islands. The islands were directly across from where we laid out our blankets and grub.

I decided to take a swim over to one of the islands and do a little exploring before eating lunch. Jamie announced he was going to set off on a hike by himself. He would be back later in the afternoon.

Lake Elenor’s water was so incredibly clear and still. I could see straight down to the bottom like I was peering through a sheet of glass. Once I jumped in I was surprised how good the water felt. It wasn’t frigid like I expected it might be. Instead it was like being in a heated swimming pool. Nice. I made a line for a big boulder that was barely poking above the lake’s surface. Nearly reaching it I looked through the water gauging the distance between myself and the boulder was at least three or four feet away. Then I got a nasty dose of reality. The angle I was viewing the partially submerged rock from made it appear to be a few feet away from my legs. It wasn’t. I smacked my knee hard against a sharp rock edge. A puff of red ink burst from my leg and a sharp pain rose from my kneecap. Dammit. Hauling myself up on the rock I sat there for a while waiting for the pain in my leg to subside while cursing my stupidity.

Meanwhile back on the sandy shore Autumn was puttering about, setting some of our gear aside and staging some food for lunch. I silently watched her from my boulder perch. After a few minutes my leg felt better and I shoved off from the lousy knee-hungry boulder towards the closest miniature island. Swimming forward I guessed the lake bottom must have been about 10 to 12 feet below. There were many submerged bulky rocks with long, grey flat surfaces scattered randomly about beneath me. Reaching the island I stood up and walked out of the water to survey the tiny realm. I heard a splash and turned around to catch sight of Autumn plowing through shallow water towards the other nearby uninhabited island.

For a while Autumn and I swam back and forth from island to island. Every so often a gunshot rang out in the still air from a long distance away. Someone must have been hunting for critters on the other side of the lake.

Jamie eventually reappeared to join us for lunch. The three of us sat on blankets in a little circle while Autumn served up sandwiches and snacks. Ants invaded our space. I kept flicking them off of the blanket I sat on or simply grabbed a handful of sand and dumped it on them. It was kind of funny to watch them dig themselves out in a panic from being buried alive. Rather than give the ants any scraps or crumbs of food I continued to feed them plenty of beach sand.

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~ by factorypeasant on April 14, 2007.

2 Responses to “Feeding The Ants”

  1. lucky there were no sharks in that lake.

  2. Love the foreshadowing: “…gunshot rang out…” There’s gonna’ be a homicide!

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