Apparently my sudden obsession with tiny creatures on our #NatureDoodlewash hike lead us to this flying ant. These are rather disturbing creatures, especially if you’re unlucky enough to come into a swarm of them. But by themselves, if there’s only one, I’ve always found them quite fascinating. On a hot summer day when I was young, if you saw one land, they would always cast the most amazing shadows. As if they were no longer a grotesque little insect, but actually a woman wearing a long flowing dress. Admittedly, I’ve always had a rather overactive imagination.

I don’t have much time today, and a quick research of flying ants pulls up only pest control sites, telling you just how obnoxious these little things can be. Also, flying ants are not particularly great at flying. They apparently can’t really fly more than a half mile, but I’m not judging as this is farther that I can likely run. If you see a winged ant this time of year, the pest control experts tell us that it’s most likely you’ve encountered a Carpenter Ant. If it’s late summer you probably have Moisture Ants, which is a ridiculously appalling name and I don’t want to think about it anymore.

Really, the best thing about ants is their social nature. They always put their families first and work together to help their communities. Though you probably don’t want their communities in your house, you can’t argue that they certainly have a philosophy worth aspiring to. It’s interesting to think what the world would be like if humans weren’t just equally social, but actually as collaborative as ants. I think much of the strife we experience in the world would be nonexistent. And who knows, perhaps we too, could even learn to fly.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

And World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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54 thoughts on “Beware Of Flying Ants

  1. I was ready to be all – “really!??” flying ants???!!!- and then you nailed it with your thoughts on how they live – and in true Charlie O fashion – rocked it with this post and doodlewash! Love!

  2. Fabulous painting, Charlie. I love all the details. Very well observed. Less fabulous is the fact I’m having to pay someone to come and exterminate carpenter acts who have taken up residence in the sill of my bay window.

  3. Awesome – what a succinct and effective job you did in warming us (slightly) to this pest! When the saw the doodlewash I was wondering what on earth you were going to say about them; the flowing dress vision is very sweet indeed – I’m not sure women look like that, though. I think it’s the antennae; I don’t think theirs are quite so large. Your doodlewash wings reminded me of a cape when I saw it. Antman (or Antwoman!) Great fun.

  4. You make these creepy little buggers almost attractive! 😀 I love that you made its shadow like the way you used to see them: as a lady with a dress. Your write-up is hilarious, as always! <3 I'm just relieved we don't see to have an outbreak inside the house this year.

  5. Great post, fun read, still laughing at the deplorable names some ants have. Beautiful painting, your attention to detail is wonderful, particularly love the way you captured the light reflection on the head and thorax. Thank you for sharing this delightful creature.

  6. I immediately saw a woman in a long flowing gown even before I read your post! 😉 Of course she is wearing a strange hat with horn like antennas but that isn’t important…lol! 😳 I really like how you painted its wings. These flying creatures can be do annoying but I kind of like your doodlewashed one! 💕🎨🌟

  7. Beautiful, love how you did the shadow!!! And the ants body is so shiny! Very nice! And the story is nice too! Reminds me when I was at my grandparents in Hungary as a kid. They had a little summer house with a huge garden with cherries and tons of rasberries and gooseberries and lots of flying ants. Thanks for reminding me, Charlie! ❤️🌞🐜

  8. Charlie, I see the lady and her flowing dress in the shadow and never would have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out. There indeed is beauty in all creation but sometimes we have to use a little imagination to see it – thanks for helping me out with this fine doodlewash. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all “evolved” enough that we could indeed fly? 😉

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