Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Prairie Lace

Heavy rains always rouse life forces on the Llano Estacado and renew my appreciation of her many intricate mysteries. Cooper and I insert ourselves cautiously into what promises to be a joyous mud fest. We’re not disappointed. Mud clings unavoidably to boots and canine paws--yippie-ki-yay!

Unexpectedly, a milieu of delicate wings diverts my attention from the dirt quagmire. Winged subterranean termites attended by workers and soldiers weave intricate patterns of prairie lace across the red soil. This alate swarm is termite royalty. These kings and queens of future colonies escape their earthbound existence in throngs to abate the impact of predation. They will shed their fragile wings soon after flying to a suitable new nesting site.

Colonies of Arid-land Subterranean Termites persevere on the open prairie. They integrate self-organized castes of nest members within a decentralized system of activities with swarm intelligence. Termites divide labor among castes of workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals. Interactions of the distinct elements result in coherent patterns of behavior necessary to exploit their habitat for food and shelter, reproduce, and provide for defense from predators.

© Ilija Lukić 2011

Pre-Flight Hullabaloo

Future Kings And Queens

Termite Royalty

Ronda De Baile - Round Dance

Termite Swarm (alates, workers, and soldiers)

Arid-Land SubterraneanTermite Alates

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