Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Bull Ants

My favorite place in Sydney was probably Sydney Wildlife World.  It was walking distance from our hotel, so we got a membership.

Jack and I went there almost everyday.

My favorite exhibit was the Bull Ants.   I don't know.   I had a thing for these little creatures.  No, I didn't think they were cute.   I'm not that odd.   I just found them to be absolutely fascinating.

In the exhibit at Wildlife World, the ants carry dead ants and drop them off at some kind of make-shift cemetery.  I thought this was amazing, but had the hardest time figuring out where the actual cemetery was.   I would sit there with Jack and watch one of the ants--tracking him.   Total  stalking.   But the clever little bastards wouldn't let on to where the cemetery was.    I think it was top secret or something.

I did finally figure it out--I think from asking someone who works there.   They must have thought I was totally nuts.   Who is this weird American who comes in here everyday?   And why is she asking questions about the Bull Ants?

Later, we went to Port Stephens and got to see wild and free Bull Ants.  For me, it was like seeing a celebrity.   Look!  A Real Bull Ant!

One day, I took a walk alone at the beach.   On the far end of the One Mile Beach are these rocks, tide pools, and....maybe quicksand.  It kind of separates One Mile Beach from the other beach.  I forgot the name of the other beach, but it's a nude beach.   That's all I know.

Anyway....

I'm not really sure if I stepped in real quicksand, but it seemed like real quicksand.   I thought it was so cool, although I did get my foot out after a few seconds.   I figure that's how most people die in quicksand.  They think to themselves.  Oh My God!  How Cool.  Real Quicksand.  Wait until I tell my friends back home.   And then they sink.

After the quicksand, I sat down on a rock.   I had my deep thoughts--probably wishing upon a piece of sand that we could move to Australia.   Then I felt a sharp pain on my leg.   It was painful enough for me to cry out.   I looked down and I THINK I saw a Bull Ant.   It all happened so fast.  I think I brushed it off.

Although I was in a bit of pain, I was so excited to be bit by an actual Bull Ant.  I felt really honored.

Now though... I'm not sure whether it really was a Bull Ant.   I read somewhere that they cause a great amount of pain.   The thing I felt was worse than any other insect bite I've gotten before, but I've never been stung by anything like a bee, wasp, etc.   I'm not sure if I was bitten/stung by something that was milder than a Bull Ant.  Or if it was a Bull Ant and I'm just not that sensitive to that type of pain.   I usually don't mind blood tests or shots.  They rarely hurt me.  So, I guess it is a possibility.   

Anyway, in honor of my love for Bull Ants.  Here's a video I found on YouTube.   





6 comments:

Mim said...

My mum has developed a severe allergy to bull-ants. She's disturbed nests while gardening and ended up with multiple bites so many times that she now has to keep prescription anti-histamines on hand so if she does get bitten she can take them straight away and then get to the hospital. The bites come up as great big red welts several inches across and the pain keeps her from sleeping properly for a couple of days.

When I was a kid I used to like watching bull-ants around their nests, they're kind of interesting, but I find I feel much less warm and fuzzy towards them now.

Dina said...

Mim,

It reminds me of our fire ants here. They're everywhere and I think some people are allergic to them. It's so easy to accidently step on a nest. And then you usually get multiple bites.

mscherrylane said...

oh my goodness you are way too cute! LOL

now I know why my american niece is scared to walk on the ground...because there are ants...I had no idea before then that not everywhere has ants!

When I was a child these ants were at the mercy of all us children playing- we use to pour water down their burrows just to watch them all come running out!

Dina said...

mscherrylane,

Where does your American niece live??


Maybe there are more ants in the south USA. We have SO many here. The problem is they bite and hurt. I think other places have ants but they're cute little sweet things that don't bite.

It's so bad here that you can't walk barefoot in the grass. You really shouldn't even walk with sandels and stuff like that.

In Port Stephens, the ant situation wasn't too bad. I'd see a little bit here and. I walked barefoot a lot.

Your cousin reminds me of Jack. He's scared to go outside sometimes because of bees. Oh, what am I saying? My whole family is scared of the bees.

Yesterday, we were eating outside. A bee came by and Jack was freaking out. We tried to calm him down, assured him that the bee was just dropping by for a quick visit. Then the bee kept coming back. Jack didn't notice and we were all trying to be hush hush about it. But then it just kind of made it's home at our table.

We all jumped up, grabbed our stuff, and rushed inside. We probably looked hilarious to all the other people around.

Retarius said...

A bull-ant fan! That's a new one. There are plenty of large ant species which people colloquially call bull-ants. There's a simple test to apply: if you don't feel great and persistent agony; it wasn't a real bull-ant.

Dina said...

Retarius,

I'm guessing I was bit by a imposter Bull Ant. My tolerance to pain isn't THAT high....if it's high at all.

I definitely wasn't in agony.