The ants came marching…
March 9, 2010
The weather has been quite nice the last few days. I haven’t worn more than a sweater or jacket back and forth to work. In fact, although it’s supposed to rain all week, the temperature should hit the mid sixties tomorrow. The last of the deep snow banks on the side of the driveway has melted. The yard is muddy and flat, not quite aware of what is happening all around. This evening I noticed that the daffodils are a good six inches out of the ground with nice round tops and that familiar bulge that holds spring deep inside. Even the dog has made her ever so irritating move to springdom, as it now takes an additional ten minutes for her to remember why she wanted to go outside…nose in the air and tail to the wind.
Signs of spring are all around. Even at work. Yesterday morning I felt that familiar crunch under my shoes as I walked into the break room. The kind that makes you stop and look down to the ceramic tiles and then lift up your shoe. And there they were. First just a few, but by the end of the day they had multiplied into a pretty good sized dark colored mass of activity around the doorway and along the wall. The ants are up and on their way.
Our break room is pretty clean, but there are always fresh crumbs of one sort or another. Most recently the leavins of girl scout cookies, which I’m sure they find as inviting as we do. We struggle with the ants, as well as the cookies, every year about this time. Last year our maintenance department sent over a wonderful little can of spray. An environmentally friendly repellent of sorts. It smells like peppermint to me, but the ants sure don’t like it. Neither does our custodian.
He comes in the afternoon and works into the evening when most of us have gone home. That’s why I’m relatively sure I’m the only one who has witnessed what I am about to share. It’s a ritual I’ve been privy to since last year this time. It kind of puts in mind of the Bill Murray grounds keeper character in Caddy Shack, shoving a hose in the gopher hole. And I laugh every time I think of it.
So. Last night as I headed past the break room for the door, and the car, and home, I ran smack into our custodian. He was standing outside the break room door with a cup in his hand. “They’re back”, he said, and we both looked down. The floor was covered with water spread evenly across the ceramic tiles, deeper in the grouted areas, spilling on over to the carpet. “I’m drowning them”, he said. A measly little “I understand” was all that I could muster. I’ve been here before.
I tried to convince him last year, that the spray might be the way to go. This morning our little visitors had doubled in size, and were walking around the plastic ant traps that he so carefully placed in the corners of the room. I’m not sure if they drown in their sorrows this afternoon, or not. I tend to think they headed back where they came from, until the way is safe once again. Tomorrow morning I’ll look for the wonderful peppermint spray, and chalk this up to another rite of spring.
The ants came marching two by two, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants came marching two by two
The little one stopped to tie his shoe.
They all go marching down, to the earth, to get out of the rain.
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom…