More a photography exploration than anything else in the photos, but it is a look at the very tiny in the garden. Tiny black garden ants are 0.118 inches long or less than 1/8 inch. I saw these ants on the dill eating pollen and thought they would make a good photo subject for my 105mm macro lens. It is a hard lens to hand hold, but I was too lazy to set up the tripod for an ant. But cute little ants are not what I was looking for on the dill… read on.
While looking at the dill to find an egg laid by a Swallowtail (which I photographed days before and shown below), these ants were very busy on the dill. I was hoping they were not after the eggs.
What I did find though, were a couple of miniscule baby Swallowtail caterpillars. It looks rather like a speck of dirt when you find them, but I enlarged it to make sure it was the teeny caterpillar. See below.
I will be keeping an eye out for the caterpillars as they grow. So what are the ants up to? They were eating the pollen of the dill. I never knew ants ate pollen, but did know they are great pollinators.
Unfortunately for my tiny Swallowtail caterpillars, a small parasitic wasp was looking for them.
It quickly left after seeing my lens, but you can see it on the hunt. The ants kept foraging.
The tiny bee shown below flew in for some nectar. The bee is shown with an even tinier Swallowtail caterpillar in the background and a closeup two images below. I’ll be watching to see them grow if they live. That would be a mighty task considering circumventing all the spiders and wasps in my garden.
Yes, it is a very small world of activity on the dill. You just have to look very, very close. Up next, what’s on the Monarda? Then the end of July garden… as we coast into a dry August from an already dry July, I will show you some more hard-working pollinator plants in the garden. I will be off to Pennsylvania shortly, posts continuing in my absence, but it may be a couple of weeks before I am back at my computer. I have a lot of traveling coming up!