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Red Ant of Red Abdomen

By Tim Hazell

A habitat is maintained through fragile networks of food producers and consumers. Tasks carried out by specialized animals adapted for their roles through physical modification ensure survival for the ecosystem as a whole. Such an enterprise serves as a working hypothesis for systems in general. References to the activities of little creatures such as ants often contain inferences to human communities and trades.

In ancient Mexico, such descriptions helped to explain how insects living in a colony contributed to the benefit of all its members by working communally. This affectionate look at the red harvester ant is taken from the viewpoint of an Aztec scholar, translated from the original Nahuatl dialect. It is found in the Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain, compiled by Fray Bernadino de Sahagun in 1590. The treatise was one of several created by Aztec scribes at the request of the friars to illustrate the customs of native peoples of the New World.

Red ant of red abdomen:

It is somewhat average in size, a little firm, a little hard, ruddy. It has a heap of sand, a mound of sand, a hill. It sweeps, makes itself sand heaps, makes wide roads, makes itself a home. It is the worst one to bite; if it bites the foot, the effect extends to the groin; if it bites the hand, it extends to the armpit; it swells!

How species interact and evolve in ecological symbiosis is a tantalizing question that continues to excite modern biologists. Recent developments have forced us to reevaluate how neurons respond to one another to produce thought and sense perception at conscious and subliminal levels. Animal vision, imaging, intelligence, and abilities to reason are being redefined according to constantly updated criteria.

Ancient hunter-gatherers shared a symbiotic and ritualistic connection with other living creatures, treating them as equals. Bonds of respect and kinship between stalker and prey included prayer, incantations, and rites. Failure to observe these ceremonies would result in an empty chase. This poem by West Indian writer Eric Roach reflects the ancient “I-and-you” concept as an unbroken covenant.

At Guaracara Park

Speed was survival there in the green heat

where the lithe hero dashed from the leopard’s leap,

fled to cover from the feral fang,

or ran the antelope across the plains.

 

This spice rub, an exotic blend of cocoa and chili powder, brings native Mexico to the table!

Cocoa Chili Spice Rub

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1–2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp. Mexican chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

Good pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake to evenly blend. Rub on pork chops, pork tenderloin or roast, chicken legs, or thighs. This recipe makes enough for two small whole pork tenderloins or 6-8 chops. Rub meat with blended spices and allow at least two hours to marinate before grilling or broiling.

 

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