67 Saga of the Velvet Ant, Kane Spring Desert, Utah

(Image, July 1994, © 2005 M. Childers)

I sometimes try to visualize the worlds of insects and other small creatures. This inclination took hold of me as I was working up compositions on the bank of Kane Creek in southern Utah.

For its size, the bright red velvet ant was moving fast, like a new Ferrari, over a plain of salt mud embossed with the footprints of many other predators, both insect and animal. It seemed to be following some unseen thread with absolute single-minded determination as if it were on its way to an important business meeting. Perhaps it was the same thread that makes up the intricate life web of this desperate and strangely beautiful landscape.

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