Driving on dusty, graveled roads I passed a sign that said something to the effect that muddy roads could be impassable. I didn’t really give it a second thought as I wound my way up and down the dusty desert trails. Clouds of dust in the desert. What rain?
The spot was beautiful. Great views of the La Sal mountains, cows, birds and vistas. I spent a great deal of time with a hillock of ants. They were so industrious, some hauling pebbles from underground, some scurrying off to find food. Of course I had to interfere. I put down scraps of tomatoes. The ants began eating and carrying bits off to the underground, passing ants coming out carrying pebbles. Then I thought to give them a big treat and dripped a little bit of maple syrup on a piece of paper. The first ant took a taste, spun around and around and around, staggered off and banged into rocks, ran around in crazy circle, folded in half, spun around, lay down and died. This happened to two more ants before I got rid of the “treat” of maple syrup.
I spent 5 days here with the ants and the mountains and cows and crows. Then the rain came. And came. And huge wind gusts. And more rain. I kept hearing a burbling sound … it was the dip in the road filling with water! I rushed to leave. It was a good thing that I rushed. The water was above the hub caps and the road (the dusty graveled one on the way in) was a 20 mile-slick-mud-filled-scary road on the way out.
Phew. Learned not to interfere in ants’ lives, leave when the weather is good, and pay attention to “impassable when wet” road signs.