Worlds within worlds
One of the cool things about our campus is the wide variety of trees in our central quad. Each one has a tag that gives its species so I can tell a red oak from a locust tree (truthfully I don’t bother with the Latin equivalents, which are also given).
But any one of the trees is also an ecology of its own, for lichens, molds, moss, birds, squirrels, insects, and microscopic life. In a few moments over lunch hour I was able to spot four different species of ants making their way up and down the trunk of a maple tree today. Two were almost impossible to see without my magnifying glass, and occasionally a gigantic carpenter ant would go stomping by.
I don’t know enough about ants. E.O. Wilson probably has a book I should read about them.