Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Experiment In Opportunity

Sci-ants at work , more like it .

To see how long it takes for a half-chewed piece of candy to disappear off the front step of your house.


  • one piece of Salt Water Taffy of unpopular flavour
  • one front step
  • one inconsiderate,self-absorbed teenage boy
  • ant hill in close proximity
  • one curious 8 year old from next door
  • one warning sign
  • weather
  • time


1. Let teenage boy unwrap and chew salt water taffy.
2. Let teenager exit front door , one minute later and expel/drop/spit taffy  from mouth onto front step just outside the front door .
3. After boy has left , rant , rave and curse upon discovery of taffy to release built up steam . Refuse , absolutely , to pick up the taffy . Allow the teenager, through self-motivation , to pick it up himself- having seen the error of his ways , full of remorse . * May be unlikely to occur all.
4. Observe and record until the taffy is gone from the front step.


  • June 3-hunk of green salt water taffy seen on front step. Careful examination reveal teeth impressions to be that of a 16 year old , male homo sapian . Vented frustration. Refused to intervene and pick up the taffy .
  • June 3- Noticed that taffy is softening in day's heat and changing shape . Hunk has now become blob . Saw husband and teenager avoid stepping in taffy on way into house . Taffy still there at sunset.
  • June 4-Noticed two dead ants in centre of blob. Appears they climbed onto it early during cool temperatures of morning . Heat softened blob entrapping them in stickiness . Fatal . Avoidance technique used by Husband and teenager again today . Sunset- Taffy Blob still there.
  • June 5- Blob has decreased in height but increased in diameter . Approximately, 50 to 60 ants are working to eat away the edges of the blob. A group of 12+ ants slightly larger of same nest( species) are collecting small pieces of sand and decomposed limestone approximately 1 mm in size on the south east side of blob . Evasion techniques from husband and teenager have appeared to have become well established routine . Sunset of third day . Taffy still there .
  • June 6 - Showed little boy from next door what was happening on front step . Spent some time observing and discussing ants' activity . Noticed that the ants were stockpiling tiny stones . Husband and teenager no longer having any effect on this experiment . Sunset . Taffy still there .
  • June 7- Little boy not scheduled to come until later in day . Noticed that ants have begun to pave the taffy on southeast side . Are they making a climbable wall to access the taffy safely? Sunset. Taffy still there and spreading over larger area .

    Most ants are on South and east side shoring up the wall or
    eating for dear-life .
June 8- The taffy has spread in a new direction . Two rivers have begun to flow from the west side . Warning sign placed to caution of the footfall hazard and to protect integrity of experiment. Appears that all ants are involved in consuming taffy . A few larger specimens are shoring up the wall on the slope into their hole .
  • Apparent now that stone wall is an effort to prevent the melting taffy from flooding their home . The beginning of a new stream is breaking through the flood wall on that side . Potential crises but still under control by ant engineers . Will keep vigil .
  • 11:00 am- Another stream has burst from the blob on north west side . Should alleviate pressure on southeast dike . Soon will be out of shadows and into full heat of the day . Right now the ants are relaxed in their eating habits and movement . They appear confident that they have averted the flood . They made taffy flow up-slope and over a ridge .Amazing !  

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