The Ants Go Marching!

Red Peonies, Ants & Red Admiral ©2010  Mlighthipe

Red Peonies, Ants & Red Admiral ©2010Mindy Lighthipe 20 x 24 watercolor

I love Peonies! Years ago I planted about a dozen or so of them in the fall in my garden. When spring came the following year I couldn’t wait for the flowers to bloom. To my dismay I saw all the beautiful flower buds covered in ants. Drat! I thought they were going to eat the flowers and I would end up with just stems. I did some research to find out what kind of insecticide I should spray on the plants only to find that the flowers would not bloom without the ants! Really? Yes, really! The flower buds are covered in a sticky sugar which attracts the ants to the flower. The ants collect and “clean” off the sticky substance allowing the flower to bloom in all its’ glory.  How cool is that! This is how this painting was born. The Ants go Marching!!!! I decided also to add a couple of Red Admiral butterflies into the painting.