Ants & Emerald Light


 [ Please view in HD ]

This was my first foray into the world of digital filmmaking – or any type of filmmaking, for that matter.

In 2011, I decided to make a film about some of the ants I had been studying and photographing (see my ant web site:

As difficult as photographing live ants (in the wild) is, portraying them on video proved even more challenging.

Over the course of the Spring and Summer of 2011, I took the hour-long drive from my home in Seattle to where this particular colony of thatching ants (Formica obscuripes) resides. This spot was chosen because of the gigantic size, and beautiful construction of the nest. It is also in the back of a small, infrequently visited park, where I could work in relative seclusion (these nests are often found along the sides of roads/highways). To be clear, there are several probably-related nest structures – but the one you see in the movie was (and is) truly magnificent.

This huge nest, over 3 feet tall, sits beneath the canopy of an ancient Big-Leaf Maple. At certain moments, sunlight filtering through the leaves immerses all in an ethereal, emerald light…

I also composed, played, and recorded the music for this piece using a small keyboard.

Thanks for watching, and reading!