Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Swirling Sunday spiralling swarms

We have had a mini heatwave this weekend and it has become hot, humid, sticky and sweltering. I thought I'd stroll down the garden and see what was happening at the insect house. Once I had stepped outside, just past the bird table I found myself in a swirling, spiralling swarm of flying ants. They surrounded me in a confetti of wings. They were everywhere I looked ... coming out of the ground in the borders, emerging from the compost bin, up the sides of the brickwork. I'm amazed that only two or three landed on me ... this was definitely not a day for lazing about by the pond ... at least not while the ants ruled both the ground and the air I was breathing!
Winged ants coming out of the borders
Winged ants coming out of the compost bin

12 comments:

Solomon said...

I love your Ajuga Reptans.

julia said...

Not pretty...ants on the ground are bad enough! Hope it was just a temporary swarm
Cheers,
Julia

wildcatsthree said...

We noticed a new influx of ants on Sunday around our house too. Must be something with the weather conditions this year. We had a lot of rain in early summer and now we've got the sweltering heat too.

AvidReader said...

What do you do for flying ants... they seem to be everywhere this year... at least all over the East Coast of the US... I never saw so many!!! Too bad your day in the garden was spoiled. Even so, the plants looked lovely.

Atniz said...

It will be good if you could get much closer shot of this flying ants. I can;t really see those, unless the last photo which is not clear too.

Polly said...

Well done to Solomon for spotting the plant that the ants were living under. I do have to say though that this particular Ajuga Reptans or Bugle as it is commonly called in these parts is a very hardy little specimen that does well in both wet and dry conditions. I suppose it is probably as sturdy as a weed. The ants love nesting under it in the root system. They are the black variety of ants so are quite useful in the garden. They 'milk' the greenfly on the roses and fortunately don't eject acid onto the skin when they land or crawl on you. They are a bit of a nuisance when they begin to swarm but this is the first time that I have actually had them swirl around me ... I hope it won't be repeated!!

Polly said...

Unfortunately, Atniz - the sun was directly over the ants when I took the picture - they were still rising and it was a quick moment in time ... if there hadn't been quite so many in the air I would have been more patient and hopefully achieved a better, sharper picture of them ... may be next time!

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

I don't think I have ever seen flying ants. Very interesting to see. I love all your nature stuff.

Polly said...

Heidi, we get flying ants that come out of the nest during the summertime. It usually happens on hot, humid days. It can be distressing for young children to see as the winged ants eventually land - sometimes on the ground outside and sometimes in the house where their wings fall off. When this happens they become very vulnerable as they fly better than walk. There are several sizes depending upon which nest they come out of. The ones in my picture are quite a small type some are more than double this size. Once they have taken off from the nest many of them soon end up either dead or close to it. Of course they are an extra, most welcome meal by many of the birds!

Erica said...

Oh, ew. I don't know how I would have dealt with that, honestly. I have such an unhealthy, irrational fear of bugs.

I'm so glad my child is a boy, so that he can grow up to be my bona fide bug killer.

DJ said...

I know what you mean, it's really muggy here too, and my garden is in need of attention! I just can.t tolerate this heat and the fire ants!

Kristie said...

Stopping over to say thanks for being one of my EC Top Droppers for July.

Kristie