We were at the beach for a long weekend and I noticed this gathering of large red ants on one of our walls. It’s unusual to see such a huge gathering of ants in plain view and was curious why this was the case. Were they protecting a wounded Queen that was out for a stroll? Was this a rogue group of ants scheming to breakaway from the main colony after their food rations were unilaterally reduced? Were they eating some poor larger insect that was attached to the wall? With no myrmecologists (those who study ants) nearby, I remained clueless. :) After taking a few photos, I left the ants for a few hours. Two huge downpours took place in the meantime and bizarrely, the ants never moved. How odd is that? Water was streaming down the walls and this group of ants just stood there unperturbed There is really no point to this post, just random curiosity, I suppose. As a kid, I used to play with huge black ants, but was wise enough to avoid the large red ones. Kids these days seem much less inclined to root around the yard or empty lots nearby, so I wonder if they are missing something so basic, natural and free.
My legs were once devoured by a colony of red ants while I stood on the edge of a golf course many years ago. The bites were horrific and it was a truly unpleasant experience. So a vindictive part of me wanted to locate a flammable aerosol can and turn it into a flame thrower when paired with a burning match. :) But I resisted the urge to murder and just watched the gathering of ants from a few inches away…