Love is in the air
August 27, 2011
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So I was driving along, enjoying the scenic country landscape along the last bit of my route home, when suddenly, “SPLAT”.
Then, “SPLAT.” “WHACK.” “SMUCK.” “POW-POW-POW-SMUCKA-SPLAT.”
I found myself driving through a veritable fog of smallish flying insects. What on earth?
I soon arrived, hauled my groceries into the house and went to sit in the backyard with my wife for a spell; I found myself in the middle of another swarm. The angle of the early-evening light was just right for me to see the twinkle of light passing through hundreds of pairs of wings above my neighbour’s hay field; then I noticed more insects apparently rising from a corner of our lawn, up past the fence and into the great beyond. I reached up and snagged one critter as it flew overhead, and finally solved the mystery: we were in the middle of a swarm on ants on their nuptial flights!
Ready to find a mate!
Now, I’ve seen winged ants before, but never in numbers like these. Even more fascinating, the phenomenon lasted for a total of maybe 15-20 minutes. One minute the lawn was milling with little winged critters and they were floating up from the grass by the dozens; the next minute all was still and I had very little luck finding even a single ant. (Our resident Backyard Toad, however, had come out of his hiding place behind our fence and was keenly spying – and gulping down – the stragglers).
Here’s a little clip of one small patch of our backyard. I have no idea what kind of ants these are. Orange-ish ones???