CrazedHoosier said:We have invasive honeysuckle here that can grow to huge heights and easily take down fences and even parts of houses. That's our major issue here as far as plants go. Our major insect issue is Japanese beetles. They make it almost impossible to grow anything of importance during the summer.
I've seen videos about the red imported fire ant, but never seen them in person. I would definitely remember an ant colony that could build a raft.
Apparently that's their distribution range. They're almost in Indiana... I wonder what's keeping them out. Maybe they heard what people have said about Indiana.
I have seen those rafts! Weirder than the rafts are the rotating balls. We have a huge watershed here called Payne's Prairie. In years of extreme drought it can dry up. But in wet years like now it actually becomes a huge lake, march and wetland. They have old photos from way back in the wayback (late 1800's-turn of the century) showing big paddleboat on the Prairie. There are huge colonys of the native American yellow lotus out there.
In 2004, we had 2 hurricanes that impacted here a week apart. The Prairie was flooded and the water came over the Interstate there and it had to be closed down to one lane for a long time.
On the edges in what would have been ditches, there were floating FIRE ANT BALLS. The balls were made up entirely of ants and were as big around as a softball. They turned constantly by the motion generated by the ants themselves so that no one ever drowned. Those under water would come back up and new ants go under constantly.
They stayed in these balls until the ball touched something that they could climb on, either a tree trunk, a piece of floating debris, or an animal.
If they find an animal, its pretty awful, they all immediately start dispersion and stinging.
They tell you to never wade in storm water down here because of these ant balls.
Lin your place looks so great! My curcuma are still all up and crazy, late coming rain doesn't help them go dormant. I have been chopping down spent already bloomed hedychiums all over the place, new shoots just keep coming up!