We quickly took a couple leaping steps onto the porch as we simultaneously swatted at our feet and legs. You know how when you see something creepy and crawly on you, how you suddenly feel as though there are things crawling all over you? That's how we felt! Creeped out, itchy, you name it! I had shoes, socks, and pants on, and I still felt as though the ants were crawling on me and biting me! We finished checking each other out to make sure we were clean, and then headed into the house to change. As we walked upstairs, I could swear I could still feel them crawing on me - and then I felt them actually bite me! I quickly went into our room and took off my pants to find ants all over my legs!
The next morning our next door neighbor came over to advise us about the ants, which he described as West African army ants. As we spoke, I saw that our driveway was totally clear. Here is the Wikipedia entry:
Army ants are another species that wouldn’t be particularly dangerous individually. That doesn’t matter though, because these bad boys stick together and boy do they get nasty. Army ants are swarm raiders, hunting in massive groups above ground. They don’t have a permanent home, but move constantly as a colony. If they come across prey, they attack en masse. Pretty much anything that they come across is ripped apart piece by tiny piece with their small but powerful jaws. This includes livestock. There are legendary, and quite possibly true, tales of the ants enveloping cows, moving on a short time later leaving nothing but the animal’s picked clean bones. Finally, their cooperative nature means they can overcome almost any obstacle. When faced with small bodies of water the ants can cling together with their claws to form a kind of living bridge, which the rest of the colony can then cross as it searches for more food. An army ant swarm is one of the most efficient eating machines in existence.
So that's what Diana and I had stepped into the night before! A huge column of West African army ants! Our neighbor walked Logan and I around our yard - stretching across two backyards was a thick column of black ants - thousands of them! They disappeared under the cover to the water drainage ditch. Our neighbor said he had to detach a hive of the ants from off the second story window of his son's room! He said last year his family was out at the pool. His son came out to swim and stood at the gate for about one minute while he was waiting for it to be opened so he could enter the pool area. Within seconds, he legs were covered and he was screaming from all the bites - they had to submerge him in the pool to clean him off. We were told the line was a couple of miles long, but that they would be gone within a couple of days - and this was a "small" column of ants. It was pretty interesting to see, more interesting to step in!
(Sorry for all the typos when I first posted - it's very late and I was falling asleep while typing!)