It's possibly a measure of how indifferent a summer we've had (a couple of very warm weeks in mid-June apart) that my ants (and how proprietorial is that as a statement?) took until last Monday to swarm, again at about seven in the evening.
I thought that that was it for the year, but - shortly after six today - I found that another mass nuptial flight was in progress. This seems to confirm what I had suspected, namely that there is more than one colony under the path.
This time, I managed to dash inside and get my 'proper' camera to take a bit of video and a couple of stills. Here's one:
(Sorry if any of you gets creeped out by this; but this is Nature elle-mÍme, and therefore ineluctible)
I'm glad now that I couldn't be arsed to trim the grass round the back yesterday; it would undoubtedly have put a crimp in their arrangements, and they've done me no wrong.
I have to revise what I wrote last year, too. I watched quite a few of them taking off this time, and they managed to attain considerable height (up to about 2.5 metres) and distance (quite a few made it into the garden of the house behind).
And so the cycle of life - gloriously - continues.