For about a week, Robert and I had a snazzy little ant farm. It was pretty interesting at first, but it quickly became obvious the ants were really just trying to escape. They gave up digging tunnels and began climbing up the walls and biting at the rubber seal around the top.
So today we set the ants free! Robert wrote a post about it here, with more pictures. We debated over it a little bit, but decided we'd rather let them run free in the front yard than die while obviously trying to escape the special NASA gel they lived in. It was really getting depressing to watch.
Sorry, Tim! Sorry we let the ants go! It was still a neat Christmas present. And Robert learned how to use the macro settings on my camera to take pictures of the ants! That was cute.
UPDATE: The next day -- Well, we spoke a bit too soon. Although we set the ant farm in the yard and gave the ants a couple of hours to evacuate, about half of them didn't seem to want freedom. It was getting dark, so we brought the stragglers back inside! The tunnels are a lot less crowded now, and the ants are actually working again instead of climbing up the walls. We may do a second freedom attempt this evening.