This is what passes for excitement in my garden these days.
I noticed these slender vertical growths on the butterfly weed this week; I assume they are seed pods. One of them had ants crawling all over it, as well as numerous tiny yellow disc-like things. I poked the discs and discovered that they possessed legs!
I learned that they are oleander aphids, and butterfly weed is one of their favorite plants. The aphids secrete a sticky substance that ants find irresistible. As of today, Aphids and ants are still munching away. I might hose them off the plant as some people have suggested, or I may just let them be and see if some other insect predator comes along to eat them.
I tend to learn a lot by just leaving things alone, although my educational strategy is often mistaken for laziness...