Thursday, March 31, 2011

Frisky Ladybugs

October and April are the ladybug months here at our house.  In October, they swarm in unbelievable numbers and try to get in.  One can't open the door without having at least 5 zip in before it is closed again (which makes for some unfortunate accidents and flat ladybugs in the door frame.)  They hide in the corners of the ceilings and in the lamps.  My husband gets so frustrated, he starts to suck them up with the vacuum cleaner.  When we had a light bulb burn out several weeks ago, we discovered that most of the ladybugs never leave after their winter nap......Here are some photos taken in October of our porch when the ladybugs are as thick as Wildebeest on the African Savannah.

The ladybugs wake up as the days get longer and the temperatures a little warmer.  What was a stampede to enter the house in October reverses itself in late March - ladybugs flying about, bumping into windows and falling into our morning cup of coffee.  We get so desperate to let them out, we fling open the doors and windows to help them escape.

Yesterday was an unusually nice day, which means that it only rained for part of the day and we saw temperatures above 55 degrees for the first time since January.......have I mentioned how much I love this Spring which is the 5th wettest on record as well as the coolest ever since they started taking measurements back in 1895!  In any case, the possibility of seeing my shadow drove me outside to bring the sheep back onto the lawn for some grazing (the fields are still too wet.)  And I saw a sight which makes me realize that Spring truly is around the corner, namely ladybugs getting frisky.  After napping all winter, it turns out that these little guys have only one thing on their mind, and it's not eating a juicy aphid - it's creating more little ladybugs.  So here we have the napping ladybugs:

And here we have the ones that have already woken up and are hitting the dating scene with a vengeance:

The sheep are oblivious to the hanky panky - they just want to enjoy the grass:

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