Sunday, February 27, 2011

My February Friend


Every year, at this time, she shows up. Right on schedule. Just the one annual appearance. She explores all the wires and connections in my office and then marches all over the keyboard and screen of my computer. And leaves for another year.

She has no passport, no ID to show me her age.

Research discloses this:

Ladybird Life Cycle
Most Ladybirds mate in the spring or summer and the female lays a cluster of eggs (numbering from a few to a few hundred, depending on species) as near as possible to an aphid colony. In most species of ladybird these eggs hatch into a larval state within a week. This state lasts 10 - 15 days, and they then go into a pupal stage before becoming an adult ladybird. The entire life cycle of the ladybird is only 4 - 7 weeks.

Ladybirds lay extra infertile eggs with the fertile eggs. These appear to provide a backup food source for the larvae when they hatch. The ratio of infertile to fertile eggs increases with scarcity of food at the time of egg laying.

Like all insects, the ladybird is no different in that it undergoes complete metamorphosis through its life cycle.


It's weird - this single annual visitation. Perhaps it is cellular memory for my little tourist. Considering her life cycle is supposedly 7 weeks max, she must be the descendant of the original visitor many life cycles ago.

But I choose to think she is this anomaly. She lives eternally in her secret space and emerges, just to check up on me, when her calendar clicks over to February.

I think of her as my good luck charm. My harbinger of good fortune. My personal guarantee that Mistress Spring and I will connect. One more time.

13 comments:

  1. That's neat. I want one of my own. I'm going to look all over the apartment for one. Maybe I'll get lucky too.

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  2. What is it about ladybirds that we find so fascinating and attractive. I love them, but there was a particular variety around Ireland and the UK this year that caused concern. I cannot remember how many spots they had.

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  3. Nora:
    Let me know if you find one, I wonder would my little lady survive the post?
    XO
    WWW

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  4. GM:
    I think they are one step away from dung beetles and ooee cockroaches. But we think they are so cuuuuute. I think they ravish crops and do awful things we don't want to know about.
    I am very fond of my little solo girl though....
    XO
    WWW

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  5. i have the same annual visitors...found about 4 or 5 already

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  6. Twain:
    Jealous here, you have 5 times the luck?
    XO
    WWW

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  7. WWW, I didn't know what you were talking about until I looked more closely at your photo. We call them Ladybugs, which reminds me of the nursery rhyme:

    Ladybug! Ladybug!
    Fly away home.
    Your house is on fire.
    And your children all gone.

    All except one,
    And that's little Ann,
    For she crept under
    The frying pan.

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  8. Marcia:
    Oh you've solved the mystery! my little visitor is Ann!!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. And PS Marcia- I am often struck by how vastly different UK and US English is, in oh so many hidden ways!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. So is that huge crowd of ladybirds in your neighbourhood or is it just a random pic?

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  11. I have seen several in my cottage over the last few weeks. Like you I think of this as a good luck sign. Spring is around the corner. It made me smile...

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  12. None here which proves they are not only cute but smart as well. It is so cold here (-34) with wind-chill. I am so tired of winter!
    ....:-)Hugs

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  13. My exposure to ladybirds was long ago when I worked with Coats who had taken over Passolds and their trademark Ladybird. I had investigated and found that an insect could be such a popular trademark! They fascinate me too.

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