Saturday morning, I put Sofia’s playpen on the porch and started in to some long-put-off cutting back of dead peonies and ferns while Niko and Cody the puppy chased each other over the lawn. It was such a good feeling to enjoy the fresh air without a heavier-by-the-day one-year-old bouncing up and down on my back. (She refuses to bounce in her bouncy seat, but on my back? Upanddownandupanddown, over and over. Owwwww.)
As I cut the last of the brown fern leaves, I saw a flash of bright red. I leaned in for a closer look. A ladybug!
I’d always assumed ladybugs just died in the winter, or something, but here was this little guy, perched on a leaf. When I lifted the leaf for a closer look, he rolled across the leaf, tiny legs folded in against his body, too cold to move. I breathed on him, and in a few seconds his legs came out and he started crawling. I gently set his leaf on the trunk of the maple tree in the sunlight. Maybe the sun will warm him enough for him to find a safer spot before my red-breasted sapsucker returns for a snack.
Since I’m a compulsive questioner, I was then forced to do some quick online searches, where I found both facts and photos much better than mine. The National Geographic page was my favorite. It has a whole gallery of ladybug photos, some of which are really beautiful. It also informed me that a ladybug can live 2-3 years.