Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Summer of Ladybugs

Mountain Living #2

(click on photos for a larger view)

This past summer we saw an infestation of ladybugs. They were everywhere. The air was thick with them. I couldn't walk from the house to the car without having to pick several out of my hair.

At first it was awe-inspiring--I had never
seen so many ladybugs in one place.

They would congregate together in huge bunches (apparently mating) when the sun was in and then take to the air en masse, filling the sky, when the sun came out.

The local news did a report on the phenomenon and said they would disperse in a few weeks.

They didn't.

The nights started to get cooler on the mountain and I was sure they would depart for greener (and warmer) pastures.

They didn't.

We got a foot of snow last week and endured many cold, snowy days. Surely that would take care of them.

Au contraire. They are as numerous (if not more so) than ever and are still at it, eager to reproduce.

Now that the sun is out again, they are still filling the air!

I wonder if they will be around all winter??

A few videos from the summer


bobbie said...

This is fascinating. Did not know they ever did something like this

Mountain Photog said...

I never knew until this year! We had an outbreak of ladybugs some years back but that only lasted a couple of weeks and was nothing like this. We are still finding them all over the house.

Villas Girl said...

This is unbelievable. Like Bobbie said, fascinating. Lisa

Mountain Photog said...

Unbelievable--and not unlike a Hitchcock film. :)

Kilauea Poetry said...

Well..I missed this- (leave it to link within)..I stopped using that only because I had a number of discontinuned links it would pull up)
Never have I seen this many either! How lucky though..I wish we had that many! They'd be a big help to counter all the pests we have!! They often try to get bio control passed here(sneak it in too)but it's awful! Just because of that we have a big problem with pest chowing down on our wonderful vegetation!
Aside from that, the snowy captures are lovely and the trees are again- magnificient!! A quick little vid spices things up nicely! Regina-

Mountain Photog said...

Thanks, Regina! I'm glad you found this through "Link Within"! It seems like a neat little tool and I haven't had any trouble with it so far, knock on wood.

I'm wondering what this summer will be like. We actually still have a few ladybugs around that have lasted all winter--outside and in the house. They really are wonderful for pest control, especially aphids. Wish I could send you some!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hi you haven't ever experienced this kind of thing before where your living? Do you see many more now that its Spring? I tried to comment earlier today via my blackberry (sometimes do when I'm away from my computer) but had trouble..everything seems to be clear now? I've only had this less than a year but found its easier to read things on it than often sitting in front of the computer. Anyway, I hope you have a nice day tomorrow- Regina-

Mountain Photog said...

We had an outbreak of ladybugs about 10 years back or so, they filled the air then, too, but it wasn't anything like last summer. I see them here and there right now but not in great numbers.

I've never had a "smart" phone like a Blackberry but my daughter has an IPhone. I can't get used to the tiny screen for web surfing. LOL!

You have a nice day, too, Regina!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hey..thanks for responding. Ya, the keys are so dinky!! I do use reading glasses when I'm lying around. I meant articles and stuff..not so much blogs but I can at least moderate a little. I get stuff in my in-box but can't seem to read it all- just piles up. Now I can at least be updated and read things through. Is the IPhone different? Me, Regina-

Mountain Photog said...

The IPhone doesn't have a keyboard, it has a touch pad, which is really hard to get used to. It would be nice to have a Smart Phone, I guess, but my old phone works just fine so I'm not about to buy a new one just for fun. LOL!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Ya..funny, it was my husband who decided to get me this. I was due for an upgrade and this is what happened.
You went skiing?? Never tried that. I've only been down the mountain on an innertube and a board! Once up at Big Bear in Calif an one time on Mauna Kea with my brother..I was behind him (he packed me) and we piled up!! I had these little tiny slices all over my face that I skinned for a bit (lol). Anyway, I admire you for that!

Mountain Photog said...

Ouch! That sounds painful. LOL! Well, you can't live in Colorado and not ski. That would just be wrong. ;)

Kilauea Poetry said...

I bet! We don't have snow year round here.
Hey, would you mind if I posted this link for your bees (to your site) soon?

Mountain Photog said...

That would be great! Thanks! :)

Kilauea Poetry said...

No prob..cause I'm sure others would be amazed at this! Will do-

JM said...

This is truly amazing!

Ginny said...

Hi! I'm Ginny, and I come by way of Kilauea Poetry, who recommended a peek at your ladybugs today. I must say I had heard about this ladybug swarming, but never seen it. Amazing photos and videos! We get ladybugs in the house sometimes, and the longer they stay in, the paler they get until they die. I try to put them outside if I can. We have a grandaughter who was adopted from China, and they call these girls Little Ladybugs! We have something in common, both living in the mountains. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Regina said...

Amazing Lady Bugs.
Such fantastic captures.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Thanks so much for stopping by JM, Ginny and Regina! I really appreciate the positive feedback. :)

I grew up in the Appalachians, Ginny, though a bit farther north than you. I'm originally from New Hampshire. Those mountains have a different sort of beauty but are no less spectacular. How cute that they call the girls Little Ladybugs!

becky said...

Just popped over from "nikon sniper steve's" blog~
I've never seen anything like this before! Amazing!!!
I've always thought ladybugs were good luck~ you must have had the best year ever!

Netster said...

Hi I'm coming from Kilauea Poetry's blog :)

These ladybugs does look pretty cute by itself but from what you shown here, hahahah I guess you may have to just let them be... hopefully its didn't make your daily routine inconvenience.


Happy weekend, Netster from Malaysia. Nice to meet you.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Hi Becky And Netster! Thanks for dropping in. :) Nice to meet you both! And you all the way from Malaysia, Netster!

I've heard ladybugs were good luck too Becky. It wasn't a terrible year but it wasn't a great one either. Maybe that only applies if you have a few ladybugs. It certainly wasn't good luck for the aphids. LOL!

Unfortunately, Netster, it made for a summer spent mostly inside since you couldn't go out without being covered from head to toe by them. But that was only when the sun was out, thankfully. As soon as it was cloudy they would stay put, which was odd. Happy weekend to you, too!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hey Lisa..check this out for laughs..this post is from the above (JM at-Oeiras and environs daily photo) (The Bride)

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Wow Regina. That's, um, different. LOL!

Maia said...

I'm coming from Kilauea Poetry's blog too.
I know that they are looking for a place for hibernation through winter but this is too much. As I see on your last close-up (on the ice), these are not the usual garden ladybugs used as pest control against aphids, their head is different.
What happened after all, are they gone now?

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Welcome Maia! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they were a bit much. LOL!

As near as I can tell, I think these are seven-spotted lady beetles, which is an introduced species. They still serve the same purpose, though. :)

And no they are not all gone. A few have survived the winter nicely. :)

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