Ladybugs II: Electric Boogaloo

by J.D. Roth

It’s difficult to believe that our home has been infested with ladybugs for four months now. (Actually, it’s only the media room that’s infested; they don’t go into the rest of the house.) Kris and I still debate their origin — eggs in the houseplants? or in through the window? — but we don’t debate that they’re fun to have around.

When I’m not mistaking them for soy nuts, or drinking the ones who crawl into my water bottle, they’re actually fairly entertaining. Even the cats think so. They’re just a little messy. There are ladybug carcasses all over the floor. On a trip to the bathroom in my stocking feet last night, I felt the tell-tale crunch of another ladybug going to the great garden in the sky.

As we were getting ready for bed we counted the swarm on the light fixture. “My personal best is twenty-five,” Kris told me. We counted twenty-one (though the eight on the cord itself was some sort of record). “You should take a picture,” she said, and since my camera was close at hand (eBay auctions, you know), I did. It was rather difficult because a) ladybugs are small, and in order to appreciate their vast number, it’s better to see them in person; (b) it’s difficult to produce a good photo shooting into a light source; and (c) my shots were hand-held. Still, here is a gallery of ladybugs:

The first shot is the broad overview of ladybugness.

a wide shot of the entire light fixture, ladybugs and all

Doesn’t look like much, does it? Click on the photo. It’ll open a full-size version in a new window. Scroll around. Count the ladybugs. Imagine them all flitting about, bonking into the light, making a more-or-less constant click-click noise. Imagine a wayward ladybug flitting by one of the cats: cat-snack. (And remember: there are even more ladybugs on the other side of these light fixtures; you’re only seeing a portion of them.)

Most of the ladybugs are various shades of red with black spots. A small percentage, however, are black with red spots. They’re inverse ladybugs. Are they bossbugs? Are they pariahs in ladybug culture? One was hanging out on the cord last night with some regular ladybugs:

a photo of several ladybugs on the cord, including a mysterious black ladybug

It’s possible that the ladybugs are drawn to the light fixture for warmth. I like to believe that they revere it as some sort of god, that they are drawn to this spot by some sort of holy ladybug dogma, are bound to pay homage to the god of light. And then get eaten by a cat. Or by me. Yech!

ladybugs worshiping at the altar of light

In other news, my second batch of eBay auctions ended Sunday. It wasn’t nearly as large as the first, but a couple of the items yielded a nice profit. (A couple of the items went dirt-cheap, too, which makes me sad.)

What’s odd about all this is that for some reason I find myself unable or unwilling to spend the money I’m earning. Yes, I’m continuing my normal monthly comic book purchases, and going out to eat now and then, but usually a large influx of money like this would lead me to some sort of frivolous expense: a new Mac! a new camera lens! a zillion comics! It’s true that I have bid on a couple of eBay auctions (including this lot that I really, really wanted — my max bid was $318), but I haven’t won anything; I’m unwilling to bid wantonly. What the hell is wrong with me!

Updated: 28 February 2006

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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