Have you ever wondered how a little ladybird survives a Scottish winter? It's a survival technique called Ladybird Winter diapause and you can read more about it below.
You can feel that winter has finally made its presence felt in the garden.
It's the time of year when you realise that wellie boots are not the best item of footwear to wear while out in the garden. There's nothing worse than numb cold toes to entice you back indoors to the heat!
Decaying flower stems are good subjects to make into nature photo montages ...as you do when there's little else to photograph.
If you were a ladybird where would you spend the winter?
These Shasta daisy seed heads looked very insignificant but I knew I could do something arty with them. As I scanned over the seed heads and stems something caught my attention.
Look closely at the stems ...what do you see?
Now those of you who follow me especially on social media know how much I LOVE to photograph ladybirds.
Did I feel the cold after this discovery? no way ...not when there's a ladybird to distract me!
The adrenalin started flowing. Talk about getting excited over very little! Out of the garage came the stool, the reflector and the tripod and at one point I even lay on the snow to get a few of the shots. That rush of chemicals into my bloodstream must have kept me warm!
Ladybird Winter Diapause
They take a pause ...a ladybird winter diapause ...until conditions improve!
If you were a ladybird where would you retreat to during the winter in your garden?
If I was a ladybird ...
I'd pick a south facing position nestled under some leaves. Or even in my Lacewing hotel or my bamboo bug hotel. But no this little chap is a loner and a brave one too. If we believe what the weather forecasters are predicting we've got double digit minus figures on the way (-11c to -14c / 12.8f to 6.8f). That's cold for us and it reminds me of the temperatures we had back in 2009/2010 winters. Brrrrh!
I wish this little beetle would move somewhere much warmer. Should I move it ... but I know that I shouldn't. No I won't ... though maybe I'll throw some horticultural fleece over the plant if the temperature really plummets like the forecasters predict. Here's hoping that he or she knows better than me and can tough-it-out this winter with the reserves it's got stored already.
Here's what the Shasta daisy clump looks like at the minute.