We’re lucky that the Swallows choose to roost around our lake in summer. La Chatouillette has always been known as a European summer retreat for Swallows but they and summer are not our only timely friends. In October last year the Ladybirds arrived signalling the onset of colder days to come.
Our outer bedroom door has a Juliet balcony. To our knowledge there isn’t a Romeo in the garden below but … every late autumn brightly coloured Ladybirds are enticed to the balcony and into our warm room.
They excrete a veiled perfume that floats on the wind and attracts others to join them. At the moment we have thirty or more Ladybirds all huddled in the corner of our doorframe.
They seem to fade in colour when they hibernate and resemble small polka dot buttons. Their peaceful cluster is unmoving for over four months. Why, every year, do they favour our bedroom to hibernate in? We like to think it’s because somehow they know we care and that they’ll be safe with us.
Maybe it’s because we wrote a Ladybird poem for one of our granddaughters:
Don’t squash the Ladybird just because she’s there
Bigger, stronger this is my space
Doesn’t mean don’t care.
She comes in peace so give her time
She has a right to be
And like the seasons there are reasons
Why she visits me.
So if a Ladybird rests on your window
Her fleeting sanctuary
Understand the reasons feel the seasons
They’re your life’s reality.
Don’t squash the Ladybird just because she’s there.
Ladybugs hibernating like this, in colonies is a sign of good luck!