I found Ladybug crawling along the wall near my sliding doors last night. It was forecast to drop to -6 so I decided to let her crawl into a glass and then I transported her to a plate in my kitchen, where it was at least a little warmer.
This process seemed of little concern to Ladybug. I’ve found they’re pretty agreeable to hanging out with humans. I put my reading glasses on to have a better look: three black spots in a rough triangle, one partial spot trying to make it a diamond; a reddish-orange hue that stood out brightly against the off-white plate.
I put a small dollop of honey and banana on the plate along with a little water. “Stay the night and enjoy some warm hospitality,” I thought.
I went to the plate this morning to check on my friend but all I could see was dried out banana and a little dark bit at one end.
In case the dark bit was her, I gently moved the dried out banana bit. The dark bit moved and I smiled.
Happy she spent the night and seemed content, I thought she might like to try the honey that didn’t appear touched. This was not a smart move on my part. Clearly, she enjoyed banana all night and could have wandered over to the honey if desired. I carefully nudged the banana with the tip of a knife toward the honey, with Ladybug riding along.
And then, disaster.
She flipped over and landed upside down in the honey.
She was thoroughly stuck, her legs and wings splayed out. I ran through options before deciding the least invasive way to get her unstuck was to remove the honey versus the inevitable harm that would come from trying to dislodge microscopic ladybug parts. I ran the hot water tap until it got slightly warm and tried to gently wash away/melt the honey. The whole time, my heart was pounding in my chest as it felt as if I were waterboarding my friend. I was at least smart enough to put the stopper in the sink in case she left the plate.
But… it worked! She righted herself and walked away groggily away from the gooey part of the plate. I swear it was at this point she stopped briefly to flip me off.
I was relieved but scolded myself for having the arrogance to meddle in the life of this little creature.
I put a piece of paper towel next to the plate and grabbed my desk lamp (an old-fashioned style which throws off a fair bit of heat) aiming it so it bathed the paper towel in light.
Having had enough drama to start my day, I stepped away to make breakfast.
While making toast, I looked over to see Ladybug stretching up toward the light to dry off.
I’ve decided to leave Ladybug alone now. I will keep the light on until she decides to go elsewhere. My intervention now seems unnecessary and misguided. She doesn’t need my help to survive.
As a parting gift/small act of penance, I’ve put a piece of Brussels sprouts on the paper towel but so far it has been ignored.
I don’t blame you, Ladybug. I’d be cautious at this point too.