Ladybugs Show up on Weather Radar – don’t see wildlife numbers like this often enough #nature #biology #radar

ladybugs on a tree trunk in ColoradoVolunteer weather spotters – citizen scientists – solve a mystery for the pros.

National Weather Service meteorologists noticed something puzzling on their radar screens in Southern California… weather spotter told them the mysterious cloud was actually a giant swarm of ladybugs npr.org

Ladybugs are common in California, people even breed and sell them to home gardeners for aphid control, so swarms aren’t unusual. A swarm ten miles wide might be a good sign for the environment or not. There isn’t enough data to say.

Huge displays of wildlife were once a mark of North America. From bison to ladybugs to passenger pigeons (which we of European extraction destroyed – my elegy is here.)

While hiking in Colorado I once came across a swarm of ladybugs that had landed, covering a rocky slope as far as I chose to explore. On a ridge in New Mexico, I found another group blanketing short trees on a sunny ridge between huge Ponderosa pines. It’s good to share the land with wildlife, and it’s not a choice of people or bugs. We can have, and we need, both.

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