Bloomin' ladybirds!
June 9, 2019 8:12 PM   Subscribe

National Weather Service meteorologists noticed something puzzling on their radar screens in Southern California last Tuesday evening — a big green blob, spanning 80 miles by 80 miles (130 km by 130 km) (Reuters), with the most concentrated mass about 10 miles (16 km) wide (Sacramento Bee). It was a clear day with no expectations of rain or thunderstorms, so the meteorologists called a weather spotter in Wrightwood, Calif., near the blob's location in San Bernardino County. The spotter told them the mysterious cloud was actually a giant swarm of ladybugs (NPR), also known as a ladybug bloom (NWS San Diego tweet).
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
HAHA HA AHHAAH AHAHA HAHAHA COME NORTH MY BEAUTIFUL SPOTTED CHILDREN COME NORTH AND EAT ALL MY APHIDS! SWARMMMMMM!!!!! oh god this heat is killing me
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:15 PM on June 9 [21 favorites]


someone who paid more attention in sunday school remind me, which seal is this
posted by murphy slaw at 8:30 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


Why is San Diego tweeting NSFW things about ladybugs?
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:35 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


130 square kilometers of ladybugs descend upon a third grader named Billy Smith.

SO, YOU WERE SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT BETSY'S HOUSE AND CHILDREN…
posted by zamboni at 8:56 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


The spotter

i saw what u did there
posted by lalochezia at 9:25 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]




DON'T RUIN THIS FOR ME WENDELL
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:28 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


seriously my sun gold is caked in aphids and the captive ladybugs I released are apparently NOT ENOUGH and its hot as balls and I just want my fucking tomatoes to tomate bug free and please ladybugs please swarm here... please...
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:31 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


These are fun critters to local or internet purchase and release upon yards and gardens. :)
posted by Afghan Stan at 9:33 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]




I remember a swarm of ladybirds many years ago in Norfolk (UK).
We had to hide indoors under a bed sheet.
Their bite is annoying when there are few of them; a swarm is a different matter altogether.
posted by Burn_IT at 4:50 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Ladybirds BITE?
posted by stillnocturnal at 6:46 AM on June 10


Since the density of the air varies with temperature and altitude, the theoretical height of the radar beam at a given location is only loosely related to the actual height of the beam at any given moment, especially when scanning at low tilt angles far from the radar site.

(Also, soundings are sparse in both location and time. Conditions may vary drastically over relatively short distances and in relatively short times based on chance events like the size, shape, and location of one particular cloud.)
posted by wierdo at 7:09 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


TIL ladybugs bite (Infinite Spider.com). It makes sense -- if they eat aphids, they'd have to ingest them somehow.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 AM on June 10


How I was almost killed by ladybugs.

When I was in high school, my daily trip to and from school required me to cross a narrow bridge over a freeway. "Narrow" meaning about half the width of a normal sidewalk and with a guardrail conveniently just below knee-height so one wrong move and it's over you go into the traffic below. So I was naturally anxious as I made my way across the bridge every morning and afternoon.

One day, as I was half way across the span of the bridge, I looked down and discovered my arms and chest ARE COVERED WITH RED BLISTERS! OMIGOD, I'M BLEEDING!

And the blisters ARE MOVING! AAAAGGH! "Get off me! Get off me!" I thought as I raised my hands to sweep them away.

No! They're ladybugs! It's wrong to hurt ladybugs! Must. Control. Urge. To. Crush. Them.

Staggering around the mid-point in the bridge, simultaneously struggling to sweep them off and NOT sweep them off, I came very close hitting the guardrail and ending up a freeway statistic.

I managed to get to the end of the bridge. The cloud of ladybugs, who I guess had just stopped to rest on me, flew off, innocent of the moments of stark terror they had engendered.
posted by SPrintF at 12:23 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


« Older "We are writing to express our grave concern..."   |   We Are Live! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments