Saturday, May 17, 2003

Where Ladybugs Go to Die

A natural abnormality. I saw the first one on top of a rock, so conspicuous he must have wanted us to see him. Bigger than normal, too, as if just seeing him at the beach wouldn’t have stood out enough.

Why would thousands of ladybugs go to the ocean?

It was so strange. Anything would have been more expected, really. But no. Ladybugs, which usually live in the garden. And there, you see one or two. Not as many as we saw. Literally, thousands. On the rocks. On the sand. Clustering on coils of seaweed. Even in shallow puddles, one-by-one being devoured by nearly transparent water predators. And believe me, ladybugs can’t swim worth shit. Most were where the water had washed up curvy strips of ocean trash as a marker of how high the tide had gotten, dead and alive. I’m only left with three possible solutions.

One: I know ladybugs are carnivores. They eat aphids. And there’s always a ton of little bugs like sandfleas at the beach. Maybe the ladybugs eat them now. But why haven’t I seen ladybugs the bajillion other times I’ve been to the beach?

Two: Someone just dumped several bags of those store-bought ladybug packages at the beach.

Three: Like some kind of entomological Del Boca Vista, Gaviota Beach is where ladybugs go to die.

But I guess I don’t really need any explanation. It happened. And after all, nature does occasionally fuck up and make weird stuff happen, right?