‘Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home your house is on fire  – – – -‘  is the opening line of the old children’s nursery rhyme. One of my earliest recollections as a child was appearing, as a ladybird, in a Sunday School concert. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old.

My dad, bless him, went to great lengths to make me the most amazing costume, which was basically a ‘shell’ made of some pliable cane things covered in red and black crepe paper. Attached with black tape over a black jumper and leggings, the whole ensemble was topped off with an alice band (remember those?) wrapped in black paper with 2 black feelers attached.

However, I digress.

If ever a nursery rhyme was fanciful then this surely is it. Why a creature, blessed with the gift of self-propelled flight, refuses to do so in the most dire circumstances I have no idea. Remember the ladybird in the Lurpak?

Today I cut the grass with the big mower. By the time I’d been round the trees in the field both me and the mower were covered in ladybirds. Did they make any attempt to remove themselves from this alien environment? No. They just hitched a lift on me and my machine. Round and round we all went together.

Then there were the ones sitting  in the grass I’m trying to cut. Do they move as I approach? Try to get out of the way? Fly away home? No of course they don’t.

I hate killing anything, anytime, and try to avoid them if possible, but mowing is hard enough without having to steer round ladybirds. To be honest, I think if I just go over them with the blade they probably drop into the grass out of harms way. I’m not so sure that applies if I actually run over them with a wheel.

Why don’t they fly away??!!

There are lots of them about this summer, and I certainly have seen more actually flying than in previous years, but for some reason most of them prefer to walk.

Here is a picture I found that I rather like. He seems to be hitching a lift on a passing seed from a dandelion clock or something similar.