Empowered Ladybug (2003)
I seem to find a lot of insect shapes in fractals. Fortunately, today's bug is more benign than this one -- and has a sweeter history.
From Ladybug Lore:
In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became known as "Lady Beetles"! The red wings represented the Virgin's cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows.In Sweden, folks believe that if a ladybug lands on a young maiden's hand, she will soon be getting married.
If you find a ladybug in your house, count the number of spots and that is how many dollars you will soon receive.
In England, finding a ladybug means that you will have a good harvest.
In France, if you are sick and a ladybug lands on you, when it flies away, it will take the sickness with it.
If a ladybug has more than seven spots, then there will be a famine. If it has less than seven, then there will be a good harvest.
At one time, doctors would mash up ladybugs and put them in a cavity to cure a toothache.
Some people believe that the number of spots on a ladybug indicates how many children you will have.
If you find a ladybug in your house in the winter you will have good luck.
I love the one above about using ladybugs to fill cavities. Id prefer to picture my dentist more like Carlos Castaneda rather than Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man. Here's what I'd imagine Castaneda's ladybug would look like:
And why might ladybugs be empowered? The Michigan State Entomological Society has the buzz:
Lady beetles have some interesting means of protection. Their red or orange and black coloration warns birds that they would not make a very tasty meal. Birds learn that insects that are red and black or yellow and black usually sting or taste bad and hence they leave such insects alone. Lady beetles, of course, can't sting, but they probably do taste bad. They also will "play dead" when in danger. Many predators will not eat an insect that doesn't move. Also, lady beetles probably produce a bad smelling odor, perhaps by way of a fluid from joints in the legs, which may help to protect them. The larva of lady beetles is a rather fearsome looking creature. It is somewhat alligator-shaped and covered with bumps and spines. In most species the larva is a fierce predator which you might guess if you look at its sicle-shaped jaws. Despite the small size of the creature, it can produce a distinctly felt nip on one's finger if handled.
That's not cheap perfume you smell. It's just foul thigh-joint secretions. Proof that this lady's no tramp -- so no tramping on her...
P.S. I'm still feeling bugged though. Today's post has me chilling all insectoid -- ready to mandible away and whip out my proboscis. Time to re-watch Cronenberg's The Fly? Or would Species maybe be more appropriate? I mean, I wouldn't want anything to come back and bite me.