Don't they look sweet cuddled up together!
Unfortunately I think they are both forms of the Harlequin Ladybird which is the most invasive ladybird on Earth and has spread from Essex to Orkney in only four years and is now one of the fastest spreading non-native insects in Europe. Scientists view them as a major threat to our native species so are looking at ways to control their spread.
They've been over-wintering in our bedroom and each day I'd find them in a different place, usually around the window frame but never together until the other day.
Now they seem to have disappeared and I suspect they might have gone outside, tempted by the warm weather we've been experiencing. As it's now turned cold and wet again I bet they wish they'd stayed indoors.
Yesterday was my first 20 miler of the year so you can guess what the weather did - it poured with rain and blew a gale at me for the duration of my run! I didn't mind really as once I was wet through I couldn't get any wetter so I just got on with it.
I'd chosen a route that was unrelenting in its hilliness for the first 13 miles. I was either going up a hill or down a hill for the full 13 miles with only a few hundred metres of flat bits. What usually happens when I run this route is that I'm really tired for the remaining 7 miles and my pace slows right down but yesterday I didn't slow at all. In fact, even though I stopped to collect a newspaper at the shop in a neighbouring village, I managed to shave 15 minutes off my usual time and I ran the last mile (mostly uphill) at marathon pace to finish in 4 hours exactly.
It was a great confidence booster.
I've never heard of the Harlequin ladybird and I'm a little freaked out now!
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