Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Harlequins, ammonites and tea

Its 11 am. That means time for a tea break! So, let me take a moment to introduce you to our visitors....
They have been with us since mid November and will probably stay til around early March? They don't take up alot of room and do not require feeding. They have visited us annually for 10 years and mainly prefer the two south facing bedrooms.What am I talking about?....................Why Ladybirds of course!

So pretty and so useful in the garden. But take a closer look because all is not as it seems!

When we moved into this house and first met our annual visitors, they looked somewhat different.Mainly smaller with two or five spots, these were our native ladybirds. We rarely see these anymore because, we have been invaded by the Harlequin Ladybird!
Harlequins are considered the most invasive ladybird on earth.Apparently they arrived here in Britain in 2004 and are now gradually spreading across the country.
The bad thing about them is that when food is scarce they will eat our native ladybird, butterfly and moth eggs.And even bite humans! (Have only just found that out...yikes!) There is loads of information at the Harlequin ladybird survey here.
I sent some hibernating ones to Cambridge University to be correctly identified a couple of years ago when I suspected we had them. The survey are keeping track on their progress and habits, so if you suspect you have any near you,then please contact them.

Well, my mug is empty now. So,..... I'll let you take a peep into my sketchbook.

I've been working on ideas which will hopefully evolve into a painting, soonish?


  1. I don't like the idea of ladybirds that bite! I love the way you've drawn the flowing hair, I've just been drawing hair and bare branches too...maybe it's the weather!x

  2. LOVE you mug! :)

    I wouldnt want those ladybirds anywhere near my house..yikes! Are you not supposed to kill them? I hardly saw any Ladybirds last year, I will be checking their spots from now on.

    Your sketches are gorgeous...I love amonites!! Can't wait to see what comes of them :)

    Oh btw or tomorrow I shall be making a new 'blog pimp' are the lucky recipiant *hehe* I hope it's ok to add a painting of yours to my post also?

    Julia xxx

  3. And I meant 'your' mug...LOL...geez...thats what I get for being laid up with a headache for a day, it scrambles my brain!

  4. Your drawings are so beautiful. I seriously love everything you do. I was even like Oh my God, I love the tea cup. ha ha.


    Love Renee

  5. Hey, how are you doing? HOpe all is well.

  6. Yes, love the White Rabbit tea cup! And I will be checking ladybugs spots from now on, that's for sure! Thanks for the peek into your sketchbook, these are beautiful, and the lace on the woman's dress is a lovely touch.

  7. That is very worrying, the harlequin ladybird has a very bad reputation. Just another example of man interfering with nature.

  8. What a nice tea break.

    Did your native ladybirds have black spots or red spots? (We get them inside too - but only a few, and I think they die in the house..)

    Pages of ammonites is fun!

  9. Yeuk!?? Ladybirds that BITE??? I'm so glad that they're not on MY window ledge! If you've had visitors for 10 years does this mean that the new variety have eaten the locals? or did the locals move when all the illegal immigrants move in? It's made my skin crawl! **SHUDDER** xXx

  10. I meant to compliment you on your artwork but was totally distracted by the killer ladybugs! Your work is just amazing and beautiful, these words don't do it justice really xXx

  11. I also don't like the idea of ladybirds that bite! As of yet they never have.
    I don't think we are supposed to kill them , as this could result in people killing native ones when they wrongly identify them.
    TLC.... Our native one's are mainly black spotted, but we do have some with red on black.
    Hippy Mummy.... To begin with they hibernated together. But gradually these have taken over. I did see one tiny two spotted one this year, but it was dead :(

    Thanks for all your comments :) x

  12. Goodness. I was just thinking about how much good luck all those ladybugs would be bringing to your home, and then I read about these new alien ladybugs!! Yikes. Do you know what country they originated in?

    I do like your sketches!!

  13. Karen thank you for your words. I love words.

    Please know that your blog gives me pleasure. I love to come to it because I can tell you are a good soul and there is nothing I like better. xoxo

    Love Renee

  14. my goodness

    how wonderful over here in your blog~land.
    i love your design and colors.


    PLUS---> i am all gaga
    for your area of the world
    as you have this--->stonehenge,
    don't you.


    thanks ever~so
    for visiting my blog
    for One World~One Heart.


    i am off to visit you etsy
    to look about
    and to see
    if you ship to florida, usa.


    we will see...
    i will be back soon

  15. oooh I love lovely...I can't wait to see the finished painting...are the hearts and hares in your shop yet I have just been paid.....

  16. I love your work - found you toodling around. I adore ladybugs - but not ones that bite - yikes!!!!

  17. And i always thought ladybugs were so sweet!! Love the peeps into your sketchbook. ps just wanted to say a huge thank you for the beautiful music, & broadening my horizons(my fav Blackmores night, i had never come across them before) i just had to track some of it down & make up my own cd! thank you *ruthie*

  18. We have the biting kind of ladybugs here in British Columbia, too--sad, because I always loved the little non-biting ones!

    Love the white rabbit cup! And thanks for sharing your dreamy sketches.

  19. Biting ladybirds! This seems to me to be the antithesis of ladybirds! I never would have known this, thanks Karen.
    And for the lovely peep into your notebook too. It's always nice to see what other people are up to.

  20. Your sketch has great movement! -and I LOVE your mug!! That's probably the best mug I've ever seen!

  21. I like your pretty sketchbook!
    In the US we call them ladyBUGS!! They are a problem in our house too. Thousands of them were in my sunny little bedroom. They are used as a natural pesticide in our area, thats why we have an excess amount. They are really good little bugs (just not in excess inside the house!)
    They eventually died (I tried to let them out but the situation was uncontrolable, they kept appearing!) and I sucked the dead ones up with the vacume cleaner!

  22. Greetings from Utah, USA!
    Thank you for the nice comments on my blog! Your blogsite is wonderful! I love your artwork! You are so creative!
    Have a great day!

  23. Blog award coming your way Karen! :)

  24. Hello Karen. I stumbled into your blog and wow! Rabbits everywhere! I am in rabbit heaven here:) Your blog and the artwork that compliments it is beautiful. I wish you all the best in 2009.


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