This morning hundreds of ladybirds were flying through the air and massing on the white walls of the house. I managed to get a few clear macro photographs.

A black ladybird readies itself for take-off

A ladybird perched on the end of a finger with it's wing-case open, it's
wings spread out, and it's red and black body exposed just before

An orange ladybird in the early stages of flight, its wings beating and its
body just a few millimetres above the surface of the finger it has just

The sun was shining and the ladybirds seemed to be attracted to anything white. I stuck a white T-shirt on and headed outside. Pretty soon I was covered in them and could pluck them from my shirt to get some close ups using my little Canon IXUS 60.

At some point a ladybird took off just before I tried to photograph it and I decided I’d try to capture that moment. A few minutes later I’d worked out that I could prompt one of the insects to walk up my finger like the stem of a flower, that they’d take off when they reached the tip, and that they took up a distinct posture just before their wing-case shot open.

The speed at which they prepare to take off, open their wings, and fly away is so quick that I just had to take the shot as soon as I saw a ladybird get into the “take-off position” and hope that I reacted fast enough to get a picture of the open wing-case.