Operation Ladybug

I’ve never been so excited to recover a bad picture before… lol

A few days after I got my new macro lens we worked in our garden.  I spotted a ladybug and snapped a few pictures.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of a learning curve with this lens and I didn’t really like any of the pictures I took.  I figured… hey… I’ll see another ladybug one day so I don’t need to keep these.

And I hit delete.

Fast forward to this week when I heard about Operation Ladybug through the Children’s Science Center in Northern VA in cooperation with Cornell University’s “Lost Ladybug Project”.

What are they looking for?

Well… pictures of ladybugs.


According to their website, “The distribution of ladybugs species across North America is changing.  Entomologists at Cornell University are tracking this movement in an effort to identify patterns of change and prevent more native species from becoming rare.”

And they don’t care about the quality of the pictures because the object is to identify which species are present and where.


I mean… what were the odds that I would need a random, not perfectly in focus, picture of a ladybug?

But… good news!  I have about 5 memory cards so I realized today that maybe, just maybe, I hadn’t overwritten those files yet.  I started scanning through the cards and sure enough.  HOORAY!!  There they were!

Now I just need to find out whether these pictures are needed.  The project through the Children’s Science Center is from June 11 to July 25.  You can register online.  My pictures were taken in May so I’m not sure if they’ll count or not but I’ll be asking.  And we’ll be looking for more!

This will be one of the service projects the girls and I participate in this summer as well.  Clearly it will overlap other weeks as we’ll be keeping an eye out for ladybugs throughout the summer.  It will give us an added goal on our daytrips and outings – especially when we’re hiking.  And, it plays well into my favorite hobby as well as my desire to engage the kids in discussions about a variety of ways to serve others and the world – this time as “citizen scientists!”  Photography and Biology together… kinda perfect for this Biology teacher turned photography mom.

To learn more about how you and your kids can participate in Operation Ladybug check out their website where you can sign up!

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