Usually, the multicolored Asian lady beetles swarm my house in October. Full sun blasts my western-facing entrance (door and windows and wall), and the insects gather in huge numbers, often squeezing their way inside.
This year, they didn't. The drought, I suspected. I was relieved -- no taping around the door, no vacuuming the hordes up and flushing them (one of the very few bugs I intentionally kill).
But in the last week, we've had a bit of sun on two days (one lots, one only a little; this is the rainy season), and on each occasion I saw a couple of beetles -- here and there.
Like this one, on a University stone bench between my house and the bookstore, tiny and alone, taking in the sun as I was, on one of the only opportunities of late to do so. I know they "rest" otherwise, in crevices of bark or narrow spaces between windows and walls.
Their intermittent appearance is an odd reassurance that life goes one, even in the darkest days.
Abandoned bikes also appear mysteriously, and sometimes disappear. A still new Schwinn (rapidly aging) has been locked to the rack in front of the bookstore for months. I think I saw it even in summer. No one has ever claimed it. A perfectly good bike, in situ, since the owner left it there.
I can't help wondering about her, the owner (it is a woman's bike), and why she never returned.
Unlike the beetles, campus bike owners often simply disappear, leaving the hardware behind.