Ladybirds are perhaps the most well-known and popular of all European beetles, and the seven-spotted ladybird is one of the most common species. The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is native to Europe and was successfully established in the U.S. in 1973. This rounded beetle has bright red wing cases with seven black spots, although some individuals may have more or fewer spots. The thorax is black with patches of pale yellow at the front corners. The common name of this group of beetles, ‘ladybird’, was originally given to the seven-spot in honor of the Virgin Mary; the red wing cases symbolize the Virgin’s red cloak, with the seven spots representing her seven joys and seven sorrows. The larvae are blackish in color and are active predators of aphids.
Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part II): Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls, New York
A major change took place there about 7,000 years ago when water volume was low. The connection between Lake Huron and Lake Erie was cut off and the Upper Great Lakes drained through the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence Valley. Only the flow from Lake Erie went over Niagara Falls, and a narrow gorge and shallow Riverbed were formed.
Today, the flow of water coming from the wider upper Great Gorge is channeled into the narrow section, thus creating the turbulent Whirlpool Rapids. The violent waters of the Whirlpool Rapids flow into the Eddy Basin before entering the Whirlpool.
September 9, 2022
Kevin, Sara, and I arrived in Niagara Falls in the late afternoon. We drove to our hotel, ate something, rested for a moment and went from there to the Whirlpool State Park. We didn’t want to deal with the big tourist crowds that evening. So, we were tourists away from the tourists. We saw the falls at night five years ago. I could wait until the following day. Kevin was in Wheatfield High School in the late 80s and early 90s. He knows this area like his back pocket.
At Whirlpool State Park Kevin, Sara, and I took a little hike on the Whirlpool Scenic Trail. It was very interesting to witness how the rushing waters of the rapids flow from the Eddy Basin into the Whirlpool, where the water is forced to circle around, hence the name “whirlpool”. Kevin also discovered a groundhog on the side of the river wall. That groundhog was so used to humans that it didn’t care, we were only a foot and a half away from its burrow. The chipmunks and squirrels came much closer. We think they are being fed by visitors.
The sun hadn’t set yet. So, we chose to go to a second destination, before we called it a day.
… to be continued …