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  1. The Arthropods' Weekly Bulletin/


·2 mins

Today is a sunny, cloudless day, permitting the first thoughts of spring, but Maria is not feeling well. After a long, restful sleep, she buzzes through the awakening nature, the black dots on her bright red carapace shimmering in the sunlight. She is a seven-spot ladybird, an insect that can be found in gardens and fields from spring to late autumn. But the seasons, as Maria knows them, seem to be out of sync.

Winter, once a time of calm and retreat, has changed. The cold is fading faster than ever before, and the warmth of spring is arriving earlier. Maria senses that something is wrong, even if she doesn’t know why. It is as if Mother Nature has adjusted her clock, but no one has sent Maria the new schedule.

As she flies from leaf to leaf, from blossom to blossom, Maria notices that the world around her has become quieter. Many of the insects that once greeted spring are less numerous or appear at different times. These changes are part of a larger pattern that Maria and her friends do not understand. The seasons are shifting and the life rhythms of all beings are becoming unbalanced.

Maria and her generation are witnessing a new normality, one that deviates from the previous one without every being immediately realising it. The world they live in is no longer the one their ancestors knew. This is the essence of a change that is so slow that it even goes unnoticed by some. Each generation of ladybirds takes the changes for granted without knowing how rich and diverse their environment once was. They do not compare their world with the past, but only with what they have known since their earliest days. A lack of security, fewer fellow insects, harsher living conditions, all this is a sad adaptation to an ever poorer world.

Maria dances on the wind, unable to understand the full implications of what is happening around her. But her instinct tells her that the dance has become more difficult. The flowers she lands on, the air that carries her, the sun that warms her wings — everything tells a story of change, of loss, but also of the tenacious persistence of life. Suddenly, a male ladybird gliding skilfully through the air attracts Maria’s attention. Driven by a spontaneous impulse, she joins his flight. This encounter makes her sense that, like all the changes around her, spring fever has come earlier than usual this year.