Photo stories: Mariquita in the beach by Carolina Leon

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© 'Mariquita in the beach' taken on a Canon Digital IXUS 50 by Carolina Léon

After I'd taken this photo, I heard that these friendly ladybugs often appear in Malvarrosa Beach near Valencia, Spain at this time of year. They're said to signify the coming of spring. The beach faces east, and they appear when there is late winter wind from the west, seeking out orchids and aphids - their favourite food!

But on the day I took this photo, I just went for a walk with my IXUS 50 on the beach. It was a windy day, I was enjoying the light of the sun in the evening...and they were there!

There were lots of ladybugs trying not to end up in the sea. Some of them were creeping in the sand. It looked amazing so I started to kneel down to take some photos. This ladybug had found a little shelter in the sand and had stopped still - almost as if it was posing for the photo.

I like this picture for the colours, the light, and because when I see it I always remember a funny afternoon taking photos on the beach.

I've sometimes gone back to this beach when the west wind has been blowing. But I haven't ever found the same combination of light, colours and ladybugs. So for me it will always be a unique and special day.