I hardly knew what I was seeing at first, but it was an insect of unknown type wrapped in a thick parka of small pink spider-like attack insects.
She fell into a piece of flashing I was using, and even with this load of hitchhikers, she was walking around and desperately trying to scrape the offenders off her head with her forelegs.
A bad day for this insect.
I tried to interfere. I dropped it in some water, imagining that the small attackers would release their prey under the greater threat.
No. It just made the situation worse for the beetle, who was now swimming for her already beseiged life. The attackers were totally unperturbed.
I tried scraping them off with my finger, and got enough off to briefly see it was an orange and black beetle, a kind I see all the time.
The scraped off bugs just surged back with the speed of ball bearings rolling toward a magnet. They were unstoppable. And fast.
I let her go in some grass and she was last seen apparently trying to bury herself.