Friday, May 20, 2011

Ladybug Farm - Let this be a cautionary tale...

I have visions of living on a farm.  There would be rolling hills and land enough for chickens, Nigerian dwarf goats, gardens, ponds, greenhouses and people.  Oh, no wait.  That's The Sound of Music playing in my head.  I have read this blog and I know that living on a farm isn't a picnic in the hills in handmade dresses with your favorite nanny.  Still, that doesn't mean I am not raising my own stock right here in the heart of Funwoody.  That's right.  I happen to be the proud owner of a thriving ladybug farm nesting in my parsley.  I didn't plan on this.  I didn't buy any bugs with the hope of starting a ladybug farm.  It just happened.  And, it is so exciting! 

I watched one little lady take off today.  She was just turning red, bigger sister to her little sisters who are still pale.  She didn't like my camera in her nest and decided to do something about it.  It was unexpected and awesome.  I didn't think any of them would be flying yet being so small. I have been watching them for a few days and even handled a few to get a better look and none have flown. But, she did.  I love being present for the little things.  It ranks right up there with the day the kids and I saw a bee being born out of its cell at a hive inspection.  I like to think bearing witness to a ladybug earning her wings is a sign and a gift- its meaning too deep, complex and personal to be able to explain.  It comes on a day of remembrance.

Scratch that.  All of it.  You heard me.  (Well, all except the very beginning.  All that is accurate.)  After mulling it over, I realized something wasn't right here.  It dawned on me that these bugs were reminding me of something else I had seen.  Something I learned about during my Master Gardener classes.  The dreaded CARPET BEETLE.  I came back to the computer to research it and, well, I have bad news to report.  I no longer have an adorable ladybug nursery.  Nope.  I have a dreaded carpet beetle infestation.  Joy.  So, my parsley will get a dunk in a dish washing soap infused pool.  Let this be a lesson, research and be sure.  You never know, you may be saving your favorite wool sweater, or sofa, or carpet in the process.  I am just glad I found these things outside and not inside...

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