Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ladybug Fly Away Home

Or Where Have all the Ladybugs Gone?

Who doesn't love ladybugs? I wouldn't exactly say that I am obsessed with the little lady; I just made a quilt in her honor, bought curtains with big red lady bugs on them, styled an entire bedroom with her in mind.  I have taken photos of ladybugs on nearly every plant in the garden: dill weed, sunflowers, more on sunflowers, on a tree, in the mulch in the rose garden, on a daisy petal, on a water lily. I have even written ladybug poems (very bad poems). No. I am not obsessed. I just think that they are cute, fun, awesome, amazing, curious.
There are dozens of varieties of ladybugs or lady birds or lady beetles, as entomologists will call them. Check out this website if you want to know more about them scientifically. 



This is probably the only quilt that I will ever make. The Raggedy Anns and Andy like the quilt. 

I just added the curtains a few weeks ago, completing the room. This room was a vision in my old house, now a reality.


 

I blurred the photo and added a texture. I am not very good at this photo-art thing.


Check the backs of your sunflowers to see if there are clusters of aphids--one drawback to sunflowers in the garden. 


A ladybug on the water lily caught me quite off guard. I keep the lilies in a horse tank, making them very assessable and easy to photograph. 

Hippodamia convergen--I think. 
Last fall the ugly old Russian Olive tree at the edge of the patio was covered with hundreds of ladybugs, some just hanging out, others otherwise engaged with little modesty as to whom might be watching or even taking pictures. 


But this year, she has been scarce at the Garden Spot. Has it been too hot? Has there been a lack of food? Lady bugs eat aphids and even the aphids are scarce around here. I have been using a systmeic rose food that controls aphids, but I can't image that it would scare away aphids from the sunflower leaves where usually they hang out en masse. Nor were there aphids on the snowball bushes early this spring. 

No aphids. No ladybugs.

Or is my answer too simple? Check out this web site: The Lost Ladybug Project. It is a really cool web site, especially for children. It explains how the ladybug population is changing. Some ladybugs are disappearing, only to show up in a new area. So they are asking visitors to photograph ladybugs that they find and upload the photo along with information about where the ladybug was found to track the ladybug population.

So wanting to do my part, I set out the other day to hunt bugs, only I couldn't find any. Not on the dill weed. Not on the daisy petal, not in the mulch in the rose bed, not on a sunflower. I have, in fact, seen only one ladybug all summer.

Lots of bees. Tons of wasps. A bazillion yellow jackets (one of which stung me on my elbow). A few dragon flies. A fair quantity of attack beetles, gobs of ants. And a few butterflies.

When I find a lady bug, I intend to take her photo and send it to the Ladybug Project so that she can be accurately accounted for.

I invite you to do the same.


8 comments:

  1. Hi Ann! I'm sorry you have a sting on your elbow! OUCH!
    I LOVE your ladybug/ladybird room! It's gorgeous! The quilt is so pretty and the Raggedy Anns are WONDERFUL!
    Maybe you should buy a bag of ladybugs next year. My neighbor did and she had lots of them!
    Earwigs are awful and I've seen more than a few this year. Creepy. I'm sure they have a good purpose.
    Thank you for your kind comment, friend!

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  2. I wonder if they want Canadian stats? I will head over soon to see. We have only a few of them around here, and the aphids just showed up on the sweet peas.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  3. PS, adore those curtains, adore them!!! And the room is lovely.

    The texture needs to be dropped down a little do you have PS?

    Jen

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  4. Your lady bug bedroom and quilt are really nice, great job. I haven't seen very many lady bugs this year either and don't think I've managed to photograph any. I will have to try before it gets too cold.

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  5. You made a beautiful ladybug bedroom, the curtains and quilt are lovely. We either do not have many ladybugs this year in the garden, anyway less then last year.

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  6. Hi Ann,

    Your bedroom is DARLING, just so sweet! I, too, am a big fan of ladybugs. I have seen them for sale in a garden shop here some years ago, as they're supposed to be so good for our gardens. I just love them because they're not creepy crawlies like spiders, for instance. :)

    You did a great job on your quilt, and the curtains are charming. I know you'll enjoy this room; thanks for sharing your creative ideas.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  7. That is a lovely bedroom for children - I wouldn't mind it myself come to that. Last year we were inundated with ladybirds - this year zilch, zero, nothing, nada. Which is a shame as I love to see them - but these things tend to go in cycles - maybe next year they will be back and hopefully so will the butterflies.

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  8. How adorable! I love ladybugs too. I'm having a ladybug birthday cake made for my grandaughter.

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