LIFE THROUGH A LENS….LIVING WITH LADYBUGS DURING THE PANDEMIC

yellow flower petal with ladybug under blue sky (credit: Dreamstime)

I just did it. I ordered fifteen HUNDRED live ladybugs for release into the yard. I began thinking of some new ideas to do during the pandemic while we continue to self-isolate. I love watching the butterfly caterpillars we have growing in the house, looking each day for subtle changes in them. Watching and waiting. Watching and waiting. I wondered what else we could have growing in the house during this hot Florida spring and decided that ladybugs would be amazing to watch, grow, and release. I looked on Amazon and found this kit:

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Ladybug Garden, picture courtesy of Amazon.com

I love this kit, as it has three magnifying glass lenses (for 3x magnification) on the top of it, which will help to really notice the amazing changes in the ladybugs as they grow. I love watching life through a lens. The kit contains a voucher for about ten live ladybug larvae, too. I decided that ten is not nearly enough ladybugs to eat the white flies and aphids I have growing and eating in my yard, so that’s why I ordered the large, no VERY large, order of live ladybugs in the meantime.

ladybug (credit: Dreamstime)

“The ladybug wears no disguises.

She is just what she advertises.

A speckled spectacle of spring,

A fashion statement on the wing,

A miniature orange kite,

A tiny dot-to-dot delight.”

-J. Patrick Lewis

The ladybug kit, Amazon assures me, will arrive at my home on Tuesday, May 19, and the live ladybugs will arrive on May 29. The kit will arrive WITHOUT the butterfly larvae, however. I will have to order them separately after I receive the kit, using the voucher that is provided along with the kit.

“Life is a series of tiny miracles. Notice them.”

-Roald Dahl

(photo credit: Dreamstime)

“Ladybugs all dressed in red, strolling through the flower bed… if I were tiny just like you, I’d creep through the flowers, too!”

-Maria Fleming

(photo credit: Dreamstime)

Evidently legend has it that ladybugs are associated with good luck, changes, divine intervention, and a happy resolution to something troublesome. The Celts associated ladybugs with protection, and in French folklore legend has it that whatever ailment you have flies away when a ladybug flies away from you. The French, as well as the Austrians, also believe seeing a ladybug would be correlated with good weather. In Norway, if a man and a woman spot a ladybug at the same time, legend has it that there will be a romance blooming between them. A rare sighting of a yellow ladybug, according to yet another legend, signifies upcoming travel, adventure, and a new chapter in one’s life. Swedish folklore tells us that if a ladybug lands on a young woman’s hand, she would be married soon.

There are also some religious meanings associated with ladybugs as well. In fact, some say the origins to the ladybug’s name, originally known as “Our Lady’s Beetles”, is the result of a reference to a prayer made by farmers in the Middle Ages to the Virgin Mary to keep their crops safe from swarms of pests (aphids). When the ladybugs arrived, they thought they were sent from their prayers to the Virgin Mary, and they called them “Our Lady’s Beetle.” Some say the common number of seven spots on the lady’s back are associated with the Virgin Mary’s “seven joys and seven sorrows” as described in the Bible.

It has also been said that lady bugs in the Jewish religion also have religious meaning. The Hebrew word for ladybugs is “Moses’ Cow”, as there is an old Yiddish legend in which Moses encountered these beautiful creatures when he was sitting in the Garden of Eden studying the Torah. When the ladybug asked Moses why he had spots, Moses replied that the spots represented God’s words and deeds. Also, a common number of spots on the lady bug, seven, is symbolic of the six days that God created with world and the seventh day that he rested. If a ladybug has only two spots, it stands for the “Two Tablets of Jewish law (the first tablet was written by God, and the second Tablet was written with Moses). If a ladybug has ten spots, it represents the ten commandments, and so on.

Ladybugs are some of the most beautiful and appreciated beetles in the world. They help us by eating pests and are the stuff of legends. When I look at my new ladybugs when they arrive, I will remember their association with good luck and protection. I can’t wait to release them into the world so that in some small way, I am doing my part to make the world a little bit better than I found it.

Life is good. May you find good fortune and may any ailment at all, or any ailment from the pandemic (physical, mental, or otherwise), fly away from you if and when you see a ladybug land on you during some enchanted evening or magical moment.

Carpe diem, friends…………..

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