Three years ago, I discovered that you can purchase ladybugs to strew about your yard, to eat up all your aphids. I bought a package of them, let the little bitty Peter play with some (they do fly away pretty quickly), and took most of them to church for the Sunday School preschoolers to take and release into our church’s neighborhood garden. It has become a yearly tradition.
I bought the most recent ladybug collection weeks ago, and rainy weather and chilly weather kept us indoors for several Sundays. And kept the ladybugs in my fridge. Finally, last Sunday was nice and sunny, so out we went.
After a couple of hours outside the refrigerator, the bugs were all awake and active. As soon as I opened up the container, they were ready to get to work. Or at least get out.
The first time I bought ladybugs, I asked the clerk at the nursery how many bugs were in the container (which was different than this one). She said, “About fifteen hundred.” This container says, “About 500.” Still, it seemed like enough. And, the carton says, “New Look! Same great bugs!”
Later, I was in worship service, enjoying the choir-led, lots-of-music, service, and sitting in my favorite spot, up in the balcony. I felt a sort of tickling, down the back of my thigh. I was startled for a moment, and then thought, “Oh, of course.” And I reached back and carefully gathered up the ladybug, who had not flown away when she should have. I tried to wriggle my phone from my pocket, to photograph her, as I figured no one would believe that a ladybug had hung on for 45 minutes or so. But, before I could get the phone on and focused, she took flight.
If you look closely, you can see lots of little lady bug-sized spots on the carpet. They are the drips left behind from the Lord’s Supper grape juice. I searched each one I could see, to be sure it wasn’t moving around. Nothing was. I’m hoping she got a ride out of there on someone else’s back, and made it to freedom.
Winter is past, the rain has stopped; flowers cover the earth; it’s time to sing.
The cooing of doves is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (Contemporary English Version)
Springtime. I wish it lasted a little longer.
When I’m driving Peter back and forth, to and from Waco, he sometimes likes to listen to Peter, Paul, and Mary recordings. One of the songs is “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” There are several verses, in between the “rain, rain, go away, come again some other day,” chorus. One of those verses says, “Ladybug, Ladybug! Fly away home! Your house is on fire, and your children-they will burn.” When that verse comes on, I sing, pretty loudly, “Your house is on fire! And the firemen-they will come!”
My favorite ladybug song is one I learned when the boys were little and watching Sesame Street. There were songs for every number up to twelve. The “twelve” song was “The Ladybugs’ Picnic.” I still know all the words.