I’m on the mailing list for a nursery in Fort Worth. I get e-mails several times a week, especially at this time of year, telling me about special offers. Wednesday morning, I opened their new message and it said, “Thursday Only—-Ladybugs, regularly $9.99, now $6.98!” Oh, yes!
I was scheduled to go to Fort Worth on Thursday, to be able to stay with Peter while Kevin and April went to be presenters at Career Day at the elementary school where they used to teach. Fabulous! I’ll be there anyway. I can buy ladybugs!
I’ve never bought ladybugs before. I don’t know that I have a huge aphid problem, but I am sure of what I do have, which is a Sunday School class of ten to fourteen little kids who would love to spend some time with ladybugs. Preschoolers are usually interested in all kinds of insects, but they don’t really have much time (or sometimes not much encouragement) to mess with insects. Ladybugs are so much less harmful that some insects; they have a better reputation. It was doubly satisfying for me, as I could let Peter watch and play with some of them, then bring the rest back home and have them on Sunday. A win/win.
At the nursery, I asked where the ladybugs were (as I said, I’ve never bought them before. I don’t know what sort of packaging is used for live ladybugs). “They’re hanging up by the cashiers,” said a helpful employee. I wheeled over there. (I would love to say that I had plenty of self-control and only bought ladybugs at the nursery, but that would be an enormous sixty-dollar lie.) I had a big cart, which I wheeled over to the cashiers. I looked all over the place and didn’t see any, um, containers that I thought might hold ladybugs, so I finally just got in line and asked the cashier when I got waited on. She said, “Right there,” and nodded her head over to a display about 12 inches away, which had packets of things, and some of those things were ladybugs. They were in flat envelope-shaped containers made of a heavy sort of netting and a label that said “Ladybugs.”
“Wow,” I said, revealing my inexperience in the ladybug purchasing world. I picked them up and saw the little guys (gals?) crawling around. I wanted to take some out for Peter, but I wanted to be sure to have plenty left for Sunday morning, so I asked, “About how many lady bugs are in here” She replied, “They say about fifteen hundred.” Fifteen hundred lady bugs?!? For only six dollars and ninety-eight cents?!! Sounds like a bargain to me.
April and I opened them up for Peter, and the ones at the top of the package made a beeline (or bugline) for the exit. They crawled out and crawled out and crawled
out. I didn’t count them, but I’m pretty sure I’ve still got LOTS for Sunday. They crawled all over me, they crawled on the sidewalk and on Peter, and they gently lifted their cute little wings and flew away, off to eat up the pesky problem bugs in the neighborhood.
April said that once she found aphids on a plant, and she went and bought ladybugs, brought them home, emptied out the whole package (unknown quantity) on that plant, and, as far as she could tell, every last one of them took flight and disappeared, leaving the aphids alive and kicking. (I’m sure at least one of them found its way back and gobbled up those problem pests.)
Anyway, after Sunday morning, things should grow pretty well in the next few weeks near the the corner of 18th and Bosque in Waco, Texas. We’ve got a community garden just around the corner from our playground that‘s already doing pretty well. I think it’s going to get better.
As for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and every small creeping creature—everything that breathes the breath of life—I have given them every green plant for food.
And it happened just as God said.
Genesis 1:30 (The Voice)
Now, it appears that it is all right with God for the aphids to be eating my rose leaves. But, I’m going to assume that since God made ladybugs, too, that it’s all right for them to go after the aphids. And if that happens sooner rather than later, all the better.