On Ladybugs

Sunday afternoon, sitting in my favorite spot in this whole wide world, on my shady sofa under our backyard gazebo. Teddy's hanging out with me quietly, worn out from his morning adventures. A pair of finches are here too, in the crepe myrtle over my shoulder, singing. But mostly, I'm noticing ladybugs.

NowThisLife.com - Ladybug

Yep, ladybugs.

I've counted six of them, just looking around from my comfy spot. They are flying happily from rose bush to daisy tree to crepe myrtle leaf, kept company by a few drunken bees.

This makes me very happy.

Last year, I  gave up the chemical soup of fertilizer and systemic I always believed was a requirement of roses. Turns out it isn't. The roses grew fine, some aphids showed up, and soon after the ladybugs did too. Along with the ladybugs came some little brown birds I'd never seen in our yard before, who perched on the bushes and ate up and down the rose stems like little lawnmowers, vacuuming up the aphids.

This year I bought some organic fertilizer and managed to get the front yard roses done, but haven't made it to the back ones. Once again, the bushes are thriving despite my neglect. Until, a week ago, I noticed that the sweet new little buds were COVERED with a thick coating of aphids. I've seen what aphids do when unchecked...the buds literally shrivel up and fall off the plant and no blessing of roses follows. Given that I look forward to the first rose bloom all winter, this is not a scenario I relish.

Luckily, I was too busy with Teddy and everything else it takes to manage our lives to do anything about this bug situation and the aphids stayed.

And then, today, ladybugs triumph. There are barely a few little aphids left and the rosebuds are just fine and healthy.

No nasty chemicals, no work on my part, just mother nature doing her thing.

I get to chill and watch our resident fat squirrel and his tormenter blue jay arrive for their afternoon fun. The squirrel tries to get close to the bird feeder, the jay chases him away, loudly, before coming back for a tasty sunflower seed. Teddy gets to explore the bushes for palm tree bark pieces to shred. The ladybugs get to continue their feasting.

So happy I took a little break to enjoy this day. I'm pretty sure the chores will wait until I surface.

Ah, spring. I do love you.

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