Monday, April 25, 2011

Ladybugs in Leaf Mulch -- It's Spring!

ladybugs in leaf mulch (and snow mould) © SB

As soon as the snow melted last spring, I raked the front yard and bagged the leaves for the alley dumpster. That was when I realized I was an eco-terrorist. Not only was I not composting, but hundreds of ladybugs had hatched or hibernated or whatever it is that ladybugs do under a winter cover of decay. Half-wakened, they sluggishly crawled over the leaves, and up and down the inside of my plastic bags. They didn't deserve to be thrown in the garbage. They deserved a garden. 

This year, most of the leaves in our yard miraculously vanished last fall (G's retirement may have helped). The snow is now gone, and all that remains of the old leaves is a small wind-tossed strip along the hedge. This morning, I eased back parts of that shelter, and in every spot found two or three visible ladybugs, with three or four more appearing as soon as the sun warmed the exposed layer of soil and mulch.   

The white dots and filaments on the bugs and leaves in the picture are a kind of snow mould — highly allergenic for lucky people like me whose eyes itch, lids swell, sinuses congest... But during yesterday's walk around the flooded park, I'd realized it was allergy season, and so I took allergy pills before my ladybug search. 

If I'd realized how much mould there was, I might have thought twice about doing this. But I really wanted to see if the hidden ladybugs were an annual gift, a sign that spring is here, and summer will soon follow. 



No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...