Setting the Bugs Free

I was late to work this morning, because I was helping the environment.  Or maintaining work-life balance.  Well, both, actually.

For the last week, our daughter Kaia has been monitoring her ladybug pupas as they exit their final stage, becoming adults.  We’ve been through this experiment previously – with butterflies – and Kaia knows that once they’re mature, the adult bugs need to be released so that before they die, they can eat some aphids and make some more ladybugs (hopefully anyway).  So, we’ve been awaiting the time to let them go, in the cool of the morning so they’re more likely to stay in our garden (and eat OUR aphids).

Today was the day.  We took a few last pictures, brought the container into the garden and popped it open.  Kaia and I were both thrilled to see the ladybugs, newly exposed to the sunshine and fresh air, perk up and begin scurrying excitedly.  Crawling off their plastic former home onto our hands, the stones of the garden, and the leaves of the cucumber and bean plants, the ladybugs quickly vanished into the greenery.

You could almost sense their little bug brains thinking, “I smell PLANTS!”  Or maybe, channeling a bug-sized William Wallace, “Freedom!”  They might have been perfectly content in their plastic container, with safety, food, water, and a little girl who cared for them and adored their every development… but given the opportunity, the ladybugs were no less than eager to escape into the wild.

On a completely unrelated note – next week, our eldest son Alex joins many other newly minted adults in going off to college.  Just saying.  We might tell him to mind the bees and spiders…

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