How, you might be wondering, are 500 ladybugs transported to the wilds of Oklahoma?
In a surprisingly small package that was shipped overnight and filled with helpful instructions like "release over several days” and “store in the refrigerator until released.” They also suggested that, to keep the ladybugs from immediately flying away, one should spray them with a mixture of white soda and water. Apparently, this temporarily “glues” their wings shut.
“But I need you! One person has to stick a hand down and separate the lily stalks as close to the ground as possible while the other person dumps the ladybugs out. And," I went on before he could protest, "no, I can't push the lilies with one hand and dump the ladybugs with the other. Because this has been a very snaky spring and what if there's a snake in there and I TOUCH IT? We'd have to move."
And then we started playing this really fun game in which we both just keep repeating the same sentence, stressing a different word each time, like the only reason we can't come to a consensus is poor emphasis.
"The BLUES are playing tonight."
"We'd have to MOVE."
"The Blues are playing TONIGHT."
"We'd HAVE to move."
Eventually, though, we ran out of words and I quickly said "And it's not going to take that long."
I might also have mentioned that the Blues’ playoff performance has been a little frustrating and when Opie starts yelling at the television, our slightly neurotic Bubba decides it's the scariest thing that has ever happened. At which point, he feels the only reasonable course of action is flinging his big old self onto my lap to comfort me.
Clearly, logic is my strong suit.
In any case, a few minutes later my trusty assistant and I headed out to teach those aphids a little something about messing with the lilies of a crazy woman.
And I learned a little something about how difficult it is to bend 500 ladybugs to your will. I shook them, I poured them, I held the bag of them open and encouraged them to saunter out onto the plants…and some of them did. But some of them seemed really determined to scamper out of the bag and climb up my sleeve.
It is in these moments that Opie proves himself a true hero. Instead of shouting things like "All I want to do is watch the stupid hockey game, is that too much to ask?" he muttered calming words, inspected my back and assured me that I was not, in fact, a wriggling tower of bugs
But the long and the short of it is this: ladybugs are brutal! In the next few days, they swarmed those nasty aphids like one of the plagues of Egypt while I ran around encouraging them like a slightly hysterical cheerleader.
|I know you probably shouldn't pick favorites but I did.|