Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone,
All except one, and her name is Ann,
And she hid under the baking pan.
The rhyme comes from Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, published in London in 1744. Just like the ladybird, spotted this week inside a whorl of freshly sprouting oregano, the book is very tiny. Here are some images from the British Museum which owns one of two surviving copies. You can see more images and find out more about the little book of rhymes that some us once knew (well perhaps not all of them) HERE.
Bright Square #17
The other day I noticed the tips of the apple tree boughs were encrusted with greenfly. I was going to treat them to a soap and water spray, but then forgot. The next time I looked the ants and ladybirds had moved in on the job and the greenfly invasion was much diminished. This ladybird is obviously having some R and R in the nearby zinnias. Always good for a smile – ladybirds.
Ladybirds, as gardeners know, are good bugs to have amongst the fruit and veg. They eat aphids. Yay!
And they need to get gobbling now. For despite my recent whingeing about cold wind and lack of spring weather, the greenfly are already with us. And there’s a reason – our warmer winters.
We may have had endless rain, bad floods and storms this year in the UK, but we have not had the hard ground frosts that help to check slug and aphid populations; nor have had for several years. Back in early February when I was pruning the autumn raspberry bed up at the allotment, I was also finding ladybirds out and about. They are supposed to be hibernating (overwintering) between October and March, so hopefully they were finding something to eat and hadn’t simply been fooled into waking up too soon by the unusually warm February temperatures.
The ladybird in the photo is nestling in my garden sage bed, spotted last summer. And for those of you who wish to find out more about ladybirds (Coccinellidae) there is a brilliant website at UK Ladybird Survey. And if you live in the UK, they want to have details of sightings.
#7-daynaturephotochallenge #day 2
With thanks to Anna at Una Vista Di San Fermo who nominated me.
Related: Warning: Reptile Alert #day 1