Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ladybird ladybird.......

There are advantages and disadvantages to this summer's good weather. One disadvantage in my garden has been the abundance of pesky black fly, the advantage has been the arrival of so many beautiful ladybirds.

The black fly have been mostly attracted to my runner beans. As we enjoy eating these I did not want to keep spraying chemicals on them to kill them. I decided to wait and see if nature could sort things out.

Amazingly within a short time the ladybirds arrived and started to reproduce prolifically.

I have been fascinated to watch all the life cycle changes of this beetle from egg, through the rather scary looking larval stage until the beautiful adult emerges from its pupa.

There are also so many different colours, from yellow through orange to bright red. They have done an incredible job of eating the black fly and I have a "balance" now.

Watching them also reminded me of the old nursery rhyme. I realised that I could not remember more than the first part;

Ladybird ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire your children have gone..

 So I decided some  research was necessary;

Interestingly it appears the old rhyme dates from at least 1744 and  was chanted to a ladybird if it landed on you. It supposedly encouraged the ladybird to fly away as it was unlucky to kill one. Also there was a belief that if you sang it to one that landed on you and it flew away and then came back you would have good luck! I also found the whole verse which made me smile...

Ladybird ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone,
All except one and that's little Anne,
For she crept under the frying pan.

Childhood memories.. so now I can remember the whole rhyme.....but who on earth was Anne???!!!!
Have a great day,
Bye for now,


  1. Hi Jane,
    You've been very lucky that nature has sorted itself out. Such pretty little things, ladybirds! I always think they look too exotic to live in Britain! Great that you have been able to witness their whole lifecycle as well.
    Vivienne x

  2. Hi Vivienne,
    I was really suprised by their larval stage,they look like black and red dragony earwigs! I had never seen them before so it has been a learning curve.
    We have finally had some welcome rain and the grass looks less like hay.
    Jane x

  3. I love the ladybirds too, and see them very rarely here in Finland, as a child they were more common...like sunny summers etc ;) And you "may" have seen them appear at my felted work too!

    Enjoy your rain (we're still waiting ours *sigh*)!


  4. Hi Mia,
    I shall have to put up with some black fly so that the ladybirds stay around in my garden and yes the ladybirds on your bags are VERY special (as are all your creations)
    Take care, Love Jane x


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