Monday, January 12, 2009


Ladybug, from BUGSMART.CA
Usually I grab my blue-jacketed New York Times as I dash to the car on the way to the office. Today, however, I'm recovering from a virus that has me coughing a lot and sounding RAHther froggish. So I didn't collect the paper until nearly noon, and discovered a lovely warm day. (Sorry, those of you are in the cold; this *is* California.) I picked up the paper and there was a ladybug on the wrapper! I gently moved it to my gardenia bush, sorely infested with scale (nasty hard-shelled buglets that, like aphis, suck the sap from plants where they live). The bug walked slowly up to the topmost leaf, tried to take another step, then turned around and walked back. Sometimes it would stop and flex its wings, which must be damp -- first the right wing would come out, but the left would stay firmly put; then closed, then the other wing, but never both. I expect when it can unfurl both wings it will fly away, but I can hope it will stay and attack the scale

I'm sure we'll have some more nasty days, and heaven knows the whole state needs RAIN, but for today, some sun is nice. (I watched AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH recently so I *am* trying to think of ways to personlly stop contributing to the CO2 problem. I already use casual carpool and busses for my commute, but I may have to give up casual carpool since it requires me to drive to the pickup point. Taking the bus both way adds $3.75*20 or so each month to my expenses -- a lot on a nonprofit paycheck. Can I afford to, in effect, donate $75 a month to the future?)

-- Rachel Holmen

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