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hospitality lessons

In projects + tutorials, toddler activities on 01/08/2010 at 12:43 pm

ladybug house

When I spied the first one inching along the window ledge, I really thought nothing of it. Big deal. But in a matter of days, I concluded that our kitchen window symbolized a beacon of hope to every ladybug within a twenty-mile radius – an escape from winter’s frosty pursuit. They kept coming…and coming…and coming. In fact, they’re still coming. And before you chide me for my sentimentality and tell me to fetch the bug spray, I must explain that somewhere in my subconscious, something precludes me from taking murderous action against such a trustworthy creature. They’re actually quite well mannered, keeping to themselves. And she’s been watching them zipping and zinging about like tiny fairies, red wings buzzing and flashing as they go. More than once I’ve been met with pleading brown eyes and a request to fetch one for her off the ceiling. At first I gave in to the temptation to complain, any moment expecting to lift a cup to my mouth and find myself nose to nose with one. But watching her continued fascination with our uninvited houseguests, I decided we might as well make the best of it.  

Kraft Parmesan cheese container makes a fabulous bug habitat because you can crack the lid for airflow or snap it shut for short periods of time while your little one totes it around. After doing a bit of reading, we discovered that ladybugs are attracted to pink, yellow, and light blue and that they actually like raisins. Who knew? We put a layer of soil in the bottom and added twigs and colorful coffee stirrers for climbing. A wadded wet paper towel in the bottom provided a water source and she enjoyed dropping in a daily ration of raisins (now referred to as “wadeebug food”).

Plague turned plaything. I’m fairly certain there’s a lesson here for me about keeping life in perspective – the proverbial lemons to lemonade.

I’m a bit behind making my rounds to visit all of you who have introduced yourselves over the past couple of days. The weekend is here and I will do my very best to respond to you either in the comment section, by email, or on your own posts. Thank you for being so patient.  There are new additions tothe regulars“, so drop in and introduce yourself to them when you have time. Don’t forget to add your nominations for The Poppies!

I have a little d.i.y. surprise lined up for the beginning of the week. Enjoy your weekend!

| days of doing one thing = 11 |

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  1. My son had a couple of woodlice for pets in the summer but their home was nowhere near as wonderful as this!
    Love the One Thing idea. Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Lovely little ladybugs, one of the most beneficial bugs around AND a personal favorite of ours in our household so my advice is to make LOTS more ladybug habitats. I know I’ll be making some after this post.

    Blessings to you and I look forward to your next post (your other projects are lovely)

    • You’re right, Elizabeth. They really are quite useful little creatures. Some gardeners actually order whole swarms of them to control other pests. Maybe we should start selling ours off. 🙂 Hmmm…

  3. We seem to always have a couple crawling around inside and I love watching our almost two year old hold one and watch and laugh.
    Thanks for sharig the parmesan insect collector idea.
    Warm wishes.

  4. i love seeing your new image on flickr, then popping over to see what story you will share with it… i’m so happy to have found your blog. it really is a lovely place to visit.

    happy weekend… xxo, kim

  5. We moved in August to a different part of our county, out of the suburbs and into the hills. When the lady bugs first showed up in the fall, they were welcome and “cute” until we had about 20 thousand of them on the side of the house! Turns out the previous owner had a pesticide applied to the house, and they were dead in piles in days. I wasn’t sure whether to feel saddened or relieved! I mean, there were a LOT (along with box elder beetles). I’m not a fan of pesticides either though, so I think it’s something we’ll have to investigate and learn about for a while. What I didn’t know was the color attractions you posted. Guess what color our house is? Light blue! Go figure.

  6. I have found a couple in my house lately. They make me smile. I never knew that they like raisins and those colors. Have a fabulous weekend!

  7. I used to tote ladybugs in a jar all summer when I was a kid. Sometimes I traded them in for lighting bugs at night.

    My boyfriend’s house and area seems to get plagued with them in the mid-fall. I live 30 minutes inland from him and we’ve never had a problem. One of the lighthouses near him got painted a few years ago. When you look at it now, it looks light it’s stucco or something, but it’s actually ladybugs painted underneath. They were all on there when it was time to paint it, and they couldn’t get them to stay off, so they just pained over them.

  8. I love ladybugs simply because they are one of those bugs that is so pretty and cheerful. I didn’t know that they liked raisins and certain colors, I will have to pass that on to my two little buggy-loving girls!!
    I am new here and love reading your posts, have a great weekend!

  9. Ladybugs are attracted to my house only while I’m pregnant. I think it’s some hormone thing. … (not meaning to hint anything …)

  10. Love the ladybugs. In our garden. In our home. We have a beloved toddler in our lives these days, and his fascination with ladybugs has given us the gift of seeing them anew for ourselves.

    I had to laugh at Holly’s comment. When we were waiting for our baby from China, I kept seeing ladybugs in twos everywhere. The rumor among adoptive mothers is that ladybugs are signs of our babies on the way. Our baby did turn out to be babIES…twins. Those little bugs hold a special place in my memory.

    • June, I’ve never heard of that rumor. Amazing that we both had them around while expecting. I think there’s something to that. The ladies in our house would only stand on the wall by my side of our bed. They really wanted to be by me. I loved their presence.

  11. Hi- I LOVE LOVE your blog and your photography. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to do a giveaway. I make soft CUTE camera strap covers. My shop is http://www.sugarpopcreations.etsy.com You could get a free strap for your camera and one of your follows would win one too. Let me know if you are interested, my email is kelleyhowephoto@gmail.com

    THANKS!

  12. This is so cool. My kiddos received an ant farm for Hanukkah (no ants yet) but your lovely natural habitat looks so much better!

  13. WOW. A cheese container… lady bugs…..woodlice.

    This post is jam packed with wonderful things.

    When my sister and I were going to college we had an infestation of lady bugs and they would bite us when we took baths.

    BITE!!

    I never would have thought to give them a home after that.

    You are very hospitable.

  14. Thank you for visiting my neck of the woods. I thought I would drop in and say hello to you, too! Darling post and beautiful blog.

  15. Hello there to you. I am smiling. I was just taking photos of ladybugs in our house yesterday. I don’t know where they came from, but they are inside now!

    I am writing back about your question over at beehousehives.
    How long have we lived in Montana… all my life and my husband too. Our home? We finished building our home in the winter of 2005 ( and were so happy that we moved in despite the storm).

    I have to say I am happy to have met you and look forward to reading more often.

    A wonderful weekend to you and your family and the ladybugs too.

  16. I love it that you didn’t kill them. 🙂 In my last home, I had hundreds upon hundreds of box elder bugs that would cluster on the south side of the house, and invariably, a couple dozen would get inside. They never bothered me much, though, and they were certainly entertaining to watch at times! I am all in favor of non-destructive bug hospitality…. heck, I even let the spiders hang out, provided they’re not in the bedroom. 😀

  17. Sweet ladybugs, your perfect image, and your beautiful words – feeling the life’s blessings.

  18. Ooh, ooh, it was so fortuitous that I read this post the other day!! Today my five year old caught a ladybug and popped her (it’s a girl, she has declared) into her Critter Cabin. When I got home, she was asking me what she should feed her new friend “Spots,” and I instantly replied — “Raisins!! And she needs a wet paper towel for a water source!!” 🙂 So, thanks for sharing — Spots appreciates it too! 🙂

  19. What a wonderful home you have created, and an amzing life lesson. Thank you for your constant inspiration

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