14 Jul 2010

Keep up the good work!

At the weekend whilst working in the garden I spotted several ladybirds – and moved each of them onto a rose I have that is totally infested with green fly. I regularly clean them off only to see as many again the following day. They just love the emerging new shoots – on a rose that has been rather slow to get going this year after I both moved it and re-potted it this spring.

All of the ladybirds remained on the plant for the next few days, despite horrible cool and wet autumnal-like weather with a very stiff breeze; they diligently worked away, chomping their way through my greenfly – I say my like I’d choose to actually own the greedy, promiscuous blighters.

I just went out to the bin and went over to monitor their progress – and was astonished to see that the rose was almost cleaned of greenfly – a handful of odd specimens remain – but the plant is as clean as it’s been all summer. I could actually see 2 of the ladybirds still munching away. I suspect the others might have fallen off, stuffed to bursting and moaning that they couldn’t possibly eat another single thing, not even a wafer thin mint! I imagine they’re lying in the leaf litter beneath the rose, clutching their stomachs.

I grabbed my ‘jewellery’ camera which was close by, as one of the ladybirds devoured a greenfly, seemingly almost half it’s own size, in a matter of seconds.

Please click the photos for a larger, clearer view.

It’s not very sharp as it’s a very dark day and the stiff breeze was moving the leaf and the poor ladybird significantly and locking focus was somewhat tricky from an inch away. You can just see the last trailing edge of a disappearing greenfly.

Aren’t his iridescent wings just gorgeous.

I love hover flies – we seem to get quite a lot of different species in the garden and they fascinate me to watch them – with their little flat ended tongues probing leaves for sap and their undercarriage that they drop and raise as they come to rest and take off – they never bother you or come into the house, just go quietly about their business. This little chap – and he was a little one – was working away on the sticky sap left behind by the greenfly – so they made a good team.

I wonder how much they charge and if they have any mates who want work?

3 thoughts on “Keep up the good work!

  1. Your blog has been recommended to us as an interviewee’s favorite handmade jewelry blog!

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  2. Thank you kindly. The term is actually just macro – and the definition of macro is when the object is photographed at the scale of 1:1 on the sensor or film (in which case, the little hoverfly would have totally filled the photograph) – so these are just close-ups, not true macro.

    In this case, I just used a modest spec 3 year old digicam which has a super-macro function that allows me to focus from an inch away.

    If I’d used my DSLR with the right lens, the results would have been significantly better – these are not good enough for anything other than blogging to illustrate a point.

  3. Hahahaha! I can just picture the ladybirds groaning with their bellies aching so much, saying “I’m not coming to this ‘eat all you can’ promotion again”! ;o)

    FANTASTIC pics! What camera are you using to take such “macrobiotic” pics {if that is even a word depicting photography??}


    hello gorgeous xxx

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