Save the Beetles!!

12 Oct

Earlier in the growing season, I came home from the community garden plot with basil leaves cultivated from three varities of basil plants. As I got them ready for whipping up a batch of pesto,  I noticed that one of the leaves had eggs on them.  At first I was like, ewwwww!  But then I decided to observe them a bit more and found them to be quite beautiful.  They were perfectly even, gold and almost like an art form. But then I got all grossed out thinking about hatching insects on a food source. Then I got further grossed out about what if I had missed seeing them and they ended up in my pesto without me knowing?? And we ate them!!!!

Given his love of science, I thought Calvin would be excited to look at them and maybe examine them under a microsope.  When I showed the eggs to Calvin, he was a bit reserved. Eventually, Calvin explained that it stressed him out because he worried about the well being of the eggs and whatever life form they would turn into. So he did not want to chance hurting them by sticking them under the microscope lense. So we ditched the microscope observation idea and instead we engaged in a less intrusive manner of observation. We carefully set the leaf on the table, observed it with our naked eyes and took some guesses on what they might be. Calvin mused they might be lady bugs since we see so many of the beautiful helpful lady bugs in our garden. Well, that put those eggs in a new light for me. Lady bugs over some creepy insect was much more appealing.  So we took a picture and looked them up on the internet. Well, they looked like a photo of lady bug eggs we found on the internet. So I was happy.  So we went outside and put the leaf underneath a basil plant for protection and wished the eggs and future lady bugs the best.

A few days later, a colleague of mine, who had worked on an organic farm and was a former peace corp volunteer, informed me that, in reality, the eggs were beetle eggs, not lady bug eggs.  Further, these little eggs would sprout into beetles that would eat squash.  Well, glad I removed them from the community garden…….And glad that I did not have any squash growing in my home garden at the time!

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