You don't need to be large or loud to make a significant impact in the world. The world often feels to me like such a noisy, crowded place. It seems like you need to have a sizable 'presence' just to be heard. Those that seem to be capable of making a difference appear to be the enormous corporations, world renowned speakers, or 'celebrities' with gazillions of social media followers.
But that doesn't mean that the small, quiet ones are not doing important work, without pomp and ceremony. The best symbol of this is the ladybird.
Small, but beautiful. Clear of purpose. Not needing attention to do their good work in the world.
They are quite fascinating little creatures. Did you know...
- Ladybirds are loved by farmers gardeners because they are nature's pest controllers. They eat aphids and scale insects, managing them more effectively than poisonous chemicals.
- They can defend themselves by emitting hemolymph from their jointed legs (reflex bleeding). Hemolymph is a bitter-tasting, foul-smelling fluid. The beautiful red and black markings on the ladybird serve as a warning reminder of this for predators.
- There are some ladybirds that are able to change colour to blend into the reeds they inhabit. They are beige with black spots until the spring when they turn bright red to warn off those predators.
- The number of spots of the ladybird varies by species. Some have only two, others seven. You may even come across a ladybird with up to 19 spots.
- Despite the name, not all ladybirds are girls (obviously...) but it is very hard to tell the males from the females without a microscope (or an entomologist)
- Ladybirds from Australia were introduced to California in the 1880's to save the citrus trees because of their effectiveness in controlling pests. This was so successful that more than 100 different species of ladybird were then brought to North America.
- Ladybirds love cosmos and dill, so if you want to attract more ladybirds to your garden try planting those!
But whatever you do, let every ladybird you see remind you that no matter how small you might feel sometimes, your contribution is important. Like the humble ladybird, persistently doing the work that you were put on earth to do does make a significant impact on the world.
Explore more of the Flower Faces Series here.