Friday, July 4, 2014

Ladybugs and the F(l)ight of the Aphids

Our Butterfly Garden is growing and thriving!  Milkweed (as it's name suggests) has started to shoot up all over the place.  As the Milkweed grows in numbers, the aphids have also begun their hostile takeover.  These little yellow bugs have come in droves and I've had a very difficult time trying to contain them.

Essentially, the aphids take over the Milkweed plant. Although they don't kill the Milkweed, they make an uncomfortable environment for the Monarch Caterpillars.  I did some research and I kept coming up with the suggestion to get ladybugs and release them in the garden.  However, the ladybugs may also eat the Caterpillars, so it is a risk to take.  I was hoping to be able to get local ladybugs but was unsuccessful in my venture and only received a lot of strange looks from local garden vendors as I asked.

Ladybug hanging out in a Sunflower
ISO 400 ~ 60mm ~ f/5.6 ~ 1/125 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

I went ahead and ordered the ladybugs online, however, I may have gone a little overboard as I ordered 2000.... I figured more is better, right??

Ladybugs at their Release Party
ISO 800 ~ 60mm ~ f/5.6 ~ 1/125 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

While we were outside releasing the ladybugs, it started to rain... I didn't get quite as many photos as I would have liked because of the rain, but it was a lot of fun and the boys enjoyed the process.

G watching the Ladies
ISO 800 ~ 60mm ~ f/5.6 ~ 1/80 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

After releasing the ladybugs, I found a Monarch Egg.  I decided to keep a close eye on it so I can bring the Caterpillar indoors once it has hatched.

Monarch Butterfly Egg
ISO 640 ~ 60mm ~ f/5.0 ~ 1/200 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

Our Fourth of July plans were shifted when our youngest came down with Bronchitis.  We are laying low and enjoying the quiet of the weekend.  

Remember that freedom always comes with a price... I thank all the men and women who have served, are serving and for those who have payed the ultimate price.  

Freedom should never be taken for granted.

Capturing the Moment <3


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