Postcards From Baby
Ouch, Ouch & Ouch

Lacewings, Geckos and Chickens. Oh my!

Lacewing_eggsLacewing Eggs

Sometimes good things show up in the most unlikely places, like the lacewing eggs pictured above. I love lacewings, their delicate looking wings and legs make them appear impossibly fragile. I love the orderly way in which the eggs are suspended on the thinnest of filament, all in a row, pristine and white.

I found this strand while I was scooping out chicken feed on the front porch. I bent over and spotted them hanging from the bottom edge of a metal chair. Soon enough the eggs will mature and the larvae will emerge. Lacewing larvae do not look at all fragile and are, in fact, the stage that is most beneficial to gardeners. They feed on garden pests than seem to multiply and take over our beloved vegetables and flowers. Aphids, mealy bugs, thrips and leaf hoppers.

Each little larvae can eat up to 200 pests a week and they will do this for two to three weeks before they pupate. They spin a littlte white coccoon, go to sleep for a bit and wake up as a winged lacewing only to start the process all over again. I don't know what the larvae will find to eat on our front porch. I'm crossing my fingers that they don't dive over the side and into the chicken yard because the chickens also have voracious appetites and will eat anything that moves.

I imagine that the geckos that crawl along the walls of the porch will find the larvae, eat them and then they (the geckos) will make their way into the chicken yard. It will be like a living version of the children's story, "There Was An Old Woman"  but with insects, geckos and chickens. If you remember, the old woman swallowed a fly, then a spider, then a bird and so on and so on.  It makes it sound like a blood bath out in the garden. I best stay inside for a little while longer.


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