Monday, May 20, 2019

Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home, a Medieval poem

         The Ladybug, has a fascinating history. There are about 500 species in the United States, and 6,000 different species around the world.
How it got its name: In Europe, during the Middle Ages, swarms of insects were destroying the crops. The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon thereafter, the Ladybugs came, devouring the plant-destroying pests and saving the crops! 
               Image result for image medieval farmers
 The farmers called these beautiful insects "The Beetles of Our Lady", and eventually they became popularly known as "Lady Beetles".  Ladybugs go by a few different names, including: Ladybirds, Ladybugs, Lady beetles and Lady cows.
          The name “ladybird” originated in the Middle Ages when the insects were known as the “beetle of Our Lady”. They were named after the Virgin Mary, who in early religious paintings was often shown wearing a red cloak. The spots of the seven spot...
The red wings were said to represent the Virgin's cloak ,and the black spots were symbolic of her seven joys and seven sorrows.
"Ladybug, ladybug fly away home,
Your house in on fire and your children are gone"
Also in Medieval England, the farmers would set torches to the old Hop vines after the harvest, to clear the fields for the next planting. The poem was a warning to the aphid-eating Ladybugs, still crawling on the vines in search of aphids. 

  All ladybugs are less than ¼ inch long, oval or round shaped, and have six short
legs. ... Sometimes, the ladybug will be a solid color with no pattern at all, and can be yellow, brown, or black. These colors and patterns are thought to warn predators of the ladybug’s bad taste and poison.
   They can have as many as 16 spots, and some ladybugs have no spots at all. Both male and female Ladybugs have spots, and can eat up to 50 aphids a day!

Image result for images california citrus growersIn the 1880's, California, a destructive scale insect was killing large groves of lemon and orange groves. The orchard owners released thousands of Australian Ladybugs with the hopes that they would gain the upper hand. Within 2 years the scale insect infestation was conquered and the trees began to bear fruit again.  The Ladybugs had singlehandedly saved an entire industry (worth half a billion dollars today).
Quite the Superhero 

Ladybugs are great garden predators. Here are six “bad bugs” they’ll eat:Aphids, Mites, Whiteflies, Scale insects, Mealybugs, Thrips

Flowers that attract ladybugs are:
Angelica, Calendula, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Cosmos, Dill, Fennel, Feverfew, Marigold, Statice, Sweet Alyssum, Yarrow
    Nearly ALL cultures believe that a Ladybug is lucky. Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune. 

    In France, if a Ladybug landed on you, whatever ailment you had would fly away with the Ladybug.


    In Belgium, people believed that if a Ladybug crawled across a young girl's hand, she would be married within a year. 

    People in Switzerland told their young children  
    that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybugs. (...and we thought Storks did that)!

    In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the
Ladybug understands human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.

According to a Norse legend, the Ladybug came to earth riding on a bolt of lightning.
    The Victorians in Britain believed that if a Ladybug alighted on your hand, you would be receiving new gloves.....if it landed on your head, 
 a new hat would be in your future, and so on.

    In the 1800's, some doctors used Ladybugs to treat measles!  They also believed that if you mashed ladybugs (ewww!) and put them into a cavity, the insects would stop a toothache!

    During the Pioneer days, if a family found a Ladybug in their log cabin during the winter, it was considered a "Good Omen".

       In Norway, if a man and a woman spot a Ladybug at the same time, there will be a romance between them.

"Glückskäfer" -- Austria 
"Slunécko" - Czechoslovakia  
"Mariehøne" -- Denmark  
"LadyBird" -- England 
"Leppäkerttu" -- Finland  
"Coccinelle" -- France  
"Marienkafer" -- Germany  
"Paskalitsa" -- Greece  
"Parat Moshe Rabenu" -- Hebrew 
"Lieveheersbeestje" -- Holland  
"Katicabogár" -- Hungary  
"Coccinella" -- Italy  
"Tentou Mushi" -- Japan  
"Da'asouqah" -- Jordan  
"Mudangbule" -- Korea  
"Mara" -- Latvia  
"Kumbang" -- Malaysia   
"Mariehøne" -- Norway
"Biedronka" -- Poland  
"Joaninha" -- Portugal  
"Buburuzã" -- Romania  
"Bosya Kopovka" -- Russia  
"Pikapolonica" -- Slovania  
"Mariquita" -- Spain  
"Nykelpiga" -- Sweden  
"Ugurböcegi" -- Turkey  
"Ladybug" -- United States  
"Ilsikazana Esincane" -- Zulu 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Goats and Good Friends, the perfect day.

    Thank you Norma and Carol for  
     inviting me to the Greeley Goat show. 
 We lucked out on the weather, 
                         and saw some wethers!                                        Sweet La Mancha does.             
 Goats were among the first domesticated animals.          Between 10,000-11,000 years ago, Neolithic farmers in the Near East starting keeping small herds. Today over 300 breeds of goats exist, living on every continent except Antarctica. From tropical rain forests, to dry hot deserts and cold high altitude regions they have survived. 
                      Image result for image Bezoar ibexes alive
  Every breed is adapted from the wild Bezoar Ibex.  
       Glad mine do not have horns this large!
           At the show, there were lots of babies
                           to oooh and aaaaah over.                
                           pygmy goats


Nigerian Dwarf goats 

                           One of my favorites breeds...
the Nubians

For me,"Best in show" was this huge Boer billy goat. Compared to the other animals he seemed massive. Although I know he could stomp me flat if I got inside his pen, he acted gentle, and I thought he was very special. 
   We spent hours enjoying all the goats and friendly folks. Lots of young girls and boys showing animals they had obviously spent many hours working with and grooming. 
                             Boer goat judging
                         We came packin' (lunches) 
        so took a break to refuel before the drive home. 
                        A wonderful relaxing day.

                                   THE END

Monday, April 22, 2019

Colorado Tartan Day, Celebrating Scottish Independence and the Declaration of Arbroath

     Shared a wonderful day with my sister at the Boulder County Fairgrounds during the Tartan Day festival. Here is the Colorado state tartan!
  There were several tents set up creating a Scottish
village offering sights and sounds begging us to explore and experience all things Scottish. 
We discovered armor, antique weaponry, demonstrations of spinning (this nice lady explained the drop-spindle which I have yet to master) beautiful
clothing, and books on clan history. And all the while we listened to amazing Highland Rock and Roll performed by the Angus Muhr group                                               
Image result for angus mohr

          There was a blacksmith demonstration, 

    We had a rare glimpse of a Faerie, as well as numerous Scottie dogs. 
For Steampunk lovers there was a leather helm fashioned after the headgear worn by physicians in the middle ages during the plague years.  
Above items created by Michael Trent 

About Tartan Day 
Originating in Canada in the mid-1980's, Tartan Day is a North American Scottish heritage celebration of Scottish Independence. Held in the Spring, the gathering commemorates the April 6th, 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
   Submitted on that date, in Latin, to Pope John XXII, the intention was to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state, while defending Scotland's right to use military action when unjustly attacked.
    Believed to have been written in the Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning, Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, the letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. 
                                            Arbroath Abbey
     The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I, and a letter from four Scottish bishops which all presumably made similar points.                                               
 Steeped in turmoil and political intrigue the declaration was part of a broader campaign for independence from England's Norman kings and a plea to lift the excommunication of Robert The Bruce.
    Here are the most famous lines from the English language translation by Sir James Fergusson, Keeper of the Records of Scotland. 
  ...for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
               Woot woot thanks for stopping by.