Who doesn’t love Eric Carle’s super illustrated bug book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar?” You haven’t read it? Shame! Then go read it now! It was my initiation into a wonderful world of insects, and caterpillars in particular. When my little one first showed interest in bugs, I figured this book would be a fun way to introduce insects to him in a non-threatening way. There was no stopping him after.
Stop! Don’t click over to the next post! This is not a book review about Carle’s book. This post is about the delightful world of insects that abound around us. If you have noticed, the last few days have seen a glut of dragonflies about town. No! You haven’t? By golly, by gosh, get out there and stop to smell the roses. They are beautiful in the early morning and late evening sun. If you need their coordinates, they are mostly found around the Kaikondrahalli Lake strutting their stuff during these hours. So put on your walking shoes and take a walk.
Insects are often regarded as pests. They are annoying. They either bite you or bite things that are dear to you. They are oblivious to humans and they seem to live in a world of their own. Selfish do-gooders! Why should anyone love them?
I called them do-gooders, yes! They are self-centered, but are philanthropists at the same time. Isn’t all of nature designed that way? The only no-gooders are us, humans. We take away more than we are willing to give back. We live in deplorable conditions decade after decade, unperturbed. So can we learn something from these creatures to alter our lives just a tad?
I watched a monarch caterpillar chomp down an entire milkweed leaf in 20 minutes. He ate three leaves that day and morphed into a chrysalis the next day. I was fascinated. I picked up from these pests of nature valuable lessons for life. I learnt that perseverance, dedication and indulgence can get you what you want.
We’ve had visitors in our backyard quietly working their magic, and I’ve managed to capture most of them going about their business. I think of insects as many things, and one among that list is that of a mystic. They know when a plant is susceptible and get to their mode of destruction instantly.
We’ve had various kinds of insects and arachnids in our garden: caterpillars, spiders, centipedes, earthworms, beetles, bees, bumblebees, ants, slugs, snails, dragonflies and earwigs.
A long list to contend with if one is trying to grow some vegetables and ornamentals. At first, the impulsive thought was to become a bug exterminator by dowsing them with chemicals, but that is playing into the deplorable side of our lowly existence here on earth.
I let nature play her part and refrained from doing anything at all. If I could counter their mystic abilities, then they would find elsewhere to unleash their meditative powers I thought. With patience, forbearance, and indulgence, I kept fortifying the mud. The garden was fed with vermicompost and organic waste, and in due course, things turned around. The squatters found somewhere else to squat.
Apart from lending color to the canvas, these insects are packed with quirkiness. In a series of posts, I’d like to make the insect world appealing and inviting to the reader. So stay tuned for the first in the series about caterpillars in my next post. Until then keep busy and stay green!