On the way up north to our Canada vacation, we stopped to spend some time at Niagara on the lake. We wanted to see Niagara Falls, and break up the long drive to Ontario. When we pulled into the street our hotel was on, I spotted a large vacant lot full of Queen Anne’s Lace. It was a wonderful plot of flowers, tall and thick and abundant. There were many other wildflowers too, but by far the most impressive, were the Queen Anne’s lace. A White sea of blooming petal cups floating on elongated stems. Their delicate broad heads aloft slender dainty necks. The flowers grew so high, they reached above the height of the girls. All spring and summer they had been growing happily in this spot. Thriving in the open space. I could not wait to visit them up close.
Upon waking the next morning, I knew Cam wanted to sleep in and so the girls and I made our way to the vacant flower lot. Instantly the girls forged into the foliage, flowers swaying to and fro. As is the case with children, they look in detail and it was only a few moments until Elle exclaimed “Look at the ladybugs!” I took a moment to look outside of the viewfinder and delight in her wonder. The Queen Anne’s Lace was covered in ladybugs. Every flower I looked at held a ladybug. It was like they were living in little Queen Anne’s Lace houses! Now we are not ladybug experts, but we are certainly greatly interested in them, and what we do know for sure is that ladybugs are good luck. At this moment we felt very, very lucky. Masses of wildflowers and masses of ladybugs! Off the girls went with animated joy. Chatting about the number of spots and the different colours and which were boys and which were girls, and that ladybugs actually are not bugs at all, they are beetles. My heart raced with excitement for the beauty. Along with the ladybugs, there were loads of other pollinators. Beautiful flocks of white moths were flitting from resting spots as the girls waded through the stalks. You can only imagine the magic of the morning sun shinning on long hair with white wings scattering as they walked amongst body deep flowers.
At some point Elle decided that we need to take some ladybugs with us to Canada to give to Deborah, who we were staying with, as a present. Elle had a miniature hand-made cardboard suitcase with a masking tapped flip lid with her, and so she started diligently collecting ladybugs in the little box. The ladybugs were not particularly interested in being inside the box, despite it being an adorable box, so I had to help capture them. While part of me always feels a little sorry for the creatures of interest, I know that as a whole, it is healthy for the planet that we risk ‘over loving’ ladybugs.
Meanwhile Maya had turned her attentions to the beautiful surface of the soil we were standing on. The top layer had dried and cracked in such a way that you could pick up small compact pieces in sheets. They felt almost like egg carton paper, and were so beautiful I considered if we could paint on them. Maya started making piles of these soil sheets. We could have stayed there all day.
As is the case, when you are having fun, but have to be somewhere else, the time went by quickly. I knew Cam would be wondering where we were, so we went back in the car to leave. Just as we were doing this a flat-bed truck with a tractor and slasher on the back pulled up alongside us. The driver of the truck proceeded to unload the tractor. I thought it was very interesting for the girls to learn how you get a large vehicle off the back of another large vehicle, so I suggested the girls get back out of the car and watch. Simultaneously intrigue and shock collided, “Oh my goodness” I said, “He is about to slash the flowers!” I exclaimed to the girls, thinking both what a shame, and what lucky timing it was that we arrive just prior to the tractor. For months this lot had sat untouched, and then on this day, they day we arrived to frolic, bam. Goodbye flowers. While I was enteraining the fantasy of being this speedy superwoman, that runs jet fast and pics all the flowers before the slasher gets to them, and then stands marveling at the most enormous bouquet of Queen Anne’s Lace in the world, Elle was being swallowed by distress “But what about the ladybugs! What will happen to all the ladybugs?” Her large blue eyes looking with such worry, I thought she might cry! The ladybugs, the poor sweet ladybugs.
We spoke to the man briefly, telling him that we came to pick the wildflowers and that we collected ladybugs too! He kindly offered to us that he would start slashing over the far side and that we could pick some more flower if we wanted. It was very nice of the man to be good-natured to us, and I could not help but think he liked the fact that moments before we three had been so happy in this field, celebrating the beauty. None the less, he proceeded to slash it down.
It is a funny world we live in, where we place value and what we consider to be beautiful, and what we think is special or important, and how we end up in our roles in life. The girls could not help being a bit cross at the man because in their mind he was destroying the ladybug habitat. Indeed he was…but I explained that he was just doing his job, and that the ladybugs would hopefully move elsewhere. And so we left with a basket of Queen Anne’s Lace, a box of ladybugs and a very good lesson about enjoying wildflowers in vacant city lots while we can, because tomorrow, they just might be gone.
The girls are wearing – Boy + Girl Grey Dot Natalie Swing Top, Boy + Girl Japanese Plaid Rolled Chino, Boy + Girl Cream Plaid Kurta, Boy + Girl Light Wash Rachel Denim, Little Creative Factory Beret , Minnetonka Back Zip Boots, Frye Dakota Boots