Friday, April 12, 2013


I LOVE BUGS! And if you have been taking my creative writing classes, following my blog or reading my book, I am sure you have figured that out. Honeybees and Dragonflies have both been a recent Weekly Muse.

We all have certain MUSES that catch our attention more quickly than others, and when I saw these glass ladybugs, my imagination went wild.

So, can you guess our MUSE this week? It wears red with black polka dots… Drum roll, pleeeeeeeease!

Seven Spotted Ladybug
What? I had already given it away? It was too easy to guess? I will try harder and build a stronger mystery next week (wink).

While there are nearly 5,000 species of ladybugs, the most popular is the Seven Spotted Ladybug. This ladybug has a shiny red body with the classic black spots. This ladybug comes from Europe. It was brought to the United States to help with pest control.

Yes, these CUTE little bugs are ravenous aphid eaters. Gardeners and famers love ladybugs and ladybug larvae for this reason. Aphids are very small insects that suck the nutritious juices from plants, leaving the plants withered and lifeless. Within a ladybug’s lifetime, it can eat up to 5,000 aphids. WOW!

Take a look at this video and watch a ladybug eating an aphid. Slimy, yet satisfying!

Many people do not like to use chemical pesticides in their gardens. Yes, pesticides are an easy way to get rid of unwanted pests, but they are also harmful to OUR health. But there is a solution. Home gardeners can BUY ladybugs. Take a look at this video and see how it works.

Ask your parents if they are interested in buying some ladybugs for your garden. Here is a link to a Ladybug Farm.  

Photo By: B. Tristan Denyer
So, if ladybugs eat aphids, what eats ladybugs? Spiders, dragonflies, wasps, frogs and BIRDS! But most birds recognize the ladybug’s bright color and know to hunt for something else. Ladybugs taste NASTY. When threatened, ladybugs secrete a smelly substance from the joints of their legs. Next time a ladybug lands on you, smell it. You’ll know what I’m talking about. Cute, but STINKY!

However, some people believe that if a ladybug lands on you, it means GOOD LUCK!

Ladybugs are most active during warm weather. When the weather turns cold, they will find shelter and hibernate. They will often hibernate together in a colony. Sometimes these colonies grow to thousands of ladybugs! NEAT!

So, I bet you are all wondering if all ladybugs are girls. Nope! There are boy ladybugs and girl ladybugs. Watch the trailer from “A Bug’s Life” to see a funny joke about this. You can fast forward to 1:35 if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

In fact, ladybugs were named after the Virgin Mary. European famers believed that their prayers were answered when these bugs swooped in and saved their crops from pests. Farmers began calling these miraculous critters “Beetles of Our Lady”. So, there you have it.

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF the setting of your story was a ladybug farm?

WHAT IF the main character in your story had a pet ladybug? WHAT IF your character could talk with this ladybug and understand its language.

WHAT IF those glass ladybugs are enchanted? Who did they belong to? What is special about these glass ladybugs?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “pesticide”. Here is the definition: a chemical used for killing pests, especially insects and rodents.


  1. what if there were only girl ladybugs?
    what if they called ladybugs gentlemenbugs?
    what if ladybugs didn't have wings?

    by Celeste B

  2. 1. What if ladybug smelled like candy, chocolate, caramel
    2. What if ladybugs came from Antarctica (freezing cold)
    3. What if ladybugs could do magic tricks
    4. What if ladybugs were strong like an elephant
    5. What if ladybugs could faster than a Cheetah
    6. What if ladybugs could go into outer space
    7. What if ladybugs could play anything!
    8. What if ladybugs had stripes instead of spots
    9. What if ladybugs were of different colors like rainbow
    10. What if ladybugs were active all year around (not just in warm weather)
    11. What if ladybugs could talk in english
    12. What if ladybugs could change colors with climate – winter: blue, spring: green, summer: red or yellow; fall: orange
    13. What if ladybugs were as big as dinosaurs
    14. What if ladybugs were as small as an ant
    15. What if ladybugs could clean houses (like they do plants) – we wouldn’t need a vaccum cleaner
    16. What if ladybugs were smart like humans
    17. What if ladybugs could hop like kangaroos
    18. What if ladybugs could fly like a bird
    19. What if ladybugs could swim like a fish
    20. What if ladybugs could sting like a scorpion

    - Amar

  3. Once upon a time there was a ladybug kingdom.It had a castle where the King and Queen ladybugs lived with a Prince and Princess. The kingdom had thousands of ladybug citizens. Near the ladybug kingdom, lived a dragon that breathed fire. He was an angry animal and wanted to come to the kingdom and burn ladybugs. The King wanted to fix this problem but didn't know what to do. One day, a giant ladybug came into town - he was a mind reader ladybug. The King hired him to find out what the dragon was thinking. The mind reader focused and figured out the dragon was angry because no one had celebrated his birthday. So the King planned a huge party for the dragon's birthday and everyone brought him some gifts. This made the dragon very happy - he became their friend and never bothered the ladybugs again. As the biggest gift, the ladybugs invited him to live in the castle with them and he accepted their invitation.

    Amar Kumar
    Second grade