Sunday, August 26, 2012

La Coccinella ~ Tiny Red Round and Mighty ~ Kirsten Tannenbaum Earrings by Mom Supports Motherhood and Children ~

is in
Sooner than we know it,
it will be time
for the President !
Be sure you are registered and ready !
Vote your Conscience ~ It's between You and Your Booth !
Back to Ladybugs ....
Children remind me
of little
LadyBugs !
them, too
...of a LadyBug !
(I take that as a great honor).

I do have a lot of Lady Bug Earrings  ! 
Sooner than we know it, it will also be Christmas Time !
There is some connection between Lady Bugs and Christmas ....
Perhaps its something to do with the Christmas Tannenbaum ?


Q: Are Lady Bugs or Lady Beetles named for the Virgin Mary?

A: The lady bug and its symbolism is not exclusively linked to Our Lady. This most poetic of all insects has a variety of names which are not connected with Mary. In some cultures the lady bug is assimilated to the chicken and called puolette du Bon Dieu (French), gallineta de la Mare de Deu (Catalan),or pola, pula (Italian), or reference is made to the dove, palomella (Italian), and cucusor (Rumanian). English culture knows an alternative name which assimilates the lady bug with the cow: It becomes lady cow or cow lady. Other variants are: porceletto de S. Lucia (piglet), pecorella della Madonna (sheep), Herrgottsmückel (insect), Maikatt (cat).

It is true that most of these names–patterned after well known domestic animals and thus suggesting familiarity and loving relation–are connected with either God himself or the Holy Virgin, as in lady bug and Herrgottskäfer. The lady bug is used as an attribute of the divine, and frequently plays the role of a messenger or servant of God. The lady bug establishes a connection with heaven as is evident in many children's rhymes, for example, "Barbelote, barbelote, monte au ciel, / Garde-moi une place auprès du bon Dieu." (fly-fly to heaven to ready a place for me...)

A variety of cultures make this connection between lady bug and God and/or Holy Mary. The lady bug is called boarina del Signor (shepherdess of Christ, in some regions of Italy and Sweden), Indragopa (Sanscrit, meaning Indra's shepherd) or Jungfru Marias nyckelpiga (Swedish: Our Lady's servant in charge of the keys) and arca de Dios (Spanish: the ark of God).

According to some authors (Mannhardt, Riegler) this points to a pre-Christian origin where the 'lady bug' was the symbol of one or several divinities. Christian faith and culture assimilated these symbolisms, renamed them and gave them a new (sometimes not so new!) content.

The lady bug is the preferred little creature of Our Lady. It lives under her protection. To kill a lady bug means to anger Our Lady for nine days. The lady bug is a bringer of gifts. It brings oil to Jesus, wine to Mary and bread to God the Father. It is, in particular, the bringer of good things to humans: clothes and pots and jewels. These gifts are usually in gold, thus also the name 'goldie bird' for the lady bug in parts of England. The lady bug brings children and is therefore called 'little midwife' (commaruccia) in some regions of Italy. There is also a relation between the lady bug and the sun. In several European cultures the little insect is called 'child of the sun' or 'little sun', and stands for sunny weather. Flight directions are interpreted as weather forecasts and as oracles in matters of the heart: "fly where the man is found, I love the best."

The lady bug is a porta fortuna or charm (good luck) and, last but not least, a symbol of the soul. In this latter capacity the lady bug is called anima della Madona (soul of Our Lady) or anima del paradiso. Should anybody have the misfortune to kill the bug, he or she would die the very next day.

The connection with Our Lady is therefore not an exclusive one. The bug was assimilated with Mary probably in an effort to baptize it and to make it Christian without depriving it of its office as divine messenger.

Our Lady's Bug

by Bro. John M. Samaha, SM

What insect has such a colorful and fascinating history as the ladybird, also known as the ladybug? In an age of faith, when people saw earth mirroring heaven, this tiny creature was thought to enjoy the special protection of the Virgin Mary. Reversing its role in the last century, this small symbol of Our Lady burst into prominence as a protector of people and their food supply. As the enemy of aphids, the ladybird has rendered service calculated in the billions of dollars in the past century alone.

We have good reason to be grateful for this little beetle and to the Lady for whom it is named.

Banned by the Emperor

Agricultural specialists first became interested in the ladybug when California orange groves were mercilessly attacked by a voracious insect pest in the late nineteenth century. In 1880, agricultural experts discovered that a parasitic insect was infesting orange trees in California's Santa Clara Valley. The infestation was known locally as "San Jose scale." Eventually it was traced to the flowering peach trees imported from China. These trees were infected with tiny sap-sucking insects until then unknown in the western world.

The deadly visitor insect from Asia found the orange trees a delicious victim and spread quickly. They multiplied so rapidly that they became a mortal threat to the citrus industry in all of California, and even on the Atlantic seaboard. By 1898, the havoc wreaked by these aphids was so grave that the German emperor forbade the importation of American fruits and living plants.

Finding an Antidote

The Department of Agriculture tried a variety of pesticides, with little success. Mr. C.V. Riley, chief entomologist of the Department of Agriculture, suggested that aphids could be controlled by introducing other insects which would prey on them. In the 1890s, such a proposal seemed radical and preposterous, and drew scoffs even from close associates.

Working against indifference and opposition, Riley was determined to find a creature to attack the aph-ids. He learned that aphids caused little harm in Australia, and concluded that some natural enemy was keeping them under control.

Mr. Albert Koebele discovered that a variety of the harmless ladybird beetle was the antidote. Gathering ladybirds from Australian plants by hand, Koebele shipped 140 of these plant-saving beedes to Los Angeles. When set free in an infested orange grove on trees covered with gauze screens, the ladybird liberators cleared these trees of scale within a few days.

More ladybirds were imported, and California scientists began to raise them in wholesale quantities. In California groves they brought cottony-cushion scale under control within two years.

Following this success, this variety of beetle was introduced to more than thirty countries. Without exception, they reduced or eliminated the damage of scale insects on citrus trees.

So dramatic and conclusive was the ladybird experiment that it marked a turning point in scientific agriculture. Since then, hundreds of attempts have been made to find insects to control insect pests and noxious plants. Economic entomology is an outgrowth of the ladybird experiment to salvage California's orange-growing business.

Marian Roots of the Name
The ladybird rose to the rescue as the protector of the human food supply. Although this was a new role for the colorful beetle, the bright insect has been well known for centuries.
How did it become known as "Our Lady's Bird?" No one seems to know exactly. In Elizabethan times many common creatures were attributed names with a sacred association. Such names were usually local in character. In the case of the ladybird, another factor came into play. Not only was it a colloquial name employed in a few areas of England, but it found its way into many languages in forms closely related.
In German, the tiny critter was called marienhuhn (Mary's chicken), marien-kafer (Mary's beetle) and marienwurmschen (Mary's little worm). Marienkuh was an earlier form related to the English "Lady-cow." The Swedes used the name marias nyckelpiga, and the farmers still call the insect "the Virgin Marys golden hen." A slightly different tack is taken in French and Spanish.
In these languages the names link the insect with the protection of God. The French call it la bete a bon Dieu (God s animal), while the Spanish use the name vaquilla de Dios (Gods little cow).
Both coincidence and cultural exchange fall short in explaining so widespread a view concerning an insect. Scientific names in Latin are common to many nations and languages. But it is extraordinary for folk names to be so closely parallel. Why should peoples in so many different lands envision the ladybird as enjoying heavenly protection, especially that of Mary?
Probably because persons who have grown up in rural areas know that birds and animals almost always leave the ladybird strictly alone, for the ladybird is proficient in chemical warfare. It produces a yellowish fluid which it discharges in time of danger. Though seldom noticed by the blunted human sense of smell, this serum is highly repulsive to foes of the ladybird. Consequently, the bright bug goes about its business with virtual immunity from attack.
Amazed at the beetle's sheltered and protected life, human observers probably concluded that it enjoyed the special favor of the Lady whom they themselves venerated and whose assistance they sought. It seemed natural to call the insect "Ladybird." People may have seen a similarity in the creature's charmed life to the preservation of Our Lady from sin. In the England of that time, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was a popular belief. English dialects included variant titles like Lady-beetle, Lady-clock, Lady-cow. Standardization of speech erased these names, and gradually the capitalization of the first letter was discontinued. Now only the scholarly reader continues to find in this insect's name a reference to earlier reverence and Marian relation.
Farmers of Elizabethan England may not have understood clearly the economic significance of the ladybird, but they knew that it fed on other insects. Hops, long a major crop, are vulnerable to the attack of plant lice. Ladybirds abounded in hop fields. But not until 1861 did scientific records mention that ladybirds feed on aphids that infest hops.
Folk literature preserves some clues. Even today, children of many lands know some form of this rhyme:
Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home! Your house is on fire, Your children do roam. Except little Ann, who sits in a pan Weaving gold laces as fast as she can.
Children recite this rhyme after a ladybird has been placed on an outstretched finger. This practice has changed little through centuries as indicated by a woodcut dating from the reign of King George II, depicting a child addressing a ladybird before flight.
Having more rhyme than reason, the jingle's significance is clearer in view of its historical setting. Farmers often gathered hop plants and burned them when the harvest was finished. Ladybirds swarmed and children enjoyed warning the little birds to flee from danger. "Little Ann" was the farmers name for a young grub of the ladybird attached to a leaf and shedding its skin, or "weaving gold laces."

Protector from God?
Experts believe that the ladybird will never become obsolete and outlive its usefulness in agricultural endeavor. The life-saver beetle is more efficient for many operations than any pesticide yet devised. Those reared under natural conditions are more abundant and potent than those produced by in-sectaries. In the U.S. alone, at least 350 varieties have been identified. The protective work of the ladybird is responsible for a huge saving annually for the country's farm economy. Without it, growers would be at a loss to produce substantial crops of needed fruits.
With no inkling of its significance in their own era or its future role in world agriculture, medieval farmers reverently named the little beetle, "Our Lady's Bird." How appropriate that the creature so named became a protector of our food supply and the symbol of a branch of applied science.
Eyes of faith allow us to see that Our Lady's Bird is, in fact, a messenger from a provident God.


Here is one version of the Song !

Coccinelle - Ladybug

Une coccinelle au bout de mon doigt,
En soufflant j'ouvre ses ailes de soie,
Qu'elle porte au loin la bonne nouvelle
Qui ne va pas de soi : la vie est belle.

A ladybug on the tip of my finger,
With a puff I open her silk wings,
Let her carry into the distance the good news
That aren't always obvious: life is beautiful.

Belle comme elle seule peut se rendre belle,
Pas souvent ou alors en trichant,
Mais, sauter à pieds joints dans les flaques d'eau,
Ca c'est cadeau.

Beautiful like only she can get,
Not often or else by cheating,
But, jumping in puddles with your two feet,
That doesn't cost a thing


Thank you always for your kindness, Mom K


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