A lucky Lady

A Lucky Lady - Photograph by Laura Lecce
A Lucky Lady – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Life is supposedly based on a simple equation… Work hard and you will be successful. This may be somewhat true, but I believe that a whole heap of luck is also involved. There are many things you can do in life to increase your chances at being lucky – optimism, open mindedness and determination will go far in helping you live the life you consider successful, which of course, is very different for all of us. So today I offer you this lady beetle, which is considered a sign of good luck by many cultures. My grandmother strongly believes in luck, and would tape four-leaf clovers to all of the framed photos she had around the house. When I was a young child I would go hunting in the garden to find shiny red, yellow or orange lady beetles. After returning from the garden with one in my hand, my grandmother used to recite a nursery rhyme in Italian as she was tracing circles around the lady beetle on my palm. I no longer remember the words of the rhyme, but it was telling the lady beetle to fly away and find me a husband. As it turns out, a month after my husband and I started dating he went to Italy with his parents for 2 months. On his return he gifted me a necklace with a beautiful lady beetle charm attached, and 5 years on we were married. So, sometimes in life working hard doesn’t mean anything at all, you just need a little luck and a lady beetle.

Flower Friday – Hibiscus

Hibiscus - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hibiscus – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Whenever I see a hibiscus flower I immediately associate it with tropical vacations. Beautiful and large flowers, they come in a variety of stunning colors. In Australia we have a hibiscus harlequin bug (Tectocoris diopthalamus) which is also brightly colored, but a dreaded pest to the hibiscus plant. It will pierce through the stem of tender shoots and flower buds to feed on the sap, causing the buds to drop off. These bugs also feed on cotton, a few Australian natives and some fruit trees. Once a female lays her eggs she will stand guard and protect them. In Australia we call them stink bugs because when they get disturbed, they release a very bad smell which triggers mass smell production from nearby friends. Happy weekend everyone!

Hibiscus Harlequin Bug - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hibiscus Harlequin Bug – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hide and Seek – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Rhinoceros beetles are the largest of all beetles, and in far north Queensland can grow up to 2.5inches (about 6cms). I’d like to think that this beautiful male rhinoceros beetle who lives in Cairns is playing hide and seek with his lady friend inside the coconut. However, it might be that he is actually having a territorial dispute with another male over this lovely coconut house. The beetle in the coconut was also playing hide and seek with me, so I didn’t get a good look to see if it had horns or not (which only males have and are used to fight off other males over the privilege to mate with a female). Judging by the thick armor and huge horns, I get the feeling though that male beetles just don’t know how to be friendly at all.