This past Saturday was a glorious–sunny and warm with a lovely breeze all day long–and I spent the early part of it talking about citizen science at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. That’s where I met Zepur, age six, who arrived sporting ladbybug earrings and clutching her own copy of Citizen Scientists. She told me she and her dad had already begun listening for frogs near their house, and then she pulled these hand-written checklists and notes from inside the front cover of her book. It was the sort of moment that makes a writer like me giddy.
I gave my talk, including a little introduction to the Lost Ladybug Project, and then Zepur, her dad, myself, and a dozen hearty ladybugging newbies headed out into the Museum’s courtyard for a look around. We were in the middle of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. We tried to shake ladybugs out of magnolias trees and lilac bushes, but came up empty. In fact, I was gearing up to launch my “sometimes science is like this” schtick when we approached what I now call the Crabapple Tree of Happiness. There we found the mother lode of ladybug larvae, enough for everyone to have a closer look. And then, with much cheering and oohing and ahhing, we spotted one mighty fine and much-appreciated Asian multicolored ladybug.
Thank you Zepur and friends. It was fun hunting ladybugs with you!