Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hiding in the Canopy

The calendar may show the end of April, but the stiff winds of March have yet to subside. No sooner have I swept the leaves off the back porch, a gust from the east waltzes them back under my feet. And don't even get me started on the futility of fixing my hair or trying to spray paint the outdoor chairs.

Despite these obvious drawbacks, another blustery day is always welcome as it keeps the heat away and makes outdoor playtime more enjoyable.

Wyatt wasn't too fond of the wind, however. He shrieked and stomped upset feet as the wind blew away a coveted thistle seed he'd found for his "collection." But then he also delighted in finding a dandelion puff, his breath sending its dozens of tiny seeds aloft....well, that is, he was delighted until he realized he couldn't get the seeds back.

The central focus of our afternoon, though, was the towering tulip poplar tree behind the swing set. My children were drawn to its small, lower branches whose dancing leaves beckoned them to hide among their full spring foliage.

Around and around the trunk each child stepped, jumping from root to root, pulling off leaves, trying to climb the too-slender limbs, and looking for bugs to examine. Surely with this hard a breeze, at least one caterpillar had fallen to the ground and had to start his heavenward climb once again.

Yet, as we looked up in the tree's canopy, it wasn't a caterpillar that caught my attention.


Thousands and thousands of those quasi-transparent, leaf-sucking bugs lined the under-sides of most of the leaves. Wyatt wasn't impressed with my tales of their how they could destroy a plant...and why should he? They didn't look too dangerous; in fact, he had to hold the leaf still and squint to see them.

As I sat there wondering what I could possibly do to kill these bugs, I caught a flash of bright red, then orange. Ladybugs. Some with their signature polka dots, some quite plain, their little legs scurrying up and down the highway of limbs and leaf stems as they searched for an aphid to munch on. The calvary was already on its way.As we went back inside for a nap, I looked back at the tree. From a distance, there's no evidence of the war being waged beneath those lush green leaves. But whether visible to the naked eye or not, each moment, there are daily battles for life being fought around me. If only I could see...

1 comment:

  1. Those battles do rage. I find I prefer when I don't see them . . . and so thankful for the One who fights for me.

    And be sure to tell Wyatt re: the dandelion, there are plenty more that one came from.