Mint Fresh Ladybug


I'm a big fan of fresh mint. Thankfully it grows like a weed at my parent's house, so it's readily accessible. I'll occasionally buy it from the local farm stand (and failing that, the local super market). I can't help but try to grow it, although apartment living is not a prime location for growing anything at scale.

I'm not one to put all my eggs in one basket. When I get a new crop of mint, I take a few tried and true approaches. Some of it I eat, straight up. It's mint. You can do that. Some of it I'll add to loose tea. I'll separate out a few leaves to dry out and add to my long-term supply. But some of it I'll try to grow, either in a glass of water or in a pot of soil.

Given decent light, mint will grow fairly well with nothing else but water. My kitchen faces East (more or less), which works well enough. In my little window overlooking the sink I keep a glass of water filled with mint, green onion, and anything else I don't mind looking at on a daily basis.

If you have any sort of green thumb, you quickly realize there is a never ending battle between your plants and insects. If you have a house and aren't secluded a few stories above ground, no doubt deer, rabbits, and other mammals are also your mortal enemies. But I digress; in the war against insects, you are wise to realize that there are also the good guys: the insects that feed upon your enemy.

It's easy to hate spiders; they look scary, after all. And a tiny number of them can actually kill you. But thankfully your typical orb spider will hide from you while otherwise kill thousands of insects. Another good friend? Ladybugs. They love aphids, which will often overwhelm plants seemingly overnight.

About a month ago I had a number of mint plants (as well as some green onion) growing in a glass of water. A little movement caught my eye; it was a ladybug traversing quickly over the plants. In some ways I felt bad for it; there were no aphids on the plants (to which I felt good for my plants). I was impressed at its speed and agility; in quick movements it spanned up and down the stalk, over and around leaves large and small. It was actually tough to photograph. In the end, I think this was my favorite.