Montauk Daisies Missing Petals

Who’s the Culprit?

Our neighborhood has quite a number of these Montauk Daisies blooming right now, but this patch has got to be the most interesting! It showcases a mystery . . . who ate the petals?? My first thought was rabbits. It just had to be rabbits! Bambi’s bunny friend Thumper loved to eat the clover blossoms, right? The eaten petals are near the ground and easy to reach, so it must be rabbits. No question about it.

But the truth is my assumption was way off base. Montauk Daisies are actually rabbit resistant. Who knew? Not me, obviously! The culprit is much smaller, and not fluffy at all. The petal thief was most likely a Common Earwig, as shown below. That’s quite a case of mistaken identity!

Common Earwig
Common Earwig Photo by

We often jump to conclusions just as quickly about people in our lives. We think we know who did what, and why they did it. We build an entire case against them, thinking that we know what’s really going on. And then we discover that we completely misunderstood what actually happened in the first place, and the “culprit” wasn’t the guilty party after all! How embarrassing.

Even more embarrassing is to lose our temper over something, assign fault to someone else, and later realize that we are to blame for the entire situation. In our house, whoever finishes something off needs to write it on the shopping list so that I’ll get more the next time I’m at the store. There have been times when I was the last to empty the cracker box or peanut butter jar, forgot to write it on the list, and then got angry the next time I went to the cabinet and there was none to be found! Someone was to blame, and it surely wasn’t me!! Oh, dear.

Perhaps we should jump down off the judgment seat, and leave that for God. He is, after all, the only one worthy and capable of sitting there. “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10) We fool ourselves when we think we can judge the attitudes and motives of anyone’s heart, even our own! “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) And besides, judging others makes us feel better than them, which is really just pride, isn’t it? Uh-oh, that’s mighty dangerous ground to be on. Pride is listed as one of the seven “deadly” sins for a reason: God opposes the proud! (James 4:6)

Life would be a lot less negative and stressful if we could just learn to let go of searching for culprits to judge and be mad at. Perhaps we need to daily practice humility, giving others the benefit of the doubt and room to make mistakes. Wouldn’t we want that for ourselves?

While you’re at it, go find a fluffy bunny to pet . . .

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