Leaf Lace

Leaf Lace

Leaf Lace © 2011 Bo Mackison

The entire universe is concentrated in a garden.  ~ Sobin Yamada

The leaf may look lacy and rather pretty, but the source of the damage to this leaf–and millions more like it–is neither lacy nor pretty. The culprit is the Japanese beetle.  The beetles eat the soft material between the veins which gives the leaves a lacy effect.

Since first found in the United States in New Jersey in 1916, it has slowly migrated south and west, arriving in northern Illinois and Wisconsin 10-15 years ago. The beetle is found in every state east of the Mississippi except for Florida, and is capable of damaging a variety of vegetation including crops, weeds, and dozens of species of ornamental trees.

The Japanese beetle — not my friend! Whenever I see a beetle in my garden, I pick it off the plants and drop it into a pot of soapy water. It only partially helps, but at least I feel like I am doing something to protect my garden without resorting to potent sprays and poisons.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She passionately dislikes any and all insects that cause damage to gardens and trees.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    It’s a shame that the Japanese Beetle is so destructive as it really is such a pretty lacy leaf. At first I had thought you had photographed a leaf which is changing due to the changing season.

  2. How looks can deceive

  3. Ghost leaf – very interesting.

  4. Like lace!! Altho that Japanese beetle is a pest..it creates beautiful art!!!

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