Sunday, June 15, 2008

Welcome to Pillar Place 2008

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ~Richard Bach

It's begun... and not in a small way.

DD's parsley plant was beginning to bolt, so I asked her to go out and cut it down. We'd dry the leaves and restock our own parsley, and she'd gain a bit of control over her garden again.

She came in with parsley all right.

And three swallowtail caterpillars.

Okay, I'm good with that. I pull out the containers, the napkins, the netted box. I'm ready.

Ha. Famous last words. As I'm getting those three put away... she comes back with another. And another. Now she's on a mission.

She finds nine on her parsley. Then decides to check the rue, dill and carrots. One on the rue. Phew ... I was worried. We have bushes and bushes of rue and the odds were good there would be a ton. None on the carrots. Phew again. Two on the dill. Well crud, that's not good. My dill plants are only just starting to come back and are about 2 inches tall -- nowhere near enough food for even ONE bug. Oh no... FOUR on the parsley plant next to the dill. We're up to eleven that will be eating parsley, and despite DDs fairly large plant, we're not going to have enough for them either.

What to do? Worse, they are on curly-leaf parsley. Last year, I discovered that they will not only eat the food they're hatched on, but the very specific type of food. I tried feeding flat leaf parsley bugs my curly parsley, and they'd have nothing to do with it.

We left the new bugs on their respective plants and went to the store. Not only did I need more food, but I needed more glass holders (I'm telling you what, I've decided monarchs are WAY easier than swallowtail). Go to Walmart and buy every last votive holder they have, as well as a dill plant. Go to Agway, and find (PHEW!) three curly leaf parsley plants of decent size. Still need more dill, so go to SILs house because she mentioned she had a bunch of dill coming up.

She did. LOTS. Unfortunately, she also had a BUNCH of swallowtail babies to go with the dill... and they were on the only plants that were small, sickly and far from the main group of healthy plants. They were also at the base of steps and would assuredly either starve or get stepped on. DD insisted we take them home.

So now, all told, inside the house we have TWENTY-FIVE (it was 26... don't ask) pillars. And there are still at least four more outside (DD begged to bring them in because it was going to rain... I stood firm -- guilty, but firm).

No, we didn't name them. We started but... get real. You think I can tell them all apart? With the possible exception of the only moderately large one we're calling "Bubba", they all look the same.

Welcome to Pillar Place 2008:

Here's Bubba:


I woke up today at 3 a.m. and wondered if I set my vole trap correctly. I laid there and thought, "Did I flip over the little metal whoosies that hold the trap shut?"

It's pouring down rain outside. It's dark. It's buggy. It's THREE-FREAKING-A.M. and I don't want to go check.

But I couldn't stop thinking about it... and never did get back to sleep well.

Does that happen to you? If you think of something in the middle of the night, will it bug you to the point you have to check ... or lay awake and wonder? Or, are you a worry-free kinda person, and can set it aside and nod right back off?

On a side note, it turns out I did set it correctly. All that worry for nothing!

Note: I also posted this at the LASR Yahoo group as part of the ongoing party (four prizes have been awarded so far) if you're over there, you're not seeing things, lol.


What I'm reading: I'm still reading "The Hollow" by Nora Roberts. Mary, I've only just started... I'm not sure what I think yet. I'm about 50 pages in. I didn't love "Blood Brothers" the first time I read it, but I really enjoyed it the second time. I wonder why?

What I'm writing: Well, I would be working on a short story written jointly with Judy for next week's LASR page. But, *ahem*, my writing partner hasn't gotten it to me yet. Hint. Hint.


discover your dog breed @ quiz meme


Dru said...

Good morning.

I would have gotten out of bed and check to see whatever was bugging me was set then I would fall back into my deep sleep.

Wow, look at the pillars. What's that white stuff in the glasses?

I'm waiting to read Nora Robert's "Tribute". I just couldn't get into her recent trilogy.

The LASR Yahoo group party was a blast. I had fun reading and participating. What percentage of your group is writers versus readers (who don't write)? Everyone is a reader.

re quiz: I'm a Weimaraner

Have a good Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the comments. When I grew up on a ranch, we used to pick up caterpillars and play with them. That was before television, ha.

Amy said...

That's a lot of pillars. What is the white stuff in the glasses? Clearly not dirt (that's brown, right?).

When you got out of bed this morning, was the trap set correctly? I can't go back to sleep when stuff like that pops into my head, so I just get up and deal with it. Then I can sleep the rest of the night. Sometimes. And the getting up part really depends on the weather and how cold it is in the house.

Brandy said...

Nope, can't go back to sleep once I start to worry over something.
So, no vole, huh? I hope you catch this other one soon.
Wow, that's alot of swallowtails! Good luck with that! And yeah, I'm curious too. What's the white stuff? I would guess sand, but plants don't grow in that well.

I hope you have a pleasant Sunday!

Tori Lennox said...

LOL! I'm a basset hound. *g*

Dena said...

I think the Swallowtail are prettier than the Monarch. You sure put your all into something once you start Marianne,lol. I think it's precious how much your DD helps and she's becoming a little gardener like her Mom. When she looks back at her life these days you've spent with her will be very rememorable and looked upon fondly.
When it comes to something bugging me like that I would have checked it years ago, but my sister is OCD and does all the checking now over and over, so I can be assured and not fret.

groovyoldlady said...

Golden Retriever? They shed, don't they? I hate dog hair!

Unfortunately, whenever we find caterpillars they are NEVER eating. They are crossing the road or the driveway. So I have to bring them home and put them in our butterfly cage and then spend HOURS trying to identify the pillar and its preferred food. Needless to say, many of ours die of starvation before I get it figured out.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Well, it wouldn't be summer without Pillar Place, would it?