Thursday, May 07, 2009

Spring Surprises

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. ~Rabindranath Tagore

I was down in the unfinished part of the basement yesterday to get something and I automatically glanced at the box where we keep our butterflies -- there is a Black Swallowtail pupa overwintering there. Or, perhaps I should say there WAS a Black Swallowtail pupa overwintering there. When I looked down, I saw a butterfly!!

She's early, and there aren't any butterflies around for her to mate with, no plants growing for her to lay eggs on even if she did. BUT, she's alive and the weather is decent and there are enough flowers for her to find food. So, we released her. That's technically the start of Pillar Place 2009, but I don't really expect to be doing much talking about that for at least three more weeks. Silly thing.


In vole news: They are multiplying like... well... VOLES. I nearly tripped over one yesterday again, and they decimated my crocus bulbs. Dakota was growling at the window in the afternoon, and I looked out and the mulch was moving like ocean waves -- yes there were THAT many voles under it looking for food. Freaky.

I bought a new live trap (because I can't find my old one) and started trapping. I've caught two so far. I also finally broke down and bought bait stations and poison online at Vole Control. Breaks my heart, but holy heck are they voracious eaters! In fact, when they get trapped, they fight to get out AND eat. They never stop eating. I put them in a glass jar during the day until I'm not going to catch any more and they don't panic or fight. They just eat. They eat the grass I put in for cover, they eat the apple bits from the bait. They eat and eat and eat. They must eat ten times their body weight every day.

In any case, I'm going to trap and release whatever I can until I get the bait stations, and then... the rest are doomed. I hope I can overcome the amazing amount of guilt I feel about killing them. *sigh*


Dakota has been bumped up into advanced agility class. I'm of two minds about this -- I'm thrilled because we'll be challenged even more, but I love the group of people we're in with now. They're nice and fun and supportive. The advanced group is so intense and, yes... I have to say it: snobby. Three of us in intermediate were bumped, and we got together last night and talked. We're going to give the new class a try, but may end up coming back to intermediate if we aren't having fun. None of us are trying to compete nationally -- we just want to train the dogs and enjoy ourselves.

The local agility competition is on May 31st. It'll be interesting to see how Dakota does with an audience and a bunch of strange dogs.


I sent in my manuscript to Resplendence Publishing on Tuesday. We'll see what happens. Now, I just need to get something else completed. Anyone know where I can find a few extra hours in the day?



Dru said...

The butterfly is beautiful.

Sorry about your vole problems. I know you've tried to find humane ways to get rid of them to no avail. Don't feel guilty. It's either them or your garden.

That is great news about Dakota moving up. Hey, how is she doing with the homemade dog food?

Good luck on you submission to Resplendence Publishing.

Sorry, I can't help you with regards to getting more hours to the day.

Have a great Thursday.

MomJane said...

Where do you release the voles? By the lake? I'm sure you make it FAR AWAY.

Good luck on your submission. Have a great day.

Melissa McClone said...

Oh, I wanted to buy a butterfly kit for the spring after your posts last year. I totally forgot until now.

Tori Lennox said...

I don't like the idea of poison either, but at some point it comes down to them or you (or me). They are major pests and I fear if you don't off some of the little buggers now, you'll have even more later!

Brandy said...

The butterfly is beautiful. I hope the sight cheered you a bit. I'm sorry to hear about the voles. I know you've tried everything you can to not kill them. You just have to be a bit ruthless to save your garden.
Best wishes for your submission! Great news about Dakota! I hope the three of y'all have great fun and loosen up the next level. Some people take things way too seriously.

Have a good day!