Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And Then There Were Three

I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived. ~Willa Cather

We're in a bit of mourning here at Pillar Place: Monarch. Three of our eggs didn't hatch (Kathy, Karen and Oscar) and one of our pillars died (Nancy). Monarch pillars seem to be particularly fragile ... I've never gotten through a season without losing some without warning. I blame one of two parasites (taken from Wikipedia):

The bacteria Micrococcus flacidifex danai also infects the larvae and causes “black death”. (We've lost pillars to this in the past, but this wasn't Nancy's problem)

The protozoan Ophryocystis elektroscirrha is another parasite of the monarch. It infects the subcutaneous tissues and propagates by spores formed during the pupal stage. The spores are found over all of the body of infected butterflies, with the greatest number on the abdomen. These spores are passed, from female to caterpillar, when spores rub off during egg-laying and are then ingested by caterpillars. Severely infected individuals are weak, unable to expand their wings, or unable to eclose, and have a shortened lifespan but probably occur at low frequencies in nature. This is not the case in laboratory or commercial rearing, where after a few generations all individuals can be infected. (I suspect this may have been what affected Nancy)

Regardless, all I know is that one moment she was fine, and the next she was hanging limply from the wall of her container with a puddle of green "goo" (we call it pillar vomit, though I don't know what it's from) beneath her.

So... we're down to only three: Lenape, Maria and Jane. And still no more eggs.

It's a rough year for butterflies.

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As I lay in bed, trying to get to sleep last night, I began thinking about my fantasy novel ... it's truly a pet of mine, and I love the story, but it's HARD to write. Still, the final scene played through my mind like a movie and I was so excited to see it! It was nothing like what I'd originally imagined, but I think it's going to work even better.

I know I sound like an ADD writer (maybe I am?), but this story draws me like no other. I don't work on it as much because the world-building is tough and I have to remember to remain consistent. It's not just a simple matter of writing what I know.

Today, my plan is to write that final scene while its fresh in my mind. Wish me luck -- it's action-packed and quite dramatic and that can be difficult to put into words effectively.

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You Paint the World with Vibrant Colors



You are a true visionary. You are very inspired.

Your friends can always count on you to be adventurous. You're up for anything.



You are a truly bold person ... though sometimes you can be a bit too outrageous.

You are a bundle of energy. You are hyper morning, noon, and night.



Hmmm.... dunno. What do you guys think?

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5 comments:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Is this the same fantasy novel that I read the start for? I loved it.

Allie Boniface said...

Good luck!!

Anne-Kathrine said...

Im so sorry to hear about the butterflies. I hope you find some more soon.

Good luck with your fanatsy story!!

Brandy said...

Aww, poor butterfly babies. I hope the rest of them do well.
I remember you talking about this story before. You were excited then, too. I hope the words flow for you today.

Have a wonderful day!

Tori Lennox said...

Hugs re the pillar pandemic!