I was a bit behind in my blog-hopping, so have been spending this morning trying to visit (haven't been to many blogs, but am doing my best to catch up), and I discovered something... I'm oddly intimidated by blogs that have LOTS of comments. If I get there and there are already 20+ comments, I don't want to leave one. I don't know if I feel like I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said, or if I feel invisible, or what, exactly.
Maybe I need to see a shrink.
It was an icky day yesterday. Kept *threatening* rain but did nothing until well after dinnertime. I planted some green bean seeds (finally) and DD planted her carrots, in the anticipation of nature giving them a thorough watering. By afternoon, we gave up and watered them ourselves...
I was chatting with Alpha (our black swallowtail caterpillar) about the fact he was all alone. Told him we were trying to find him some buddies, but hadn't yet. He's getting quite large, actually -- probably about an inch long now. I should take some pictures.
In any case, right before dinner, it was all black and icky again, so DD went out to take the cover off our composter so it could get watered, too. And on the way in, she checked the rue plants.
She made a haul of pillars. She must have eagle eyes to have found the ones she did, because I'm pretty certain that they had JUST hatched. I mean, literally were coming out of their egg as she found them. They were as small as I've ever seen and some were looking a little damp.
I'll admit, one she found on a different bunch of plants, and s/he was probably a couple days old -- still black, but fairly big (yanno, like 1/4" long).
But the others? They're *maybe* 1/8" long and the width of a straight pin.
We've opted to stick with the Greek alphabet in naming them, so we now have:
Alpha (Whom you've already "met")
Iota (this is the somewhat larger one)
I'm concerned that all the newbies may not make it. They were still alive and kicking last night, so here's hoping.
In monarch news ... I was watching "Life" yesterday -- one I'd TiVo'd on Insects and I saw the saddest thing: the monarch pillars will frequently drown in the milkweed sap. Apparently, if they bite the vein when they are first born, the amount of sticky, milky sap that comes out can overwhelm them, trap them and kill them. It's the plant's defense. They stated that only 1/3 of monarch babies survive this. Considering that monarchs are already endangered, it broke my heart.
The good news is that when we break off the leaf and bring in the egg, it stops sap production, so this will never happen to those pillars who are hand-raised.
Still, the problem we are having is that fewer butterflies are getting up here to lay eggs. Last year, we only successfully raised ONE monarch. How sad is that?
Nature can be very cruel.
It can also be very beautiful. Look what we saw over the top of our trees last night:
Yesterday, more than one of you asked what DD thought of the picture. Ever since she looked at my wedding photos and said, "Mommy, you used to be beautiful!" I haven't asked her opinion...
You Are What
You are a very smart person, and you are happiest when you're learning something new.
You're interested in so many things, and you feel like there's always more to discover. You're very curious.
You believe that knowledge is empowerment. You do your best not to be ignorant about anything.
You are well read and continually adding to your database of information. You never stop learning.