Friday, July 02, 2010

Monarchs!

Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart. ~Karel ńĆapek, The Gardener's Year, translated by M. and R. Weatherall, 1931

Pillar Place 2010: Monarch has begun!

Yesterday, DD and I grabbed some containers and went on a monarch egg hunt behind the library. I really didn't expect to find any because it's a bit early, but since spring started early here, and since we found the swallowtails two weeks earlier than usual, I decided to give it a try.

We didn't find very many, so that was a little sad, BUT we did find a itty bitty already hatched pillar. He's probably only a few days old (if that) and DD named him Xi.

We have three eggs (hopefully they hatch this year) who will be: Omicron, Rho and Pi.

We'll go back and check the next time we're at the library -- probably on Tuesday.

A funny about our hunt: I found this little hidden parking area behind the condos that are next to the library and pulled in there. It's actually where we found all the eggs. When we came out of the woods area, there was a lady on the phone standing next to my car.

I walked toward her and she said, "Is this your car?"

"Yes. I'm here looking for monarch eggs." I showed her a milkweed leaf. Pointed to the nearly microscopic dot. "That's an egg."

"Oh." Then she spoke into the phone. "Never mind." Back to me. "I saw you drive up here and didn't know who you were or why you were here."

Do you suppose she was calling the cops? Can you see it? My one phone call from jail. "Honey, come bail me out -- I was arrested while looking for Monarch eggs."

Anyway, we had a long talk about monarchs and conservation and their nearly endangered status, so that was good.

No eggs on our milkweed that we've found though. At least not monarch eggs. We're fairly certain we found Milkweed Tussock Moth eggs. Those are the coolest critters! Here's a tidbit I found on the Tussock Moth caterpillar on how they protect themselves from their main predator, the brown bat:

FAVORITE GAMBIT: Sounding gross. Literally. They don't taste gross, at least not to bats. But they deter their predators, which hunt by sonar, by imitating the high-pitched clicking sounds of certain other moths that taste so bad that bats steer clear.

Isn't that funny?

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We saw our first squash vine borer moth yesterday. My SIL came by in the afternoon and said, "Is a squash moth red and black?" So, she has them, too. Of all my garden pests, I hate those the worst because I can't pick them. I have no problem going into my garden every day and picking bugs. I can pick cucumber bugs, tomato worms, potato bugs ... the squash borer? Once the worms hatch, pretty much your plant is going to die. Period. End of story.

So ... I've resorted to pesticide, which breaks my heart. But every few days, I'm going to spray the base of my squash plants, which is where they lay the eggs, and hope that I kill the eggs before they hatch. I really need the squash. Not only do I love it and use it to eat and bake with, but I use it in Dakota's food -- which is why I planted so much. I want to freeze it and hope that I will have enough until next year.

Unless my plants all die an early death from bugs. :::grumble, grumble:::

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I woke up around 3 a.m. feeling really dizzy. I'm hoping it's just because I'm so tired (I haven't been able to sleep well for some reason the past few days) and not because I'm getting an ear infection. I seem to be prone to them -- have had three the past ten years -- and I HATE them. They make me dizzy and nauseous, and for a day or two, if I move at all I throw up (on those days I literally sleep on the bathroom floor, lol). I can't be down for two days ... especially not over this weekend, because DD and DH have huge plans for the Fourth which don't include staying home and taking care of me and the dog.

So, I hope I'm just really tired. But if I don't blog for a day or two, don't be worried.

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6 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I hope it's not an ear infection. Greg has had them and I feel so sorry for him. It affects your equilibrium which is why you get so sick.

Ref: calling the cops

At least she was being proactive and keeping an eye out for bad guys.

On the other hand, it would make an interesting blog post when you got out of 'jail'. LOL

Feel better, Marianne. Happy Fourth!

Dru said...

I hope it's not an ear infection.

She must be the neighborhood watch person.

Have a good Friday.

MaryC said...

I hope you feel better soon, Marianne. That dizziness is such a horrid feeling.

I'm majorly impressed by your gardening efforts. I used to garden with my dad when I was young but here in the city I'm limited to containers. I did grow a Three Sisters Garden with my class when we were studying the Iroquois.

Feel better.

Brandy said...

Too funny about the woman possibly calling the cops. On the other hand, you were able to maybe draw her into the cause of helping conserve monarchs.
Sorry to hear you're dizzy. I sincerely hope it isn't an ear infection.
I've had hubs on the lookout for the squash moth, we've been using an organic pesticide on our garden this year. There are just so many destructive bugs!

I hope you feel better. Have a nice day!

Melissa McClone said...

Hope you feel better! And it's not an ear infection. Please take it easy and take some Vit. D while you're at it. Hugs.

Tori Lennox said...

Hugs on the dizzy spells!