Saturday, August 16, 2014

Butterfly Report

If you recall, from the last post, we started with 7 cocoons.

1 and 2 didn't make it out of a gatorade bottle and died.  Oops.

Number 3 was pictured in the last post.

Here is Number 4:

Here is Number 5:  (CRAWLY!)

Here is Number 6:  (STRIPEY!)

5 and 6 were the two that we had on our dill in the yard.  1-4 and 7 are from a lady at church.  Number 7 is still cooking in his/her cocoon.  We go camping soon, so hopefully he/she decides to hatch soon!  Timothy and I looked up Black Swallowtail Butterflies and learned some more about them.  They love dill and parsley (all these were on the dill) and you can tell what gender they are by how much blue is on their tail.  So look at the last picture above; do you see how little blue there is?  It is because Stripey (#6) is a boy.  The rest of them are girls.  Now you learned your one thing for the day.  :)

As soon as #7 hatches, we'll have one last update!

UPDATE:  Number 7 hatched on Sunday and was a boy!  However, he was anxious to get on his way and as soon as we got him on the flower, he zoomed off, between rain drops.  So no picture, but all of our babies are gone.  :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Crawly Update

Well, Crawly moved into a bigger and more spacious accommodations.  :)  Timmy's speech therapist came to visit and heard the entire story about Crawly and happened to have one of these butterfly cages that has a nice wide zipper opening on top.  I understand that they catch lots of butterflies, but it was vacant, so she brought it over for us to use.  

Crawly also has roommates!  We found another BIG caterpillar on the dill and he has been named Stripey (I know, real creative on the names) and then one of the ladies from our church had collected FIVE of them off of her dill.  You can always tell who is a retired teacher - they always jump into the fun of a project.  :)  Unfortunately, 2 of the cocoons we received hatched into a gatorade bottle before I could get them into the bigger butterfly cage and their wings never spread out to dry.  :(  We put them out on the flowers, but I know they aren't going to make it very long.  And then number 3 must have "hatched" (what is the term you use here, I am not sure) overnight last night, because we woke up to this beauty:

Isn't it beautiful?!?!?!  Timmy and I will be doing some investigations to find out more about whether it is a boy or girl...our speech therapist said it had something to do with how much blue is in the wings.

Timmy was just fascinated.

I couldn't get a picture of him looking at the camera because he didn't want to take his eyes off of it in case it flew away!  Here is a side shot:

So, three are "hatched" (one successfully), and 4 cocoons (including Crawly and Stripey) are still in the butterfly cage.  I am sure we will have more updates as the week progresses!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The First Week of August

Busy, busy!

The only way I could take his picture was if the fire truck was in the photo, too.  :)

Garden is getting bigger with the help of almost 3 inches of rain in the past 2 days.  What a needed gift of moisture!  The dead thing in front is the cilantro that bolted a week after I planted it.  It had really pretty white flowers and I am hoping it will reseed itself.  The (almost) dead thing in the back is our cherry tree.  :(

25 pounds of tomatoes, taking one last afternoon before going into the cooker.

I finally got my canned goods in order in the pantry!  Top shelf is loaded with butters, jams, syrups, and salsas (just peach right now, those tomatoes in the picture above will be there shortly), the bottom shelf are pickles - cherry tomatoes, cranberries, dilly beans, cukes, and asparagus.  I have an entire shelf to the right that will be just the tomatoes - crushed, diced, and sauced.  :)

This week Timothy and I went to Norfolk, NE to drop off some stuff at the Orphan Grain Train Headquarters and get a tour of the place.  It was really interesting to see all of the donations and hear about how they organize the transportation to areas in need!

Here is the sorting room...all donations go through inspection and are sorted and packed by hand. 

Here are the boxes of donations, carefully packed by types of items.  Through the door in the back, they have pallets that are already packed and ready to go on shipping containers or into semi trucks when a call comes in.  If you are ever driving through, stop by and check it out, or even help for an hour or two!  The ladies and I were already planning a future trip after we reported back.  At some point, I'll grab a picture of the mats we are crocheting out of plastic garbage bags and sending.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Friend, New Flowers, New Quilt

Meet Crawly

He is a caterpillar that we caught on the dill the yesterday.  Timothy named him and then said, "Crawly is the best caterpillar ever."  Jared and I are secretly hoping that Crawly does indeed survive into adulthood.  Timothy checks for a cocoon every hour or so.  We'll keep you posted on further developments...

Many thanks to my dad for making the bug cage and to my sister for painting it.  :)

Still waiting for tomatoes...

But not for the sunflowers!  The first 2 opened their heads today and hopefully this next week the entire sunflower patch will be in full bloom!

My triple Irish chain quilt is done!  I have had this thing basted and just waiting for the quilting for about a month whiled I mulled the options.  I really wanted to try to put a featured motif in each of the tan patches, but I was just paralyzed about the process as I haven't done it before.  Clarity came one evening while I was thinking about planning a picnic and this is the blanket I automatically thought about.  I am not interested in investing a ton of blood and sweat into a blanket that I was going to throw on the ground and roll up in the back of our van.  Besides, I already had hours into the piecing and I think the meandering line lets you focus more on all of the fun colors and the grid they make.  Three hours later and the quilting was done!  :)

I snapped a quick picture so you could see the back and binding...a subtle blue swirl with a navy stripe on the edge.  Many thanks to my awesome quilt holder, who willingly walks around the yard with a quilt in the air whenever I beckon him.  :)  I am sure that this quilt will be well loved for years to come.

And one more picture of some of my mid-summer flowers...the coneflowers have bloomed!