Tag Archives: caterpillars

In other news….of caterpillars and kindnesses

In other news …

of caterpillars….

this is my first ‘ever’ photo of a monarch caterpillar beginning to pupate, (taken on Tuesday 18 February) .

Preparing to Pupate

Preparing to Pupate

I was looking forward to taking another photo, the next day, of the chrysalis but there was a wild wind storm in the night and, when the next day came, I couldn’t see a chrysalis anywhere. ūüė¶

In other news…

of kindnesses……

A while back, on a whim, I sent a ceramic cat to blogger  Megan , to add to her cat collection.  Megan, as some of you may know, blogs about her life with Chester Cat and K, and her personal journey  with OCD. As a thank you for my gift of a little kitty, Megan sent me  two of her special crochet  blooms from her new venture, the Etsy Store,  Peony Crochet.

Blooms from Bloomington

Rose Blooms from Bloomington

Megan is a staunch advocate for Mental Health wellness, and has recently had success in her efforts to bring more sense and kindness and understanding to the media’s portrayal of mental health. She called it¬†¬† One Small Victory.

To celebrate, Megan’s victory, I thought I would put a rose in my hair,

Bloomin' Beautiful

Bloomin’ Beautiful¬† (Have you any idea how difficult it is to take a selfie of the back of your head ? !)

and a rose on my hat,

Rose in my hat and ready to pick up my skirt and dance

Rose in my hat and ready to pick up my skirt and dance

and, with a flick of my skirt, dance out the door…..to… ?

But not before acknowledging other kindnesses:

from the friend who gave me the skirt to swish through the swan song of summer;

and the friends who lent me books about travel and gardens,

Going Somewhere?

Going Somewhere?

and what to grow in them;

A Modern Herbal edited by Violet Stevenson

A Modern Herbal edited by Violet Stevenson

and from friend, Sharifah Hamzah, global citizen of  Building Bridges, who sent me a signed copy of her Kampung Memories, as a Book-Giveaway prize.

Kampung Memories by Sharifah Hamzah

Kampung Memories by Sharifah Hamzah

Sharifah’s story “takes you on a trail of getting to know the kampungs of Singapore; its history, and the people who grew up there and lived the life. She also includes her own memories and reflections of kampung life and how it has been a part of her foundation as she navigates her life in other parts of the world.”¬†¬† I can’t wait to get started, especially after reading this appreciative¬† review.

In other news…

for all those ‘haters’ of blogs who claim that we obsessively record too much trivia…here’s news for you….

sometimes we don’t record EVERYTHING; sometimes, when kindness arrives on the doorstep, in the guise of a¬† friend with bowls of delicious, warm apple pie-cake, we are in such a hurry to gobble it down, we forget the photo opportunities, until the plate is empty.

Advertisements

Survival of the fittest… ?

Since the beginning of the week I have been watching the monarch caterpillars, outside my bedroom window, slugging it out over the few remaining swan plant leaves. They have been pushing and shoving and head butting in their fight to secure their place at the food table.

Everyone temporarily in harmony.

Everyone temporarily minding their manners.

I tried to help by providing some delicate cucumber slices, as suggested by those in the know .

Tasty?

Tasty? Cucumber minus the sandwich.

Some of the larger caterpillars tested the new menu but were not enthusiastic. They preferred to continue in their old familiar ways and went back to munching every last shred of the swan plants; some of which must have been seasoned by the eggs of what was supposed to be the next generation.

Inevitably, as the food supply has dwindled, so, too, have the caterpillar numbers. One by one the caterpillars have disappeared. Some may have gone to pupate in the dense foliage of the adjacent oregano; others have simply gone.¬† Where, I don’t know.¬† Have they moved to new feeding grounds, strengthened only by their will to survive? Or have they gone off to die? The ground is not littered with caterpillar corpses. If they have disappeared to meet their death elsewhere, it is in a manner reminiscent of that noble adventurer Captain Oates; a story beautifully retold by Valerie Davies in her latest post Very gallant gentlemen.

If they have died, I am glad I have been spared the sight of their demise. Watching the caterpillars squabbling over food was hard enough, not to mention the feeling of helplessness over being unable to supply them with more swan plants. ( New plants on order but not available till tomorrow ūüė¶ )

Last year the first of my monarch butterflies emerged on March 1st, the official first day of autumn. (What a lot of firsts ūüôā ) Maybe, come March, this year, I will be surprised and delighted all over again by the birth of¬† new Royal Beauties but, so far, I have not seen a single chrysalis.

To be continued……

© silkannthreades

Inspiring transformations

Ladysighs teaches herself to write Minute Poems  and  Lanterne poetry.   Mrs P  of Destination Unknown challenges herself to create Villanelles. Their willingness to play with form and words inspired me to attempt a haiku; my very first haiku, ever, emerging, as I near the completion of my fifties!

The monarchs return

when the plums ripen and fall

and  the winds blow home.

The monarchs return

The monarchs return

Plums ripen

when the plums ripen

Plum drop

and fall

There it is; short and sweet ūüėČ

Will I write more haiku, or try my hand, and brain, at another form of poetry ? Maybe, but probably not yet. I would like to concentrate  my spare creative energy on my  chap books.  They need a massive transformation before they are ready to fly.

© silkannthreades

No caterpillars, no computer, no butterflies, no earrings; just Swans!

My faithful five-year old laptop decided to have a tantrum last week, followed by a meltdown. Ditto for me when it happened. I am hapless and brainless without my technology. My son kindly agreed to lend me his laptop until mine is repaired ( hopefully it¬† is repairable ). It is¬† wonderful to have a laptop again but my son’s is so¬† much newer than mine that I hardly know what to do with it. It makes me feel as though I am back in school struggling with long division.

However, in the spirit of having a go, here is my first attempt at a post from a strange (to me) laptop.

The caterpillars on my swan plants are no more. They are all in their cocoon stage. One of the cocoons looks almost ready to be a butterfly  The others are still cogitating and storing up memories. The swan plants are putting out new leaves and, at the same time, they are producing the swans that give them their name.

Here are the swans; not sure if they get any more swan like  when the seed balloons open. Apparently the seeds have silky tufts.Little green swan

Closer swanSwan

The swans and the cocoons make me think of pretty earrings which is, perhaps, why I almost bought a pair of pearl drop earrings this afternoon.¬† Almost; they weren’t very expensive, for pearl earrings, but I thought, “No, that money will pay for a laptop assessment. Restrain your impulse shopping!” So, I came home, minus new earrings, to write this post.

All done; time for dinner ūüôā

© silkannthreades

Lone long ranger

Yesterday I read a fascinating post on the theme of Wanderlust in far off South America. (http://playamart.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/the-wanderlust-breed/ ) Little did I expect that, this morning, I would witness something very like Wanderlust at my own front door.

Here it is; a solitary monarch caterpillar climbing up the brick facade of the house.Onward and upward

What possessed this little creature  to travel at least 15 metres from the other caterpillars and cocoons. Why was it not happy to stay near the others and the security of the swan plants and other vegetation? Does moving to the hot bricks of my front door, give it a competitive advantage? Or is it just an insatiably curious caterpillar full of wanderlust and the spirit of adventure?  Who are you?How far will I wander?Tomorrow I will see if there is a cocoon decorating my bricks, or if the caterpillar has continued its wandering lone, long ranger journey.

© silkannthreades

Royal Process

There was much excitement ( for me!) in the royal nursery, yesterday. The first caterpillar successfully negotiated its way to adolescence. I noticed in the morning that one of the caterpillars looked as though it was ready to make a cocoon. I checked again about 2 in the afternoon but nothing had changed. I checked again about 3 hours later and the job was done. I am slightly miffed that I missed the chrysalis process. I need to watch more diligently when I see the next caterpillar preparing for its metamorphosis.Chrysalis

© silkannthreades

The Royal Nursery

Remember Mother Monarch ?   https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/royalty-arrives/

Her offspring are growing rapidly and will soon be ready to leave the nursery. Here are some of her growing brood. I think the family numbers a dozen or so. Royal Nursery

© silkannthreades