Friday, June 29, 2018

Morning friends

Yesterday was like any other morning, coffee mug in hand checking milkweed plants in the butterfly garden for possible monarch eggs. Nope, but how did I miss this!
This caterpillar is a few days old. In my search found 3 more. I look for:
  • Eggs underneath the leaves.
  • Little tiny back 'frass' poop which at this point looks similar to coffee grinds.
  • Leaves that have been eaten in little circles.
  • Caterpillars.
Washed all the leaves with water. Then pat dry with clean cloth. I use floral tubes filled with water and added a milkweed leaf. At this point they are protected from predators. Wasp, tachinid flies which are lethal to these little guys.
Taken indoors where they will stay for the next few weeks. Leaves are checked often and added fresh ones when necessary, a mist of water each day and clean up their waste 'frass'.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that these wee guys did not get infected but all I can do at this point is keep them together. Isolation, if you will.
This morning I found the 5th one. Smaller, so he has a greater chance for survival. He was eating the flower part of the weed.

I kept looking at this pic and thinking what's up with the cat in the background...then I took at pic of it too. It had just finished a molt. A caterpillar grows but their skin/cuticle does not. So it pretty much walks out of is old skin. Oh to be so lucky, face and all. LOL
This is so early in the year for me. I'm thinking I may try and let nature take its course with future cats. Only bring in eggs for a better survival rate. But then again eggs can be infected as well. I know I can not save them all nor do I want to.

Before I go, caught this at the right time.

 In just two weeks the caterpillar will shed its skin five times. In other words, the insect must wear and outgrow five skins. Each skin is called an instar.

Stay tuned to watch the daily process.  Bye now.

Friday, June 22, 2018

I have been indoors...

....working on this. Virus Meets Granny shawl.  Pleased with the way it turned out. Front side...
I used 2 balls of
Back side.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Saw my first monarch yesterday....

 I do believe it to be a male. A bit worn and tattered. But he did linger a bit and got much needed nourishment.

That inspired me to change things up a bit and 'create' a new sitting area.

A 'room with a view' of this... *smile*

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Much needed time with friends...

....and nothing like time on the lake. Seven of us for a 4 mile paddle this morning.

I was so excited to find Butterfly weed, growing lakeside! Here is one of two patches.

Then later I was meeting a friend for lunch and spotted this patch not far from our home, rode side. This is a HAPPY DAY for me. *smile*

It's not much....but every bit helps! Please, plant native milkweeds (asclepias tuberosa) in your area. The monarchs and I both thank you!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sanitized and ready for guest....

All the cages that were used last year were bleached and rinsed real well....

                                               now to sun dry! 
 I even found a couple more smaller ones on sale. Nice to have back ups incase I have to put some in isolation. (For safety of the others caterpillars or chrysalis).

Can you tell I am eagerly waiting for Monarch eggs!?! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Butterfly garden...

is starting to bloom!


Due to the warm weather we are already having I decided to do an indoor project... I'm doing a bit of crocheting. Working on a shawl.

This pattern is called Virus Meets Granny Square. The link I am sharing is the first part of 3 as a tutorial.  Love this guy. Soft spoken and so easy to follow. I getting ready to start a repeat of the Virus pattern soon.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Nothing like making a 'Toad Abode'!

In January while visiting my youngest daughter in Cool, California I signed up for a pottery class. Yes, to make a Toad Abode! What frog/toad does not like a nice safe place to hang out...LOL

Not really sure what I am doing...but here is the roof going on with the help of oak and sycamore leaves.

2 weeks later, since it had been fired, now I am doing the next step.

Another 2 weeks later...and here it is!
 I was working in the Butterfly garden and I almost raked a toad! The 'abode' was still indoors but I but it outside as quickly as I could and place it near where I had seen the toad.  About an hour I went back to see this, 
                         A toad in the abode!!


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mon Jardin de Papillion is loving the rain!

What garden doesn't love a nice spring rain.

I've add another area but as you can see, still working on it. I will replace the bricks with our own rocks....Just haven't done so yet.
 I went hiking a few weeks back and found an 'Wild false indigo' plant. Pale yellow but it caught my eye.
A few days later, I went to a local nursery and found a False Indigo but it's color is Purple Taffy. Yes, I did get it and it's planted in the newly planted area. It is native to my area so I was very excite for this find.
This spring has been too hot to fast and with that being said I had the time and opportunity to test tatting for my friend Elaine Gan.
She truly is a gifted designer and I so love her work.


The tatting design you see here is from her series E-Books (instant download) can be found here.

The color of HDT is called 'Mardi Gras' by Marilee Rockley.

 I also tatted snowflakes too, patterns from the same E-Book.
Never too early to tat snowflakes! 
Until next time...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

All about rearing monarch butterflies....In NW Arkansas 2018

Those of you that know me or follow my blog know I have a passion for the monarch butterflies.  For 2 seasons I have released a total of 63. Not a great number compared to some...but I am please to have help at least that many more on their Fall journey to Mexico.

I received this necklace for my birthday in February. I love how life like the glass 'chrysalis' appears.

If you care to go back to the very beginning of my monarch blogger just click on the label that reads 'rearing Monarch butterflies'. From there scroll to the bottom, clicking on 'older' post until you get to Friday, September 23, 2016. Disclaimer: I will share with you what has worked or not worked for me and do not claim to be a professional, in anyway. Also, my location may be different then yours as well.

This are starting to grow....

....more milkweed from seeds. Things in 'Mon Jardin de Papillion' are looking good too.

In the back row are 7 milkweed with one new plant. 'Cinderella' showing in the black container. I do put tomato cages around the mw before they get to big. Helps keep them upright. This year I will keep  them at about 5ft. No need in getting too tall. (Learned this the hard way) lol.

That's all for now. See 'ya soon. 


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

...and so a New Year begins by...

10 of us braved single digits temperature for a 3.5 mile hike! Took about and hour and half. A great way to start 2018!
I haven't been tatting too much, but I have been crochet, getting ready for my granddaughter's 3rd birthday party. The theme is 'Ice Cream'. are a few things I am working on.
This is drawstring purse for the 'Birthday Girl'.
These cones will be a 'banner' by crocheting together with a chain and hang on the wall as a backdrop. They will given to the children or mom and use as a face scrubber or bath cloth.
Last item to pass out are these little bitty goodie bags.
I have one more item that I have been working on but I won't post until after her birthday.  *smile*
Happy New Year friends!

Friday, December 29, 2017

More hiking, more tatting.

14 hikers in 20 degree weather....the best hike ever. Here begins a 10 mile hike....

Just a few of us...the others are behind us.
This is looking up 209 ft. at a very dry 'Hemmed In Hollows Falls'.
Lunch at Granny Herderson's Cabin.
Now to hike the iconic Goat Trail, For this one we needed to hike downhill...not so easy. Very rocky and my feet were not happy!
Here we are, at the Goat Trail looking down (550 ft.) at the Buffalo National River below.
This was the trickiest part. Very little ledge and having to climb between tree limbs. Going around was not bad because you went around a corner. But for me coming back through, I was a bit nervous because I could see NOTHING but open space below. Easy does it on this part!
What an amazing hike. One to scratch off my bucket list!
Now for some tatting, my last Ice Drops. The one on the left is in gold thread and beads. Pattern on the left was adapted from Tatted Snowflakes Collections by Jon
Yusoff. Circle of Crowns.                                                      
 The green one is called Christmas Wreath by Samantha Melnychuk adapted into an Ice Drop.
Happy New Year's everyone. May good health and happiness come your way for 2018.