Sunday, August 6, 2017

My pet caterpillar

We went to the beach yesterday. As usual, the pet cranes were there. People would approach them with cameras in hand. The cranes, thinking they were getting a treat, would go towards the person scaring the person most of the time

Now 7 months old. I had (HAD) thighs like that
Allie is smiling here but the day before she spent in the ER with a nasty gash in the back of her head that needed staples to close it. She was swinging from bar to bar but the rain had made them slippery. She fell backwards against a ladder
baby okra
Have to figure out when these are ripe. You can see the shadow of the 'fruit' inside the shell. I think it needs to be at least cherry sized
half grown spaghetti squash
orange cosmos

Friday afternoon, you would see a crazy lady digging up Queen Anne's lace from a nearby field and then transplanting it into her own property. Didn't she just pull up and discard these weeds? Ah, but that was before she decided to feed her pet caterpillar.

In less than 24 hours, a horde of swallowtail larvae had systematically climbed up 12 full grown healthy dill plants and ate everything green leaving only the stalks. I found 5 caterpillars clinging to the stalks with nothing left to eat. They aren't as fussy as monarch larvae who only feed on milkweed which gives the larvae that not so yummy oxalic acid taste which will cause the bird feeding on them to vomit. Swallowtails will feed on anything in the fennel, dill, carrot, parsley or Queen Anne's lace aka wild carrot family. I assume I probably had more than 5 larvae at one point. I do have lots of birds to gobble them up assuming the birds don't object to dill tasting food. I transferred the 5 larvae to the Queen Anne's lace plant that had escaped my weeding attempts. By the next morning, only 2 were left. By the afternoon, only one had escaped being bird food. I brought it inside and it now lives in a mason jar with a dill stick and fresh queen Anne's lace foliage and flowers. It is a voracious eater. It should pupate soon as it is the right size.

Yep this is how I spend my days.

Since my bike came home from the shop with a brand new puncture resistant tire, I have been bicycling a lot. Since the bridge I need to complete my favorite loop is still out, I biked to downtown Whitmore Lake and back. Fortunately it is cloudy so I won't become road kill due to the east sun blinding the drivers. As it was dark and cloudy when I took off, I put my new blinking light on my left foot. Recently there was a study on bicyclist visibility. Orange versus black jerseys made no difference but a moving light on a leg did.

Yesterday before we left for the beach, my friend and I rode a loop in the country on dirt roads. Bumpier but absolutely no traffic so we could talk while riding. Recently at the resale shop, I bought these pool loungers that are mainly mesh but have an inflatable rim and pillow and fold up to a very small space so I could take them biking. They also fully inflate with less than a minute of huffing and puffing. They were perfect for lying out in the water which we did for some time until my old nemesis sea sickness hit me. After laying in the sun for a while watching kids interact with the cranes, we went back to my house to make a dinner out of all my garden veggies.

On Friday evening, despite the cool wind that finally chased the oppressive heat away, I spent a very nice evening with another friend.

Today, Josh and his girls come. Naomi returns late at night. She sent me a video of her biking along the beach in Santa Barbara. Lucky her.

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