Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tales from the garden...

Remember the Swallowtail caterpillars? Well, this is one that I put in a butterfly tent to watch make his metamorphosis.

This is him after a day. Now we're watching to see when he will hatch.

Well, yesterday I met my Dad up at school to do some planting in the garden. I really really want the kids to see some summer harvest so we replanted corn, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and green beans. I wanted to learn my Dad's way of planting. I have to say we had a great time! I love to spend time with Daddy learning about his past and how he does things. It also means so much to me that he will come up on a hot summer day to work so hard in the hot sun just because I want to. Times like this are priceless!
After a while my MOM came up to check on us. While we were piddling around I noticed this little lady!
So Mom and I started to watch her. Sure enough, she is my first Monarch of the season who is laying eggs! She laid eggs as long as we watched! It was fascinating! I did my best to get some good pictures!
Now I'm conflicted about going away next week! My principal is supposed to mind the garden while I'm away. I check daily for aphids and signs of disease on my plants and make sure they are watered. I probably will have his number on speed dial next week to make sure everything is properly taken care of!

Attracting Monarch butterflies is pretty much a hobby of mine. I've done it for the past 3 years and have loved every moment of it. I get amazed by nature every time I observe the process. However, this morning while I was out minding the milkweed plants, I leaned over to check out a plant and all of a sudden heard a loud buzzing! I looked up and right in front of me was a wasp stinging on of my Swallowtail cats! I shooed him off but it was too late! Poor thing just died. I was so upset! I know that nature has it's laws but today nature just totally blew my day! The nasty little wasp came back for it later on when I left. They use them to lay eggs in inside of their nests. I have a bunch more cats growing in my little herb garden. I sure hope he will stay away! My brother and Mom are going to be taking care of my plants, dogs and cats, and caterpillars next week. Hopefully, all will be okay!

I do plan to continue to keep my little hobby intact when I have Lexi. I think showing her things like this will bring very educational experiences to her and stimulate her curiosity. Maybe she will grow to be a nature girl just like her mom. I know I have picked up a lot this from my wonderful parents.

And yes, I am choosing to pretty much ignore the disappointing news that we got yesterday that referrals only made it through Jan. 25 of '06. I guess some progress is better than no progress. We now have 31 days between where CCAA is and where we WANT them to be!

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