Monday, November 2, 2009

Carvings - My Latest

I had such a busy weekend that after work today I wanted a quiet evening. The end result is a new carving - a hand carved rubber stamp. I had an image set back needed for an LTC I am going to be making titled Ice Dragon.

Following is the result of this evenings work....

Stamped in black he looks fierce. For my LTC I am going to sample different whites and glitters - to get an ice effect. Should turn out pretty cool.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monarch Butterfly - A Birth Day

This morning - flashlight in hand - I checked on my cocoon to see if there was any change. Didn't look any different than it had from the night before. I knew we had to be getting close. Today makes 3 weeks of being cocooned. Unfortunately, I had to work today.

But, fortunately - my husband only worked a half day. He came home a little after 2:00 to the following sight ---

The Monarch had hatched and he'd missed capturing it probably by minutes.
Why the caterpillar chose to nest on the underside of the carport I'll never know. The poor butterfly had trouble keeping a grip and finally fell to the gravel below.
Knowing that the butterfly shouldn't be touched - my husband used a stick for the butterfly to crawl onto so he could move him to a safer location.
The trellis on the fence was the perfect spot - full sunshine and far enough off the ground for the butterfly to be comfortable.
Sunning - trying to get blood flow into wings and get warm enough to fly.

It's a boy! Notice the black dots on the lower set of wings. Males have them - females don't.

About 4:15, after climbing higher on the trellis - the Monarch took off in flight and went next door to the neighbors tree.

All that is left of our winged little friend....

Happy Birthday Monarch Butterfly. Safe travels.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Patience

As you can see we STILL haven't birthed a butterfly. This picture was taken yesterday. The cocoon is looking black - due to the black wings and body of the butterfly.

I was thinking it'd be a few days ago. I've done more researching and it looks like I was just getting antsy. The cocoon has to be completely clear. Yesterday it was close. Today it looks like it is. I have been taking pictures throughout the day because the cocoon keeps changing.
This morning the cocoon was completely clear.

After a few hours - late morning I noticed a creasing in one of the "seams".

Just a bit ago I noticed creasing in the seam above this one. It's almost 1 in the afternoon. Today would be a perfect day for a butterfly birth - as I'll be home the rest of the day to watch and capture some images.

I don't believe I'll get anything done today other than looking out the back window.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Possibly 1 More Day

This morning I was thrilled to be able to see more orange and black and white spots. The following pics were taken around 7 a.m. It's dark now in the morning - so I had to use a flashlight to get the following pictures.

Good thing my neighbors are still in bed that early - they missed me standing on a metal folding chair, in a dress and heels, holding a flashlight in one hand and a camera in the other. What must the poor caterpillar / butterfly be thinking of his peeping tom.

The rest of the day I was at working - texting and emailing my husband for updates since he was home. I talked him into taking the next few pictures. Not much change.

I just checked again - 9 p.m. - not much more change. Just glad to be able to see the butterfly now. I was beginning to worry it wouldn't happen. Maybe tomorrow we'll have a birthday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Soon Maybe?

Still no butterfly...

Most of what I am reading on cocoons say approximately 10 days. I did find one website that said 10 - 14 and another that said 12. This fella has been fully cocooned for 2 weeks today - 14 days. I keep thinking it looks more shear - that there is a bit of black and orange inside. Wishful thinking? Or really changing?

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Still Waiting

Still waiting for the Monarch to emerge. I keep thinking the cocoon looks a little thinner - and maybe I can see a bit of orange or black inside. I do know there are a few dark spots along the top of the back that weren't there before - but it's hard to get a detailed enough shot of them with the shadows.

I took a few pictures this morning....

The following two pictures were taken around 5 p.m. Not much (if any) change from this morning.

I spent a good part of today at Shawnee Prairie (part of our Darke County Park system). They had Prairie Days. Inside their building they have a room with wildlife to help educate children. One of their current displays was an aquarium that had 4 Monarch cocoons inside. Three have hatched - there was even a monarch still residing in the aquarium. The 4th looks about like my cocoon - still pretty green.
I hope for some change tomorrow. Hoping for a Monarch birthday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Not Quite Yet

We still don't have a butterfly. I thought Thursday would be the day. However, he chose well to stay cocooned - it was cool and dreary and rainy. The pictures turned out dark - the first two were taken mid afternoon. They are a little blurry - but wanted to get the raindrops hanging off the cocoon.

The next two pictures were taken around 6:30 p.m. The cocoon seems to be getting shiny. Hopefully we'll be able to see thru it today or tomorrow.

I am hoping the caterpillar waits until Saturday to make his entrance as a butterfly. Then I'd be able to watch and take pictures.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Getting Closer

I am guessing we have one day left for our caterpillar. Today is the 10th day he has been in his cocoon. The shell is getting transparent - you can easily see a silhouette within the cocoon in the last two pictures.

And, I am really hoping I don't miss this. Most likely though I will be at work. Maybe he'll be a late bloomer and wait for me to get home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Day Six

Slowly but surely we are getting closer to having a beautiful Monarch butterfly.

No change today - but I took a few pictures from different angles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Day Four

I didn't post yesterday because nothing appeared to have changed.

This evening however, I got up close and looked at the chrylsalis (cocoon). The green seems less glossy. The black dots less defined. And the yellow dots look more gold and appear bigger.

I took a (what I consider) front view (with the black and yellow dots) and also a back view (just yellow - now gold dots) picture.
Front view....
The lighting from the back seems to make an x-ray effect. My Day 2 picture from the back looks like a thin line of something inside the cocoon. Tonight you can almost think you see the outlines of a wing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar - Day Two

This morning (day 2) I checked on the caterpillar only to be disappointed that nothing had changed overnight. Still hanging and no start of a cocoon.

However, when I returned home I found a very different story....

The caterpillar had formed his chrysalis. How very neat to see.

Monarch Caterpillar - Day One

Saturday evening I returned home to discover a caterpillar along the edge of the carport. Out of curiousity I looked up the type and discovered it was Monarch caterpillar.
Sunday morning (aka Day One) he was still there - but he was hanging by webby type threads from the carport.

I hope to be able to follow the process from caterpillar to butterfly. Taking pictures at each stage.

Starting Out

I created an account in Blogger a week or so ago, but am just now getting the chance to look into starting a blog. The hardest part was coming up with a title. Now to figure out the rest of it.

I have so many pictures and stories I share regularily with friends and family I thought this would be a much easier way to communicate it. Plus I get a chance to make new friends.