lavendertook: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2016 12:53 pm)
I'm feeling lonely and unmotivated even though I have so much to do. All I really want to do these days when home is to sit and read novels beside purring cats. I don't give myself enough permission to just do that. Tuxie is sleeping next to me--he's gotten to be my constant snoozy lefthand fuzzy attachment whenever I sit the past year since Saki died, and I am lucky to have him and appreciate what good company he is. He and Moo are very good and easy companions. Except I worry because they sleep too much even for cats and I worry if I should be doing more to try to get them a little more active. It's been a couple of years since either climbed the cat trees at all and they jump up on very little. But my perceptions of how active cats should be may be skewed by having grown up with siamese cats who tend to be a little more active, and these guys are 10 and 11 years old. Do ya'll worry about your pet parenting? Gotta learn to let go of what I can't control and solve (snoozy cats gonna snooze), and be easy on me and give me some love.

I cancelled going to a scifi meet up luncheon in DC this afternoon due to the excessive heat today and expensive parking. And I have so much clean up to do around the house--the more I get done the happier I will feel so I'm going to concentrate on that. One pile at a time. Go through papers. Throw things out--make my habitat something I can feel good in--and when I accomplish that, get back to making and studying and creating. I feel so boring.

July and August so far have been mega-hot, which is extra hard because of the anti-cancer med I'm on and will be for 2 more years, then I hope will be better--yes. And it's been a time filled with Trumphobia, which has felt like the nightmare where you are running but are getting slower and slower as if you're going through molasses and IT's getting closer--I know so many of us are sharing the same nightmare feeling. But that has been easing up the past weeks with the polls. Nate Silver's blog is my Happy Place. It's been a tough month on so many of my friends.

I can't wait until late September when walks will become a joy again. Just a couple more weeks. Spring and autumn, those are my seasons.

I had the yearly thyroid ultrasound on Thursday, and will see the endocrinologist in 2 weeks with hopes that my thyroid nodules have not grown. We've been monitoring this for 2 years and so far so good. Doctors visits make me nervous since the breast precancer diagnosis--I hope I can go back to them being routine sooner than later. My spirits are more down than up, but this is a year of grief and recovery from health problems, trauma, and family losses. Next year will be better, right?

I saw my first monarch butterfly of the season yesterday by the lake. I went back last night and looked up my Verid entries. Remember Verid the monarch and the adventures she took me on? If you didn't know me in 2012, you might like these pics and stories. I still have good caterpillar and chrysalis pics of her I never uploaded. I will have to download them from the back up drive sometime and post.

I listen to NPR radio a lot. The weekend NPR shows that used to delight or interest me make me more often anxious the last couple of years. Is it me (a glass of water makes you anxious, child), or the stories they are telling? Anyone else having this problem? Will talk about the couple of movies and books I've enjoyed lately in another post.

OK, off to get Things Done. I hope this weekend is treating you all well. *hugs my flist*
lavendertook: (lavender candle)
( Nov. 20th, 2015 06:01 pm)
Happy Birthday, [ profile] cali_se!!! May the evergreen magic of the natural world be with you today in full and always. Here's some pics of it I hope will brighten your day:

From a more brilliant autumn a couple of years ago, down by Greenbelt Lake.

Read more... )
I thought I'd post a belated happy birthday greeting to [ profile] verangel with pics of another lovely Ver- below. Happy birthday, sweetie!


Thursday, Oct 4th was the last day I saw Verid and Pro, and I'm pretty sure it was them, as I mentioned in a previous post, and will detail below. So that is the lovely Verid above on that day, just posing to give us a brilliant final farewell. The following 6 pics are also of her on that day.

Memories of monarchs and milder weather below . . . )
I have another job interview tomorrow afternoon, and this feels like it could be a really good one. Please cross your fingers for me.

Also, I saw Verid and PR Officer--I'll call him "Pro" from here on out--late this afternoon during the first couple of hours of sunshine all week. Only two monarchs around the lake down in a patch of wildflowers, and a male and female. When I first saw the girl she made a bunch of circles around me, so I'm thinking it really is Verid and she recognized my scent, and maybe was trying to determine if this was the same human. (-; And that probably really was them in the misadventure on Sunday. I got some nice pics of them and I'll post them when I have some time.
In which I may have rescued Verid a second time . . .

This is a true story, and I don't blame you if you don't believe it, because I hardly believe it, but it's what happened and I do have a witness. And to whoever came up with this plot obstacle to put me up against, a big SCREW YOU, because it is terribly, terribly contrived. Stop stretching credibility just to torture me, ' kay?

So on Sunday, A., a relative I've never gotten to spend one-on-one time with before, came to visit me and was such delightful company, my throat was sore all yesterday from chatting so much. I took her out to Ithilien Greenbelt Lake in the afternoon to walk around it, and hoped maybe we'd chance to see Verid or PR Officer along the way.

As we were walking the path, we approached a family walking ahead of us, a woman and man and 3 or 4 small children. I didn't completely register it at the time, but they were all carrying butterfly nets. No, really! And a little boy in the middle of the path was carrying one of those expensive mesh butterfly cages half the size of my dollar store hamper that I mentioned in the last post. As we got closer, and I strained to see, much to my horror, there was a monarch butterfly inside. I walked much faster to catch up to them and could see it was indeed a female monarch AND IT COULD VERY WELL BE VERID! Oh boy.

In Henneth Annun on Greenbelt Lake continues below . . .  )
Read more... )
lavendertook: (monarch butterfly name)
( Oct. 1st, 2012 04:39 am)
So Verid emerged from her chrysalis on Wednesday afternoon. Since they're not very active the first day, I didn't feel that great, and we were supposed to have thunderstorms that evening, I decided to keep her in and bring her down to the lake on Thursday.

Verid's Release Party . . .  )

Fare Thee Well, Lovely Verid, Farewell . . . )
Mission Control, we have lift off!

In the middle of the night, the chrysalis looked like this, with her colors deepening within the clear casing:


Tricksy little chrysalis . . . )

I got up in the morning and her body was shiny black, but she wasn't making a move out of her casing and I had a terrible sinus headache. So I took some mucinex and went back to bed for an hour and a half. And when I got up, there she was a butterfly, all pumped up and pretty, and apparently female. I named her Verid, after a Joan Slonczewski character from Daughter of Elysium.

Female monarchs have wider back veins on their wings, while male monarch's have two black pheromone spots on their lower wings, so it's easy to sex the butterflies, and Verid looks female. A couple of websites I was looking at said you can sex the chrysalis, which I hadn't known before. They said the females have a little line below a set of black dots on the dome of the chrysalis between the wings. I didn't see it, so I thought she might be male. However, that spot was on the back side from all the pics I took, and I would have had to turn the box upside down to see the spot clearly, so I viewed it through the glass that was covered with some of her webbing. It was probably too faint for me to see through the webbing, or possibly, she doesn't have one and is on the intersexual continuum. Whatever the case, she made sure that her most glittery side was best in view for me to look at and take pics of for us, and glitteriness is more important than which sex/gender you are, so I'm grateful to Verid for making sure to share her fabulousness with me. (-:

Click here to see more of Verid's fabulousness . . .  )
Monarch Butterfly Day 14.12, 9-26-12
Mission Control, T-minus less than 1 day to launch. Day 13. All systems go and darkening on schedule.

Monarch Chrysalis Day13.1, 9-25-12

If not tomorrow, then I expect the monarch butterfly to hatch Thursday morning at latest. He'll be a crumpled thing with tiny wings and he will need to hang upside down and flap for a couple of hours to get the juices out of his swollen abdomen and into his wings.

They take 10-14 days to hatch, and cooler weather and being a last generation monarch pushes it to the longer side of the gestation. The last generation of monarchs are those born in late August/September, like this guy. The first 3 or 4 batches of monarchs hatched between March and late summer last only a couple of weeks to mate, lay eggs, and then die. But the fall brood could last 6 to 9 months because they fly south for the winter to hang out in Mexico in a particular fir tree, if they are east of the Rockies. A few make it to the Caribbean. Monarchs west of the Rockies go to hang out in eucalyptus trees along the southern California coast. Then they all head north in March or April to do the mate and die thing because the milkweed that the caterpillars eat doesn't grow down where the butterflies hang out for the winter.

This has been your Wednesday Bio Factoid.

I'm so sorry I'm so behind in replying to comments. Time keeps running out on me and I figure you'd rather me post things and comment on your entries first, so I'm doing that and hope to get back to replying as I can.

More pics of Day 13 of Monarch Chrysalis below . . .  )
I want to wish a happy belated birthday to the lovely ladies [ profile] romeny, [ profile] ladysnaps, and [ profile] terminalmalaise, and hope you enjoy seeing this gilded little thing I present you with.

Monarch Chrysalis, Day 11, 9-23-12

It's a monarch butterfly chrysalis I took in as a caterpillar down by the lake 2 weeks ago. I took this pic on Sunday, day 11 of his being in his chrysalis. He attached himself to the glass lid of the box I have him in, and I put a calendar page behind the lid to better highlight him for these pics. The fluorescent light makes him look slightly bluer than the sea green-aqua he would look under daylight. But those spots and trim really do shine like metallic gold. I hope he will emerge by Wednesday or Thursday, if all is well with him, and look similar to the butterfly in my icon. Then I'll release him down by the lake. I'm extra glad I took him in because today the parks department mowed down the milkweed I had found him on, as well as much of what was growing around it--not good. I just find these chrysalises to be as exquisite as the butterflies they become.

I hope you 3 had a wonderful unMondayish, Monday to celebrate your day.


lavendertook: (Default)


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