Remember my big pot of parsley? The one I took a picture of and boasted to you about, regarding how lush it was and how beautiful and what I'd planned to do with it?
Well. Mother Nature had other plans.
The other day, I looked outside and thought, "What the heck? Did Hubby pluck the parsley?" Well, no, he didn't. I went and checked the pot and about had a heart attack.
At first, I thought I had a flock of monarch caterpillars. Unfortunately, no.
But I do have swallowtails!! Nine of them. Note: Checking after our morning thunderstorm, I have EIGHT... Wonder if one wandered or was dinner???
And the little buggers have decimated my parsley. There were even two of them fighting...if you can call it fighting, because they each wanted the same sprig.
It was kind of cool to watch, and I filmed a little bit of "lunchtime." (see below)
If they all survive (and the survival rate is pretty dismal given the number of birds who like caterpillars), we will have beautiful swallowtail butterflies.
Hopefully, after they've finished the parsley, they'll move to the dill where they were a few years ago. This is the first time that we've had parsley in a tub, not in the netted trug.
Who knew that they loved parsley? Apparently, they eat it, rue, and a number of other things. Including carrot tops, too. Maybe I can convince Hubby to move them to the back with the carrots? Hmmmmmm.
Our town will be spraying for mosquitoes; it's the second time, and frankly, I'm stunned that I have these guys - because they sprayed about a week ago, and I had no idea that the eggs were there. I guess that's why you have to wash your herbs before you eat them?? Urgh. Just the idea of eating butterfly eggs...
Ahem. Anyway. They're spraying so I have to get Hubby to move the pot to the tool shed, cover it anyway, and then cover the existing milkweed and dill. With tarps. Even if I could get them to stop spraying, the drift from other yards would impact what I have already in the garden.
I'm not one of those who'll actually take the caterpillars inside and raise them. I'm not sure that's always a good idea, and we don't have the room anyway. I know, the butterflies are in trouble. But I'm already providing a garden for them. At some point, I have to acknowledge the stats and survival rate. Besides which, I honestly don't have time to learn how to successfully raise them.
On the Monarch group I participate in, they're really going whole-hog. They have enclosures, they have rooms set aside to raise them, and they are - to me - obsessed. And that's cool. Monarchs ARE having trouble. But I can't do that. I really don't think it's in me to do it, and at this point, I certainly don't think I have the time/money and even milkweed stock to invest in this kind of venture. And I don't think I want to anyway.
|Not my picture...Mature swallowtail|
I'm trying to rectify that. It's not easy. And unfortunately, the swallowtails will have to be the first to "go." I mean, if they all make it - WOW! I have a reasonable expectation that at least one or two will. So that's what it is.
Knitting Goes On...
I'm on the heel flap of the Green Sock. Trying to move along, and it's going ok. I'm going to push myself to actually complete the pair.
Then work on the Sole to Sole, which I found in my office. I frogged that one, if you remember. I have Sock #1 - just need to finish that one. As I go on, I'm going to try to get the "singletons" wedged in between other projects. I've really got to get them under control; there are only 2 singletons, but if I keep on that way, I'll have more singles than pairs. Defeats the purpose of wearing my own socks, doesn't it?
I've been trolling Ravelry for a few new ideas, and I have a bunch of stuff in my library: socks, shawls, shawlettes, and hats mainly.
I think I want to finish the February Lady Sweater first to see if I ever want to do another sweater. I'd also like to do a simple tee - whether it's as a layer or as the thing I'd wear with a skirt or a pair of pants. I haven't decided; but mainly, I haven't found a simple one that doesn't look like it would bore me to tears half way up the body!
What I found last night, to use with this lovely Rembrandt Yarns "Precious Metals" worsted weight is the ultimate in simplicity. But maybe not. It's a pattern called "Grapevine Lace Scarf."
Yep. A scarf. This is a limited edition color of 218 yards. (Thanks, I've learned that lesson from the Close to You Shawl...) I chose a pattern specifically for under 218 yards - looks like the scarf pattern takes 210 or so. That gives me 8 yards to either cast off, or squish in a few more rows, if I can do it.
I also have this in sock yarn, which WILL be a shawlette - but I have more yardage in that one. Actually, Rembrandt Yarns was what I used for my first Close to You, so while I love it, and while it seems to look different in every yarn it's made with, I'm going to do something different with this colorway. Not sure what, yet. But it'll happen.
If you're interested in this yarn, Sandy's at the Indiana State Fair in August, so she's gearing up for that. But check her out on Facebook and if you're in the area, go see her!
"Honey, someone broke the elkhound again..."
Quinn, while still terrified of the fireworks that people continue to blow off (enough, already - it's half-way through July and we're all over it), does have her moments when she's her lovable goofball self.
I missed the part of this when her rear end was actually closer to Hubby's elbow, as she managed to worm her way down sideways for a belly rub.
I'm hoping that she calms down; I'm hoping her backside heals from the latest cyst/hotspot. I want her out of her thundershirt and back to being a smiling cuddle-bug doofus.