Saturday, August 29, 2015

Butterfly Release

                       This butterfly is about ready to break out of its chrysalis.  

Time for a butterfly release!

It takes about 10 days for the butterfly to fully form in the chrysalis.  The chrysalis will appear translucent and

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tiny Woolly Bear Caterpillar - Fall is coming

Today I spotted a tiny woolly bear caterpillar.
This is the smallest one I've ever seen. A sign of fall I guess.  : - (

It's not that I don't like Fall, it's just that in Michigan, summer is really only 3 months long: June, July and

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Baby Barn Swallow

We have both barn swallows and tree swallows that come to nest each spring.  The barn swallows build a mud nest under our raised deck.  The tree swallows nest in hanging plastic "gourds" we have.  See them here:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Caledonia Farmer's Market

Last weekend I visited the Caledonia Farmer's Market.
It's a small market - about 15 vendors.  I picked up some beef raised on a farm on 100th Street.
Also bought some delicious peaches and blueberries.
SECaledoniafarmersmarket2.jpgFarmers markets are the best place to get

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monarch Butterflies - Ted Talk

Most of you know I'm raising monarch butterflies in my living room this summer.
Right now I have 6 chrysalises and about 15 caterpillars.
Image result for monarch caterpillar

Monarchs are amazing.  But monarchs are in trouble.  They have declined by 90%.
Monarch butterflies congregating in Senguio, Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico (Photo by  Pablo Leautaud)
Causes are climate change and drought, deforestation in Mexico, disease, car strikes during the fall migration, lack of milkweed habitat.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Kent County Youth Fair - Last Day is today

The Kent County Youth Fair is wrapping up today.  We visited last night.  Here's some of my favorite pictures:
A goat checking out the view.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Houdini Caterpillar

Ok, what's wrong with this picture?

Well, besides the fact that I'm supposed to be studying for exams this week instead of posting on my blog....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Kent County Youth Fair is this week

The Kent County Youth Fair is this week.  Last year Mark and I went to this - we went on the last day so all the carnival rides weren't open and the place was rather quiet.  
But it was so much fun to see the pigs, chickens, guinea pigs, alpacas, and go through the fair barns to see the youth entries.  Pies baked and pictures colored. Lots of blue ribbons.
When I was a kid, I entered some things.  Although I can't remember what.... a loomed pot holder perhaps.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A butterfly will emerge.

Yesterday I talked about finding the largest caterpillar in the "J" hook position which meant he was going to spin his chrysalis within 12 hours.  
I got home from work and found this!

A small monarch butterfly chrysalis!!!  To me, it looks like a small green pepper.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Caterpillar will soon be a Monarch?

So THIS is happening right now in my living room.  It's a little difficult to see from the photo, but the caterpillar is upside down, on the bottom surface of a leaf, in a "J" formation.  I discovered this shortly before leaving for work this morning.  Left the house a little late from taking pictures.  My phone actually takes better pics than my digital (yay blackberry).  When the caterpillar forms a "J", they will stay in that position for 12 hours, then start forming the chrysalis.  (that's a tough one to spell)

 They spend 10-12 days in the chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly.  Sounds like a miracle to me.

See my prior posts about Monarch butterfly caterpillars here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Monarch Caterpillars are Growing...

Yes, I have bugs in my house.
No, I'm not 12.  It's more of an experiment.
Per my previous post, I am raising monarch butterfly caterpillars with the hopes that they will form cocoons and turn into butterflies.
It only takes 2 weeks for a newly hatched caterpillar to grow... then form its cocoon.
The tiny baby caterpillars are now medium sized.  And the medium one I found outside on the milkweed in my front yard has been happily munching away in the aquarium I have him in, filled with freshly cut milkweed leaves.  That thing can EAT!  munch munch munch!  He's about the size of my little finger.  
Stay tuned and let's see what comes next!
      Yes, I have bugs in my living room.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Don't rush perfection - Why is that egg tiny?

I've been very proud of my girls.  We get between 3 and 6 eggs a day from them, and they are usually perfect.
Today, however, my 6 hens laid 5 eggs, but one of them was TINY!  This is the first time this has happened!  Doing a little bit of reading, I think the STORM we had last night might have upset her!  Yes, it makes perfect sense.  We had a storm with 50 mph winds, tons of lightening.  I'm sure my babies were scared.
Tomorrow she'll be back to normal. 
From my reading:
Q: My hen laid a teeny tiny egg, and when I cracked it open, there was no yolk! Should I be concerned?
A: Awww, isn't that cute! Tiny, yolkless eggs are sometimes known as witch eggs or fairy eggs. Occasionally a hen will lay a fairy egg when something has disturbed her reproductive cycle. ...  

Occasionally a hen will get a "hiccup" which pretty much is she got bothered and it messed up her egg cycle this normally clears up within a day and she's back on her regular cycle.

Did she get a bit of a scare recently?

Did she stop laying for a few days and then start again? if so she may have just stopped and started up again and need to "get back in the groove".

Did you add a knew member to the flock?  Has there been any squabbles that have been a little bigger then a peck away from the feeder?

These eggs come small (this one even had a yolk.)


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