DH and I went out this morning for coffee and hot chocolate at Frogg's Coffee Bar and Creperie. He had a Banana's Foster Crepe... which was very good (I tasted it - but since they aren't gluten-free don't tempt myself). I should have taken a pic. But we enjoyed eating outside on the patio and sharing his crepe with some pretty aggressive Starlings. They land right on your table and beg... probably the not most sanitary idea... but we didn't mind. It was shady and cool... a nice place to start the morning.
Last week we visited our friend out in the country. I finished the tassels on 2 of her Fisherman's afghans and returned them to her.
Also it was her birthday, so I made her some of my sour cream chicken enchiladas, some home-made almond horns, and some chocolate dipped strawberries... as well as a few other well chosen little gifts. It was a nice visit, but got cut short due to bad weather. We headed back when it slacked up, but ended up in torrential rain on the highway. Took us an hour to get home instead of the normal 30 minutes.
And... recently my granddaughter brought me about a dozen caterpillars she took off her mom's dill plant. They are now residing in covered vases - (with lots of dill) in our den. 2 have already gone into chrysalis. Should be coming out as Black Swallowtails in 7-10 days (more or less).
The first time I ever did this was the summer of 1998. Back then I was the editor of The local Audubon newsletter and this is what I wrote:
This is an incredible story... not because I grew a butterfly, but because of the serendipitous change that occurred within me as the metamorphosis took place. As I watched, this crawly creature (caterpillar) became an inanimate leaf looking object - its soft movable body seemed to stiffen and harden - and I had to wonder if it was a 'painful' process. Knowing that many of life's big changes are usually painful (births, deaths), I figured it probably was and felt empathy for this tiny creature.
Day in and Day out, I watched for changes in the chrysalis. Then suddenly, only 10 days from the onset, I noticed something was hanging on the side of the chrysalis - something that looked like a dark leaf. Looking closer I realized it was my butterfly! Hurriedly I took the jar outside and lifted the branch she was clinging to out. She slowly climbed onto a rose, opened her wings, and stayed there as I ran inside for my camera and returned to take numerous pictures - all the time telling her how beautiful and perfect she was.
She stayed there apparently drying her wings - and probably wondering what and where she was - as I rambled on ooing and aahing over her, calling my husband and my friends announcing her birth like some lunatic. I was also afraid to leave her as the roses are close to the bird feeder and several Blue Jays were hanging around. I told them that they had better not touch this butterfly. I protected the birds from the cats, and I intended to protect this butterfly from them... at least until she took her first flight.
It was about 15 minutes before she suddenly became very lively - as if the critical information as to who and where she was finally filtered through, and off she went - a little haphazardly at first landing on the Lady Banks roses on the fence, then off again landing on the lower branch of a Redwood Tree, then finally up into the sunshine and higher up into the branches of a tree by the creek. My heart soared with her! And I realized watching her that it really didn't matter if her life wasn't long - that she made it this far was a miracle... and the strange thing was that I felt that she knew it too.
2nd Swallowtail emerged this morning. Took longer for him to get his act together and stayed around the backyard longer. When I went outside later, he seemed to buzz me... was flying around and around in the sunshine - if I had to interpret it - gleefully! The Scripture passage that states "what-so-ever you do for the least of my breathren..." came to me.
I know many of you will think this ridiculous... getting so excited over something kids in grammar school see all the time. But I had never done this and it did affect me. I can't explain why.
And one morning years later when I had surgery scheduled that day and was feeling scared, a new butterfly emerged unexpectedly that morning... and lifted my spirits again!
(I have looked all over for pictures of that first butterfly - and I know I kept them, but can't for the life of me find them - sorry)
Going to close this now.
Thanks for letting me share this memory with you.