butterflies · caterpillars

Caterpillar Cocoon Watch-Post 3

Just as I expected, the one on the axe handle was in chrysalis stage by the time I got up this morning.  I had read that some will be green, some will be brown.  Well, the one on the trash can is green, the one on the axe handle is brown.  Now, we will just wait for the butterflies to emerge.  Hopefully, I won’t miss it.  (just a reminder: you can click on each photo, then click it again, to supersize it, and really see the details)

butterflies · caterpillars

Caterpillar Cocoon Watch, Post 2

So, I went out about 6:00 pm and took these photos of the one on the trashcan.  Not much noticeable difference, if any.

I go out about 9:15 pm, and this is what I find.  Dang! I missed the magic.

The one on the axe still looks pretty much the same.  But, I bet when I get up in the morning, it will be a chrysalis, too.

I was really wanting to see the chrysalis emerge.  The skin splits open from the head down…not sure where it goes…and it comes out a chrysalis.  Wish it would’ve done it while I was watching!

butterflies · caterpillars

Caterpillar Cocoon Watch

Yay! I have been trying to find where my swallowtail caterpillars go, when they go into the chrysalis stage.  Luckily, I walked out onto the patio with my son, as he was getting ready to go mow a lawn.  I happened to look down at the trash can, right before he went to load it up in his pickup.  He is not very happy with me, as I wouldn’t let him take the trash can.  But, he can get over it.

Then, just inches away from this one, I saw this!

The axe is not usually out on the patio, but aforementioned son had it out one day last week, and failed to put it back in the shed.  It will be fun to get to watch the whole process, for once. Stay tuned for updates!

butterflies · caterpillars

Caterpillars and Dill

I think I get more search hits on my blog, especially this time of year, about “caterpillars and dill” than I do quilting.  Back when I first started this blog, I posted several posts about the Swallowtail butterflies and the caterpillars they begin life as, as I have dill and parsley planted, just so I can watch them.  So, I thought I’d share some new pics from the garden.  If you find caterpillars happily munching your dill and parsley, this is what they will eventually become, given the chance.  This one is drying it’s wings, having recently emerged from the cocoon you can see behind it.

This is one I saw a couple of days before.

Some consider them pests in their garden, but I enjoy watching them go through their life cycle every year.  Now, if I could just figure out how to stop the birds from eating the caterpillars.  THAT is the trouble I’m having this year.

butterflies · caterpillars

Caterpillar Post!

I haven’t posted any caterpillar posts on my blog, in quite awhile.  However, if you put “caterpillar”, “swallowtail”, “butterfly” or “butterflies” in the search box in the upper right corner, you will find several older posts with lots of pics of the black swallowtail butterflies and caterpillars, that I like to watch in my yard.  I plant dill and parsley for them every year, and I get lots of caterpillars.  However, I had never been able to find one making it’s chrysalis.  Until today!!  I have had some trouble with birds finding them, and when they do, they just wipe out the whole lot of them.  So, when I found this last batch on my parsley, I put some chicken wire over them to keep the birds out.  I also hoped that they might use it to attach themselves to, when they were ready to make their chrysalis.  Nope, they’ve been crawling off somewhere else.  Yesterday, Greg noticed a smaller one hanging on the underside of the wire.  It’s a smaller one, so I thought maybe it was just hanging there to molt it’s skin.  I checked on it this morning, and it was still there, and I thought I could see a strand of silk looking stuff.  So, I took some pics, just in case.  These were taken before we left for Sunday School.  Oh, if you click on the pictures, they will pop up in their own window, and then you can click them again, and see them really close up.



I checked on it after church, and it still didn’t look much different.  I went out just a few minutes ago, right before 4:00 pm, and wow!  Look at it now! How cool is that? (and no, it doesn’t take much to amuse me…lol)  But really, aren’t God’s creations just amazing?






I’m so excited that I finally found one! This is the area around them, so no wonder they are hard to find.  My tomato plants are next them, and a small tree is also there, with leaves that they can just blend right into.


I hope I get to see it emerge, 0r at least soon after, while it is drying it’s wings.  If I do, I will post pics of that, also.

butterflies · caterpillars · gardening · Mark Lipinski · quilting · stash busting

Sunday Reporting

With the traveling this past week, there’s not much quilting progress to report.  However, I made some purchases while in Midland, but NOT fabric.  I went to Hobby Lobby in search of some applique supplies recommended by Sharon Schamber.  I bought some Liquid Stitch and some basting glue.  I also bought some Sulky medium weight water soluble stabilizer, for a freeform scarf project I saw on Fons & Porter.  Who knows when I will have time to play with it, but at least I have some stuff…lol.  I also went to Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest edition of Quilter’s Home.  Mark’s Quiltzilla article is hysterical! I also bought a mag I hadn’t seen before, Quilting Arts.  And I found a copy of The Persian Pickle Club.  I’ve already read it and enjoyed every minute. 

We had a freeze warning last night, and I had a little grape tomato plant that already had some blooms and two tiny tomatoes on it.  I carefully put some batting scraps over it and around it to protect it, and when I uncovered it this morning, I discovered that in the process of trying to protect it, I knocked off the little stem with the ‘maters.  Waaaa! And it only got to 34 last night…shoulda left it alone. 

Now, I’m hoping someone can solve a mystery for me.  I have this plant in the front yard.  It was here when we moved in…can anyone tell me what it is? It blooms early every spring.

Before I left town last Sunday, I was in my yard filling my bird feeders, and almost stepped on this in the grass. Thank goodness I saw it!

My first Swallowtail Butterfly of the year.  Apparently, it had recently come out of it’s chrysalis, and was trying to dry out it’s wings.  I helped it get to higher ground.  I’m glad I already have some parsley coming up, and I have planted some dill seeds already, just so they can lay their eggs on it, and I will have more caterpillars this year.  If you have found my blog, by searching for what kind of caterpillars are eating your dill or your parsley, they are Swallowtail butterflies.  Please spare a bit of your garden for them.  Give them a chance to find their wings.

It won’t be long, and I bet I have pics of it’s offspring munching happily in my garden.  Have a great day!

butterflies · caterpillars · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts · sewing

Making Progress!

My starry log cabin countdown is now under 30!  Woohoo! I have all the blocks for my cousin’s quilt completed.  Now to sew the middle section together and figure out the applique. I’m worried about that part and will be glad to get it done (successfully) and behind me.  Then to put it all together and quilt! Oh!  I also got my UFO finished for the MQR challenge.  I’ve already picked out the one for October. 

In caterpillar news, my parsley finally started growing really well and I now have some big fat cats on it!  They are so cute. I hope they live to find their wings and become beautiful butterflies!

butterflies · caterpillars · daily life · food · NASCAR · photos · pretty fabric · quilting

A butterfly, good food, and more FABRIC??!!

I had hoped to blog this stuff yesterday, but spent most of the day battling round 2 of a headache.  My shoulder is really flaring up, and I believe it causes part of my migraines.  I don’t get to go the chiro again til Wednesday.  Not soon enough! 

Now for the fun stuff!  Did I say I wasn’t going to buy more fabric, til I had used up some of my stash?  I know some of you have seen that stash in my other blog.  I had a moment of weakness.  I’m blaming it on my Mom, for getting the ball rolling with those batiks she bought for me, the email I got tempting me with words like “blowout sale” and “FREE shipping”.  What’s an addict to do?  Buy SIX more BOLTS of fabric, that’s what!  It was $2.50 a yard! And it’s the good stuff…last year’s line or whatever, but hey, I have clothes in my closet way older than that, so why would I care if my fabric is a little “aged”?  $2.50 a yard and FREE shipping…there really was no other option but to buy, buy, buy….right?  I was a little embarassed by my weakness, so I thought I had changed the usual shipping address from my husbands shop to the home address, where I might have a chance to slip it onto my fabric shelves unnoticed.  Mind you, he never complains about my fabric purchases.  He is worth his weight in gold, and my DH is a BIG guy.  He comes in after work Friday evening, toting it in the door.  “You got packages.”  I did?  Ohhhhh yea.  Hmmm….Two new western fabs to go with the two I already have.  Here in Texas, cowboy fabrics will never go out of style.  Paid for the other two bolts with only one baby quilt.  The three pastels are Robyn Randolph’s.  I needed more fabrics that I can use as background’s or coordinating fabrics to go with busier prints.  And lastly, a pretty Tuscan textured fabric.  I also ordered it in a pretty green, but alas, it was all sold out.000_4813.jpg Next, I thought I’d share our brunch with you.  Another thing about living in Texas, if you like Mexican food, you can find it here.  Whether you prefer authentic, TexMex, mild or smoking hot, we’ve got it.  This would fall under the category of authentic, and once the green sauce is liberally applied on top, smoking hot.  It comes from a local restaurant, La Casita.  Started by a woman in one of those little snow cone type stands, serving some of the yummiest breakfast burritos.  She quickly outgrew that little stand, and now has a walk-in restaurant.  We ordered the huevos rancheros, for take out, yesterday.  Here it is in the takeout box, two eggs on crispy corn tortillas, spicy shredded beef, refried beans, a homemade flour tortilla, hot green sauce, and a cheese quesadilla in a crispy corn tortilla, that you will see on my plate, once I moved it all over for easier eatin’.  By the time I was finished, my tounge was burning and my nose was running.  Yummy!000_4819.jpg000_4820.jpg

I know that Carla R., Jan & Michelle will especially love this next part.  I got pics of a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly, laying more eggs, I think, on my dill yesterday.  This is what the caterpillars will eventually turn into.  I’m getting concerned that my dill supply is not staying up to the rate of demand.  I planted more but it isn’t coming up too good.  I was thrilled to finally get some butterfly pics. 000_4871.jpg000_4874.jpgHere is a shot with the butterfly and the caterpillars in it. 000_4900.jpg If you find these guys on your dill, parsley or whatever, please don’t see them as pests.  Try to spare a bit of your garden for them, and let them have a chance to find their wings.

I did manage to get the backing sewn together for Mom’s quilt.  I am going to get it loaded today.  Not sure if I will get anywhere on the quilting.  NASCAR is at the Brickyard today.  I will be watching the race this afternoon.  Go Bobby!

butterflies · caterpillars · photos

More Caterpillar News

I’ve been keeping an eye on the caterpillars outside, and they seem to be doing just fine this time.  In fact, I felt like they were growing faster than the ones indoors.  I did get to see one of the ones I had inside shed it’s skin, right in front of me!  How neat!  Anyway, one by one, I moved the little guys back outside.  Took a couple of days, as I didn’t want to handle them, as that can be damaging to them.  I had to hold the stems they were on next to the dill outside, til they crawled onto it themselves.  They all seem to be thriving. 

These are ones that were indoors for awhile.  One of these is the one that molted in front of me.  See the little one, too?  It was just a tiny little black worm a couple of days ago.  They grow so fast.


These are ones that I left outside.

000_4703.jpg Man, they really love that dill!000_4705.jpg

I had planned on posting a bit more of my photos I took in the yard the other night, but I am so exhausted, and I have to pack after we eat dinner.  So the caterpillar update will be it as far as pics for a few days.  We are grilling burgers tonight.  Derek & I will be leaving after work tomorrow, to spend some time with my parents, and for Derek to play in a couple golf tournaments while we are there.  He plays Thursday and Friday.  DH will come join us at Mom & Dad’s on Saturday, where will be having a birthday party!  This Sunday, the 22nd, some sweet boy I know will be turning Sweet 16!  How can that be already? 

butterflies · caterpillars · daily life · gardening · photos

Caterpillars & Dill

As some of you know, I have been fascinated by the caterpillars I discovered earlier this year, eating my dill.  A little research told me that they will turn into beautiful swallowtail butterflies.  I was having so much fun watching them munching away.  I would watch them grow, from hatching out of their eggs, to big fat cats, about ready to go into their cocoons.  One evening, I informed my husband that a whole new batch of babies had hatched.  I had about three or four big ones left, and then varying sizes in between them and the hatchlings.  I went out to the dill patch during my lunch hour the next day, and all the big ones were gone.  I figured they had gone off to make cocoons.  Then I noticed the babies were mostly gone, as well as the others.  I found a couple midsize ones, laying on the ground wriggling around dying, with their little orange protector things sticking out on their head.  They poke these orange antenna looking things out when they are threatened, and they emit a bad odor.  I have no idea if they were attacked by ants, wasps, or just what was happening to them, but I was sad.  😦  So, to try to make this long story a little shorter, some more hatched, and I found them dead not much later, just hanging there on the dill.  More eggs have since shown up.  This time, I’ve been waiting for them to hatch.  We did get rid of an ant bed that had appeared under the dill, also, just in case the ants were the bad guys.  I went out and cut the dill stems that had babies on them, and yes, I brought them inside.  So far, so good.  I have left a few outside, to see if they fare better than the others.

These are some of the ones I brought indoors.


These are pics of ones outside, and then, as I was taking a picture of them, I realized how really pretty the dill looks, and just starting taking pics of the dill.

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000_4505.jpg    000_4510.jpg   000_4530.jpg

000_4505.jpg  So then, that started me off on one of those “run around the yard and see what else I can find to take pictures of” sprees.  Therefore, over the next few days, I will be sharing pics with you of the things that caught my eye.  Hope you enjoyed the caterpillar-dill show!  There will be progress reports 🙂 .  I leave you with one of my favorite pics, that I took earlier this summer of a couple of the big ones.          000_4436.jpg