Friday, September 6, 2013

Hiatus

Hi, kitties.     Everything is fine with us, but Mom really needs to take a break from playing secretary for us.   She SO loves blogging, but it has become a bit of an addiction and she has other things she must do for a while.     We will still be reading some and commenting maybe here and there.   Love and purrs and nosekissies to you all.

Simba and Audrey



Sunday, September 1, 2013

More Mackerel Mania

All the butterflies have moved on, so you would have thought the mania for using the Mackerel setting on the camera would be over.  But, no.  dad came to Mom and said "Quick, bring the camera with the Macro setting on to the basil plant".    


In other matters, Audrey is keeping up  with her naps and Daddy snuggles:




and Simba keeps his belleh cool with all that floof but lying belly up near the a/c vent!  (of course August was delightfully like Fall, now it is September, it is hot again)



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Award Thursday

It is raining out right now, so not so good for a Gardening post.    One more butterfly has just "hatched" but we are going to keep him in the box inside and hope the rain will end and we can release him later. One chrysalis remains in the box still to emerge, and there are three outside on the parsley stems.  

A while back, sweet Katie Isabella gave me the beautiful "Wonderful Team Member Readership Award".  Thank you so much, Katie.   We enjoy your blog so much and love having you comment on our blog.    The award is a beautiful copper Sun.


We love the smiling face on the sun.   Today we could use a visit from you, Mr Sun!

The way Katie stated it on her blog, the recipient should name 14 other blogs to pass the award on to.  We do usually try to nominate others for awards, but this time we have totally lost track of who was nominated for it, and with 14 nominees each time, we bet a lot of you have!      Since we consider all our friends who visit here and comment to be wonderful team member readers, we nominate you all!!!

Added later:  Mom googled "butterflies rain" and found this interesting article that addresses what (and why)  butterflies do in rain and at night.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-do-butterflies-do-wh



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Few Words Wednesday

Having a little chat:



Latest butterfly # 4, drying its wings (and filling them with air - this one was very floppy when we found it in the box.  Probably had only just emerged):


Monday, August 19, 2013

Mancat Monday and Mackerel Monday

Mom has being going nuts using the Mackerel (Macro) setting on the (point and shoot) camera.    You can even see the slight drops of purr drool in this picture of my face:



Two more butterflies emerged yesterday.  Both were females.     The first flew off very quickly.  The second seemed to need to dry her wings, and also it was evening.   So she was placed on the impatiens flowers, where she stayed all night.   She is still there (8:45 am) which has the humans a bit mystified, because she doesn't seem injured or anything.    Perhaps she just really likes it there.

The way to tell the difference between the male and the female is the relative amounts of yellow and blue.    Much more yellow and less blue on the male.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Easy Like Sunday

This blogging is hard stuff.  Let me just put my head down for a second .....................


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Only 10 days!!

Kitties, our first butterfly emerged!     Simba discovered it fluttering in the box this morning, and so Mom and Dad took it outside to release it.     Mom was able to use the "Mackerel" setting CK told us about to get these close up shots.  Mom is so glad she was reading CK's blog in the middle of the night!!



Underside


We think this is a male.     It stayed for a while before flying off over the house.    So pretty to see it do that!

We had expected it to take 14 to 20 days, not just ten.  Now we will watch for the others each day.

And considering the Photo Hunt theme for today is "Swanky", we think this butterfly sure is pretty swanky!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Helping Out Smoke and Joe

If you haven't already learned about it, please click on the link under the badge below to go to Zoolatry's post from August 14th.   This is an opportunity to make a donation to all the critters at Margs Animals, but especially for the donkeys and their feet.  


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Rest in Peace, Abby

Today we are remembering sweet Abby, of Manx Mnews.      Soft purrs and nosekisses for her human parents and her fur siblings.     Run and fly free, Abby.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Manly Cat Monday and Caterpillar Update

Mom said just yesterday that Audrey provides more cute photo ops than Simba, and then Simba came up next to Mom on the couch last night while she had the camera.


All the remaining caterpillars ate up all the parsley and either wandered away (Dad caught about 3 more of them and put them in the box) or formed the chrysali right on the parsley stems.      What is so interesting is the way they match their environment's color:   Look at this:


There are THREE like that!     Mother Nature is pretty interesting.    


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hummingbird

Kitties, after a LONG summer without sightings, we finally have a frequent visitor, a female ruby throated hummingbird.   
She has been drinking such a lot that Dad at one point thought she was TWO, but we have never seen them around together so we are fairly sure there is only one thirsty one.

Our feeder has test tube style tubes with red caps, and in this first, longer video, you can see her going to both of the tubes of sugar water.      Due to so much zooming, the picture is not super clear, but we think you will get to see enough.

    video

In this second short video, she is feeding from the red bee balm flowers.      Excuse our comfiness towels across the deck railing to dry after the rain!

video

Audrey thinks she would be very nommy if only she could catch her, but we know that would make Dad very very upset.  However, GJ threw down the gauntlet by catching a sparrow the other day, so Audrey doesn't want to be outdone.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Our Prize from Glogirly and Photo Hunt Blue

Kitties, you probably remember that a couple of weeks ago, Katie and Waffles'  Glogirly had a VERY SPECIAL NUMBER BIRTHDAY and she had a contest to win a Glogirly Bag full of Glogirly Stuff. Well, we were very excited to end up being the winners, and at the end of last week, our prize arrived in the mail.     It took until today for Mom to take pictures of us with it, because usually one of us is asleep, and also because, as you know, the humans here have been busy with painting and preoccupied with caterpillars!

So here are a few pictures.  

In addition to the Glogirly themed items, there was a vial of high quality catnip, which Simba discovered right away - he has just batted it across the Glogirly bag:


Feeling the Love from the scent of nip, he sidled up to the Glogirly Cowbell:


Audrey found the Glogirly Bag very comfy, and also liked the catnip - she moved too fast to get a good picture when she was batting at the vial of nip.

Setting things up in a more organized fashion, you can see that we got the bag (Mom's favorite pink color), the Cowbell, Glogirly pen, magnet, one of the Katie is Accused cards showing the full cast, Katie is Accused pin, the catnip and a deck of Amazecats Next Top Cat cards - the 2 of hearts is ALLIE, of A Tonk's Tail!

Audrey checks out the full package:


and here is a closeup of Allie on the cards, Simba making sure to be partly in the picture.



Katie, Waffles and Glogirly, thank you SO MUCH!     We love everything!

AND today's Photo Hunt theme is Blue, and our carpet is BLUE-gray!!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

World Cat Day

We hope your humans treat you extra well today, kitties.  Sadly, we don't expect anything out of the ordinary around here.    But we do appreciate our safe home and our fuds, things many kitties don't really have.



Sparkle's posts from 2010 and 2011 are great - you can get to the link to them here.

At chez Simba and Audrey we continue on our caterpillar watch - the second chrysalis formed overnight, and we have another caterpillar on its way in the plexiglass box.     We think it takes about 14-20 days for the transformation to the butterfly.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

We have our first chrysalis from the caterpillars!      It formed overnight, so we can't say really whether Tuesday or Wednesday would be the right answer.   So lets just say anybody who guessed either Tuesday or Wednesday was right!  So Katie Isabella, Annie, Cody, Island Cats, and Beaded Tail were all correct!

Now let us take you on a little journey about how this happens.     When the caterpillar is finished eating all it is going to eat, it does an extra large poop, and soon after that,  it drops from the plant, in our case onto the deck.    Dad was surprised that the first one to do that didn't look like one of the biggest ones so he put it back.   Two more times it dropped off and started to crawl away, so finally he took it seriously and put it into a plexiglass box with some twigs.       This was on Monday.   It hung out on a twig and by yesterday morning looked like this (notice the threads holding it to the twig and the curved shape - click to biggify):



View from the other side -  Audrey in the background (this IS a FELINE blog, after all!):



A little snuggle with Dad:


By yesterday afternoon we had a second caterpillar on its way towards becoming a chrysalis - in the background of this picture:


If we can count right, there seem to be four who motored off when we were not looking overnight on Monday night.  There once were 18, now only 14.    Here is a really big one:



And now this is what the humans saw first thing this morning:     The chrysalis is the center of the picture, looks like a piece of the twig sticking out.  


Here it is with the picture cropped.     If you look really closely you can still see the segmented nature towards the left side.     Overnight it must have gone through a green stage of the chrysalis but we were not watching then.   


The second one has not yet, but has its curved shape and threads in evidence.     Maybe we will be able to see more of the transition during the day.



Looks like rain today so we will put the box in the garage.      The plan is to try and capture another two of them but to let the others go and make their chrysali wherever their instinct tells them.  Of course we will release the butterflies into the yard when they emerge,


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Caterpillar Sizes

Audrey's first Mom gave us the great idea to use a tape measure to show the sizes of the caterpillars.   That sure made sense because in the pictures there is nothing to compare to except the size of the parsley leaves, which of course can be quite varied.    ( we did get Dad's finger in one picture a couple of days ago).

So here are a few pictures we took of different sized caterpillars while Dad held a tape measure next to them.    Pictures are from 4:30 pm on Saturday, so by the time this posts they will be bigger.  

We think this guy is the biggest of all of them:  there seemed to be several about 1 1/2 inches long, but he seemed the very longest.   



A slightly smaller one (sorry for the focus).


These next two must have hatched later than the biggest ones.     You can see this guy is not even 1 inch.

And THIS little fella is about 1/2 inch long.




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Photo Hunt "Guess"


Kitties, in less than two days all the caterpillars have gotten a lot bigger.   We would say almost doubled in size?     So here is for your guess:    can you help us guess how much longer before one makes the first chrysalis?   We can't promise to know for sure when (give us a guess of which day next week), because they tend to crawl away from the plant to do it, and we suspect they will go under the deck or even further way, but if we can, we will try to catch it as it shows its desire to leave the plant.

We hope at least one will reach that stage before all the parsley is gone.  There are quite a lot of caterpillars on the plant.   And they eat a LOT!     (can you see the little caterpillar poopy behind the one on the right?)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thursday in Our Garden

So we recently showed you the Black Swallowtail Mama Butterfly hanging out near our parsley.   They like parsley, carrot tops and dill.  

Behold the "babies":

(Dad brought the parsley plant onto the upper deck).  Here is the full plant.


Here is a BIG guy!

Not everybody hatched at the same time.  This fella is smaller.



Here is an even smaller one.




Dad's finger for comparison.



A year ago we had quite a few like this but they consumed the parsley before they were all fully grown. Then came the hurricane and ..................
We are sort of hoping the birds pick off just enough of them that the others have enough parsley to get to the chrysallis stage.   


AND,  our tomatoes are yielding real, edible fruits:  today Dad picked these:


Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Photo Hunt - Planter

When we saw the theme for this week's Phot Hunt we said "Oh, we can DEFINITELY do this one!"   Dad has 3 long window boxes of impatiens and also two round hanging pots.   Due to the painting project, they were all clustered together on the deck.      Simba inspects:  

Zooming out a bit you can see them all.   The ones in the window boxes have not grown as much as we think they usually do, but Dad has been protecting them from rain, hot sun, everything you can imagine, by keeping them close to the house, so maybe that is why.  


Wanting a REALLY nice picture with Simba in it, the humans moved the round pots to the top of the two small tables where Simba likes to rest (under them in the shade, on a towel).  


He did not cooperate.